With images of Yetis in our minds, we said goodbye to the friendly staff of Great Divide and embarked on our walk to Epic Brewing Company. It was a series of twists and turns down side streets and alley ways. Beautiful retro buildings lined our paths. Down one street was a tiny winery. Right in the front, people were pouring whole clusters of ripe red grapes into giant vats to be pressed into some delicious juice. A little further and we reached the brewery tucked away among a motorcycle shop and a paint store.
The tasting room was an exquisite modern industrial look complete with a flat screen televisions and a four-door cooler stocked full of different Epic beers. We each ordered something and I chose Smoked and Oaked Belgian Style Ale. We all stepped into a large open room with piles of grain bags on the far wall when I turned around to see The Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar! He was there to accompany us on our tour. We immediately started chatting about the beer scene in the states versus the UK as well as the rise in craft beer in general.
We admired Epic’s ability to make some truly fantastic brews (I hope to see in Florida one day) in such a small operation. We finished the tour and I got a Brainless on Peaches Belgian Style Ale. It was time to gear up for our final night of the fest and find out who won medals.
Adam Shugan, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Beer Consultant – Gainesville
Follow me on Twitter @abcbeeradams