For close to a decade, Epic Brewing Company has been brewing its own way, creating unique beers with unusual ingredients and even more unusual names, but the Utah and Colorado-based company is set to release a new limited beer that’s a spoof on the latest craft beer trend, the low-cal, low-carb effort.
With a release date locked in for Feb. 28, Super IPA Me is the company’s way of poking fun at the recent shift to more health conscious beer, boasting 500 calories for one 16-ounce can and a whole lot of hop flavor. Epic describes the beer as “an intentionally high-calorie, juicy India Pale Ale” thanks in part to three different kinds of hops, Grungeist, Styrian Dragon and Citra, as well as apricots. Checking in at a colossal 12.0 percent ABV, Super IPA Me comes on the heels of Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery announcing the release of a similarly themed beer called Bulk pHaze IPA, a monstrous seven-hop varietal, 8.2 percent ABV hazy “mega-beer” packed with calories, carbohydrates and protein from the malt, all while impressively featuring over five pounds of hops per barrel.
Both low-calorie and non-alcoholic efforts have gained steam throughout much of the industry recently, as drinker’s turn to more health-conscious beers to enjoy socially, without the threat of packing on those unwanted pounds. Colorado, where Epic opened its second brewery, is continuing to see a trend of low-calorie beers from well-known breweries such as Odell Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewery and Avery Brewing Company, which released the highly-anticipated 100-calorie Pacer IPA late last year. But the folks at Epic were tired of being asked about when they’d create one, so they elected to do the opposite and contemplated how to create a beer jam-packed with massive calories.
“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,” Epic brewer Jordan Schupbach told Westworld.
Available for purchase at Epic’s Salt Lake City and Denver taprooms, Super IPA Me will be distributed to a handful of Colorado retailers, which means it’ll have a very small footprint.