Last year, Epic Brewing’s head brewer, Kevin Crompton, surprised Great American Beer Festival (GABF) attendees when he announced during a media luncheon that the company would expand into a second brewing facility in Denver, Colo.
While the announcement wasn’t planned, the strategy of growing via multiple locations was; one year later, Epic — which is headquartered in Salt Lake City — was pouring beer for thousands of GABF attendees at its one week-old Denver taproom and brewery.
In the video above, Epic co-founder David Cole discusses that the idea of operating numerous production facilities throughout the country.
“We knew that we would quickly outgrow the space in Utah and we started thinking about other markets,” he said. “Rather than do a big production brewery in the state of Utah, we like to have that local connection.”
Epic’s brewery space in Salt Lake City isn’t designed to go beyond 12,000 barrels annually, Cole said, and it’s something the company took into consideration when it finally decided to purchase space in Denver.
“We built in all the infrastructure oversized, to get us up to 35,000 barrels,” he said. “All of the support of the stainless steel in the brewery is existing and that is the hard part to upgrade down the road. We made that investment up front.”
Cole hopes the approach of growing through multiple, regionally located, mid-sized breweries will prove itself in Denver and allow the company to consider additional expansion opportunities in the future.
“Denver is a test case but it looks pretty optimistic right now,” he said.
Cole said the company is already identifying its next move.
“I am a native of California so it wouldn’t surprise me to end up in a place that we have a personal connection with,” he said.