Daily beer project

Epic Brewery: Captain Crompton’s Pale Ale and Cross Fever Amber Ale

Posted in American Craft Beer, Epic Brewing, Utah Beer by dailybeerproject on May 28, 2010

There’s been a lot of local buzz about Epic Brewery. So much, in fact, that they’re sold out of almost everything. And they’ve only just opened last week. As soon as they restock their cooler, it gets emptied. I was lucky to get my hands on some of the sour apple saison, but it will probably be my only bottle from this first batch, as people were buying it by the case as soon as it was released.

Epic is unique amongst breweries in Utah in that they’re the first brewery since prohibition not to make any 4% abv beers. With a recent change in liquor laws, full-strength beers can be sold in bottles direct from the brewery as well as from state liquor stores, bars, and restaurants. Because they don’t make any 4% beer, they don’t sell anything on tap. They’ve also chosen to only sell 22 ounce bottles, which, given the strength of most of the beers, makes one plenty for drinking alone or enough to share if you’ve got company.

Fortunately when I stopped by last Friday night, they were only sold out of the Hopulent IPA, so I was able to pick up some Captain Crompton’s pale ale, Cross Fever amber, Intermountain Wheat, and Belgian-style golden. Yesterday I reloaded with the aforementioned Sour Apple Saison along with a Brown Rice Ale. So far I’ve tried the first two and can attest that the buzz is justifiable.

Pale ales aren’t my favorite style–the hops tend to be a bit strong for my taste, though I do appreciate the complexity of flavor. Captain Crompton’s is indeed strong, and while not something I’d seek out every day, is one of the best pale ales I’ve tried. It’s hoppy to be sure, with three hops in the boil, plus a dry hop during aging. But the hops plus the malt provide a broad spectrum of flavor that is immensely satisfying. An awesome pale ale.

Cross Fever amber is on the other end of the spectrum, with a very malty flavor and very little hops. The maltiness was really rich, but I thought it could have used just the slightest bit more hops to get the right balance. I’m sure the brewmaster was going for a really malty beer with this one, and if you love malt but not hops, you’ll love this. For me it was good but came short of awesome.

It’s a three day weekend, so I imagine the Brown Rice Ale, Brainless Belgian, Intermountain Wheat, and Sour Apple Saison will not make it to Tuesday in my fridge. Too bad I can’t get more. For DC and the rest of the crew at Epic, I’ve got to think selling through all your inventory in the first two weeks of business is a good problem to have. Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be seeing DC out on the bike anytime soon.


2 Responses

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  1. […] for the next batch. There was still some Sour Apple Saison, and they were planning to put more Cross Fever Amber in the cold case this […]

  2. […] Ale, something I tried fairly early on in the project when I was still getting used to hoppy beers. At the time, I said “pale ales aren’t my favorite style…” What a difference a few months make. Even […]

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