The fact that Epic Brewing Company co-founders David Cole and Peter Erickson were able to produce such good beers in Salt Lake City is truly epic. Sure, Utah loosened the reins on their laws in 2008, finally allowing breweries to produce “strong” beers above 4% ABV. That helped. So did head brewer Kevin Crompton, who helped hone the recipes.
Jointly, they’ve navigated a truly upside down Utah craft beer universe. At their brewery, located south of downtown, they have a wall of beer bottles (that you can’t open there) and have a (tapless) taproom that requires people to buy sandwiches, meat or cheese plates to gain access to four-ounce pours from bottles. My favorite taste was of the Brainless IPA, a Belgian-style ale brewed with fruity Belgian yeast and punchy American hops that delivered a harmonious beverage that was much more thoughtful than the name lets on.