Utah’s Epic Brewing Co Hits the Seattle Scene Next Week

People here in Washington like to complain about our crazy, archaic, sometimes-draconian liquor laws. Truth is, we actually have it pretty good compared to some other places. For instance, in Utah it wasn’t legal for a brewery to produce “strong beer” until 2008. Before 2008, you could only brew very low alcohol beers. Meaning, the maximum strength was defined as 3.2 percent Alcohol by Weight (ABW), which equals about 4.0 Alcohol by Volume (ABV). Ouch. Thankfully for Utah, that law has changed

In 2008, when Utah changed the law and allowed breweries to start brewing “strong beer,” business partners David Cole and Peter Erickson jumped on the opportunity and opened Epic Brewing Company. Over the years the brewery has gained a reputation for it’s great beers and has won a lot of medals. Today I’d like to welcome them to Washington. Epic Brewing Company will officially launch in Washington next week with two events. First, Tuesday night (Feb. 26) there will be an Epic night at The Pine Box. On Thursday (Feb. 28) there will be an event at The Beer Junction (blog sponsor).

Note that Epic Brewing Company of Salt Lake City, Utah should not be confused with Epic Ales of Seattle, which opened in 2009. They are two completely separate entities, related in name only.

Here is the official press release.

Epic Brewing to Launch in Washington

Salt Lake City, UT, February 20th – After almost three years in business, Epic Brewing is set to expand its reach to Washington State with a line of 17 brews.  Epic is currently available in twelve states, including the District of Columbia.

The Washington launch will take place over the course of several days, from Tuesday, February 26th through Friday, February 27th, in the Seattle/Tacoma area.  Epic’s National Sales Manager, Michael Malachowski, and Pacific Northwest Sales Rep, Eric Wilderson, will be in attendance at the events.

“We have been excited to launch in Washington for quite a while,” said Epic’s co-founder, Dave Cole, “And with the opening of our Denver facility close at hand, we felt the timing was finally right.”

The first event will take place at the Pine Box in Seattle on Tuesday, February 26th at 6pm, with seven different Epic brews available on draft.  On Wednesday, February 27th at 5pm, Epic representatives will be at Pint Defiance in Tacoma with four brews on draft and 22oz bottles available as well.  On Thursday, February 28that 5pm, Beer Junction in West Seattle will host a Brewers Night and on Friday, March 1stat 5pm, Bottleworks in Seattle will host the final event, also a Brewers Night.

“We are really looking forward to launching our beers in Seattle/Tacoma,” said Epic’s National Sales Manager, Michael Malachowski.  “A lot of people have been asking when Epic would be available in Washington and we are thrilled to finally be able to make this announcement.”

Distribution in Washington will be handled by Alpha Beer Distributing located in Kent, WA.

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  1. Do you really think Epic Ales and Epic Brewing are going to co-exist without one of them having to change their name? Seems like breweries these days are suing each other over the slightest of perceived trademark infringements. Hopefully not. Epic Ales labels are pretty unique and easy to differentiate from Epic Brewing. Just don’t want to see the little guy get hosed again.

  2. Last I heard, the owners of the respective companies talked and it seems that its a non-issue. Hopefully nothing has changed since then.

  3. Utah is still a 3.2% abw state for draft, you’ll not find Sierra, NB, etc on tap. Epic does all high gravity brews (and by that I mean over 4.5% abv, ha) and puts 100% of their products in bottles.. Their tasting room has nothing on tap, all samples are from bottles. Epic is also opening a second production brewery in Denver. These cats have some good bbl aged beers, welcome to Seattle Epic!

  4. When Epic first opened in Salt Lake City, my sister and I accidentally stumbled upon it while walking home from dinner. They had made a large calculation error by thinking they had three months supply of beer when they launched. However, what we found in the fridge was a small supply of one variety, their standard Wheat Beer. It was among the best of wheat beers I have ever tried. While they were still struggling to meet demand, I followed their twitter closely so I could snatch up any special varieties before they sold out. They had to triple production within in six months in order to get to a stable production volume.

    Kevin Crompton, the brewmaster at Epic, used to work for Kona Brewery in Hawaii. When I first tried Kona, it was the first beer I truly enjoyed. At the opening of Epic, I quickly fell in love. Unfortunately, when I moved to Seattle last year, I found that Epic was not sold here yet.

    I cannot express how excited I am, especially to have Epic on tap. Although Utah does not allow high alcohol content beers on tap, Epic has been kegging it for a while to send to other states. Seattle, you are in for a wonderful ride!

  5. A little clarification here. The article states:

    “For instance, in Utah it wasn’t legal for a brewery to produce “strong beer” until 2008. Before 2008, you could only brew very low alcohol beers. Meaning, the maximum strength was defined as 3.2 percent Alcohol by Weight (ABW), which equals about 4.0 Alcohol by Volume (ABV). Ouch. Thankfully for Utah, that law has changed.”

    This is not entirely accurate. Utah Brewers have been able to brew regular brews (above 4% abv) prior to 2008, these beers were only available to purchase in state run liqour stores. The 4% abv brews that brewers made were only available at grocery stores. For example, in 2004-2005 (when I use to live in Salt Lake) Uinta Brewery brewed a 5.4% pale ale called Anglers and this was only available in liqour stores. They brewed another version of this same brew at 4% abv, and named it Cutthroat (named after Utah’s state fish). Cutthroat was only available in grocery stores. Strange laws…that’s one of the reasons I moved.

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