Brewery Snapshot: Epic Brewing Company

This RINO brewery is the Colorado outpost of Utah-based Epic Brewing Company. The location in brewery-dense RINO makes Epic a great stop on a brewery crawl or a destination in its own right. The ultra-modern taproom seems to be hit or miss as far as crowds, but the beer is always solid and plentiful.  You could easily order off the expansive menu all afternoon without doubling up, as the list covers virtually every style plus multiple variants of the same base beer. Street parking is usually easy but if you’re pub crawling or intent on running the Epic menu, consider Uber or public transit!

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BEER LINEUP: Epic covers the spectrum and then some with their generous menu of over 20 beers. In addition to the expected, Epic does experimental beers, barrel-aged, sours, fruit beers, and more. Nobody should come away disappointed.

ATMOSPHERE: Epic has a relaxed vibe with a diverse crowd of hipsters, couples, older people, and others. The only un-represented group was families – not surprising given the RINO location. It definitely seemed like a place people stopped by for one, with quick turnover. The modern industrial taproom opens to the brewery on one side and a small patio on another. Some days they have food trucks.

SERVICE: Generally good, though we were there on a slow night. When it gets busier there tend to be traffic jams at the bar

NEIGHBORHOOD: Rino – need I say more? Epic is located far enough out to have ample street parking (for now).

STANDOUT BEER: The Santa Cruz Brown IPA stands out for its balance. The medium reddish-brown color and medium body serve up a good shot of hop bitterness with a bit of floral essence that is brought back to center by the solid malty foundation. All of the flavors intertwine to produce a complex and enjoyable beer.

Brewing For Justice

lady-justiceI recently had the opportunity to spend a few hours at a nanobrewery with delicious beer and a unique concept – nonprofit, community-supported brewery. Lady Justice Brewing in Mountain View (I70 & Sheridan) has the unusual dual mission of brewing great beer and giving all profits to women-focused charities. Their motto is “Great Beer, Better World” and the three ladies who founded the brewery have a longstanding commitment to building better communities and also to making great beer. Their current model is a subscription club, where subscribers pick up a bomber every month and often a sampler of a new recipe too. The brewery then donates the proceeds through a grant process.
While hanging out with Kate, Betsy, and Jen I had the opportunity to watch them brew, sample some of their beer, and meet their community supporters. They build their beers with the malt as the foundation, then layer on the yeast, and then other fruits & spices. I tried the Sage Saison, Cardamom Porter, and Peach Brown. Both the saison and porter were very clean, with clear, traditional saison and porter tastes spiked with the specific flavors of the spices. Unlike some beers, the flavors didn’t get muddled or distorted by other ingredients or the brewing process. The brown had a similar clean base, but I only got a hint of the peaches. Overall, the beers were very much my style although only half the fun. The enthusiasm and passion of all the Lady Justice ladies, along with their subscribers, made for a truly awesome afternoon of beer and good people.
There’s not currently a taproom so you have to become a subscriber if you want try their beers. They expect to start the next 6-month subscription mid/late spring and you can visit www.ladyjusticebrewing.com to get on the mailing list or just learn more about the cool business model that Kate, Betsy, and Jen have created!

Beer Of The Week: Declaration Brewtonium Brown

Fitting for  the season, Declaration Brewing Co.‘s Brewtonium Brown will keep you warm with all the dark-malt flavors you’d expect in a brown, along with with some unexpected bittering-hops notes.  As the beer warmed, a little bit of floral hops even started to sneak in. The big picture is a balanced, medium-bodied beer that isn’t as heavy and filling as many traditional browns (translation: you can drink a few of these!) even though the initial glimpse of its dark brown color might make you think otherwise.20161210_185441_hdr