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Epic Fest Devious #2
Written by Team
Back to brewing…. what superb feeling. Creating and experiencing something new and delightful is the draw for me. Trying to make something I’ve never tasted, indeed that no one has. Every beer is as unique as every brewer, the subtleties are infinite and it often takes the most sophisticated of equipment, technology, and experience to make an exact reproduction of any beer. I love this about beer, that the littlest mistake or nuance, different ingredient, change in temperature, oxygenation, etc. can add or subtract a character unexpected, sometimes interesting, sometimes delightful, sometimes extremely disappointing to one’s hard work.
This said, today I sampled the latest creation from the newest brewery in Utah, Epic Brewing Company. Utah has been long in need of a brewery that specializes in the specialty brew and Epic has eagerly risen to the demand. There will definitely be more posts inspired by this brewery in the coming weeks.
Today’s brew: Fest Devious #2, a wet hop ale spiced with fresh Columbus and Cascade from an organic farm just west of Salt Lake City. The most striking part of this beer was the aroma. I was expecting a much hoppier nose, plant-like as the whole-leaf hop ales I’ve brewed have exhibited. Right off the bat I got a funky aroma, hoppy but almost dominated by what I thought at first to be reminiscent of contamination. This dissipated as the beer opened up to reveal a bit more pure hop aroma than at the outset. The malt backbone is pronounced, balanced to the sweet side of the style. Pretty standard malt profile for a pale ale/IPA with caramel and munich malts though the balance was so far to the sweet side that it was more akin to an ESB. There is a booziness in the middle that is definitely not common or expected in any of those styles. The hops didn’t quite factor in as much as expected on the end either (though admittedly I have a high tolerance for alpha acids). Certainly the nicest part of this beer was the clean finish, not leaving a residual bitterness or an excess of unfermented sugars on the tongue. Just clean, evidence that the brewers who experimented with this one know their craft.
This week I’m coincidentally buying 3 lbs of the same hops from the High Desert Hop Farm on the west side of the valley. I’m wondering if I’ll get the same characteristics out of them as Epic. In any case, it will be a fun experiment. I’m just glad that in this sometimes crazy place with its markedly conservative liquor laws we have new and exciting things happening every day that are breaking the norms of Utah’s history. A wet hopped, local, organic, alcoholic beverage is a welcome example.