We’re making the rounds of some local brewpubs, sharing some notes and some news. A few weeks back, we reported that Saltfire Brewing is the latest to feature a food truck; in this case, it’s their very own, onsite, food solution. And we also checked in with RoHa Brewing Project, noting that the space has been granted a full liquor license by Utah’s DABC (now DABS), allowing them to pour spirits, wines and specialty cocktails during Sunday brunch hours. Today, our attention turns to one of SLC’s absolute gems, Epic Brewing, located in the heart of the city at 825 State Street, a quick hop-skip to a number of other microbreweries in/around Salt Lake’s downtown. Here’s some of what’s happening at Epic.
It’s Not Big. In Fact, It’s Delightfully Small
Walking into Epic, you’re greeted by an employee within seconds of walking through the front (well, side) entry door. “No big deal,” you might say, “that happens all over town.” But at Epic, it’s almost universally true that it’ll be a nice, friendly exchange, even on those occasions when the lone bartender has to pop out of their backbar lair to check you in. Niceness is simply the front-of-house rule here and it’s noticed and appreciated. If it’s your first visit, you’ll also quickly realize that your experience here is going to take place in a single, two-sectioned room. If you’re there to grab a beer and go, you’ll walk a couple of feet to a dozens-of-titles-strong Epic lineup via the refrigerators ahead of you. If you’re sticking around for a pint, or a sample, or a flight, or a combination of all o’ them, you hang a right and will settle in at one of a handful of tables, or a seat at the L-shaped bar. There’s not a lot of room at the inn, which makes finding a spot a little bit special.
It’s About Beer Here
With rare exception, a visit to Epic’s about beer, not trivia, live music, throwing axes, karaoke, bingo, food trucks or bridal party invasions. Without an expansive patio bar, the action’s all here, right inside this small “tap-less” taproom, where beers are served up by staffers who routinely engage in more than one job activity at the facility. Brewers cut in-and-out of the back rooms; staffers rap with one another and customers, too; in-house conversations sometimes make you feel like you’re part of operation, especially if you’re a bit prone to eavesdropping. Not that you need to pry out the information, as you can ask lots of questions at Epic. To expound on that…
Locals Like It, Tourists Love It
At some brewpubs, you find yourself recognizing the uber-regulars pretty quickly, as they seem to inhabit the same spaces visit-after-visit. At Epic, you may see someone that looks a bit familiar, but you’re also likely to hear folks getting a bit of a history lesson, as lots of folks here, especially during the relaxed daytime hours, are around for the first time. Maybe they’ve heard about Epic through visits to the “other” Epic in Denver. Or they’ve tasted the beer in their hometowns; currently, Epic ships to 24 states.
Big Beers for People of All Sizes
You can find your crushable session beers at Epic. Ditto sours, at which Epic seems to excel. There are also a goodly number of big, bold beers within the Big Bad Baptist line, a linchpin in their production schedule. Variants exist, including what’s arguably the brewery’s most-desired product, the Big Bad Baptist Reserve. It was released at the very end of May and it’s a product that has limited distributed channels, meaning that folks in Denver (where the 2022 Vintage was brewed) and Salt Lake get first dibs. This edition of their Imperial Stout Series is described like so: “sourced from Vapor Distilling, the bourbon barrels contribute a deep oak characteristic with subtle notes of vanilla and caramel, while the single-malt barrels contribute a mild but recognizable peated smokiness. Fewer than 600 cases of this rare release will be produced.” It’s a 10.5% ABV product and the type of beer that tastes best in moderation. Buying a bottle for home’s obviously an option, what with the limited availability, but getting a couple-ounce pour for onsite enjoyment’s also a solid play. It’s complex without overwhelming you with mysterious tasting notes.
In April, Epic offered up a really fine spring/summer beer, a Horchata Cream Ale (5.0%), which showcases rice and cinnamon. Coming up in June is the Pineapple Creamsicle Milkshake IPA (8.5%), coming soon to a 16 oz can as part of Epic’s rotation of seasonal offerings. Epic is known for creating fun and amusing (and, okay, let’s go ahead and call them “educational,” too) videos for YouTube and their website does a fab job of giving you just enough information to feel like an expert.
If You Go
825 State St.
Outside of some holidays off, this is a seven-days-a-week operation. Here are the current hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. There’s not a kitchen here, per se, though quite-light snacks can be procured. That said, multiple restaurants serve this section of State Street and some of the best street tacos in town can be purchased just a few blocks away. Schedule your dining needs accordingly.
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