Beer Man

Epic Spoofs Low-Cal Beer Trend with 500-Calorie Super-Sized IPA

Epic Spoofs Low-Cal Beer Trend with 500-Calorie Super-Sized IPA
Epic Brewing
Epic Brewing has always done things a little differently, whether it was calling out the restrictive liquor laws in its home state of Utah, moving the majority of its production to Denver, using unusual ingredients, or giving its beers irreverent names, like Brainless on Peaches and Big Bad Baptist.

Now the brewery is poking some fun at one of the latest trends in craft beer — low-calorie, low-carb beers — by releasing Super IPA Me, which it describes as "an intentionally high-calorie, juicy India Pale Ale loaded." In fact, the beer, brewed with apricots and Grungeist, Styrian Dragon and Citra hops, boasts 500 calories per pint.

"I’d been to a couple of meetings with some retailers, and they kept asking me about our 'better-for-you category beers,' so I asked [brewery co-owner] Dave Cole about it," explains Epic regional sales manager Nate Levi. Cole's response: “Why do we want to do what everyone else is doing? Why don’t we go opposite?"

The high-calorie beer — which will be released February 28 in the taproom before hitting distribution — also weighs in at a whopping 12 percent ABV, so it's decidedly not in the better-for-you category.

Epic's new beer follows Oregon's Deschutes Brewery, which is about to release a beer with a similar theme called Bulk pHaze IPA. High in protein and everything else, it clocks in at 8.2 percent ABV.

Colorado breweries that have released low-calorie beers — typically under 100 — include Oskar Blues, Odell Brewing, Avery Brewing, Blue Moon Brewing and Breckenridge. New Belgium also has one in the works.

Here's the rest of Epic's story on Super IPA Me from brewer Jordan Schupbach:

“How can we get the most calories packed into an IPA? At first, we wanted to mash in with burgers and French fries, and dry hop with milkshakes and gummy bears. Then we got hungry and ate it all, so we opted for high protein malts, sugar to help boost the gravity and hit a high ABV, and fruit to push the calorie count over the edge. We landed on using apricot because the hops we decided to use, Grungeist and Styrian Dragon, smelled very stone-fruity. I still want to dry hop with gummy bears. Maybe next batch.”
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes