CONCORD — The apocalypse never tasted so good.
With a mantra of bringing delicious small-batch craft beer to the Concord community, Epidemic Ales delivers clean and fresh beers with an end-of-days twist.
The taproom opened in January and has since launched monthly beer release parties, engaged the local community and released bottled editions of their brews throughout Bay Area retailers.
Beers like Nightshade — a bourbon barrel-aged vanilla stout — a richly decadent and velvety, but balanced, brew — have received such a warm reception, that the brewery works hard to keep up with the demand, according to co-founder Holly Wang.
The brewery was the product of over seven years of homebrewing between three couples. After fine-tuning and developing the beer recipes, the couples continuously received positive responses to their beers.
“We had been brewing together for a long time,” Wang said. “People started asking us when we were going to be brewing again, or if we had bottles, or how they could get beer from us. It really started to take more time. So we all decided that we had to make a decision: were we going to make a business with it and scale it?”
The moment came when Wang and her husband, Brian, put together their wedding. The two decided they would brew their own beers: a barrel-aged stout and an IPA. If everything went smoothly, the couples would vote if they should go ahead with a full brewery.
When the wedding came, the beers were a success. Epidemic Ales was a-go.
Clean flavors with a twist
The beers that Epidemic has on tap range over all styles of beer, offering beer drinkers looking for a flight or to learn something new about beer flavors easy opportunities for both.
“We want to make sure the beer is stylistically clean,” Wang said, “where you can identify what you’re drinking, but notice a twist to it. [For instance] our lager has a fruit hop flavor. We want people to ask us what the flavor is, so we can explain to them what’s going on and can develop a larger appreciation for beer.”
Though their beer is the main draw, Epidemic has made it an aim to be a community player, pouring at events for the local police association, and hand-delivering kegs to local parties and customers.
“We’re making a beer that we like, that our customers like, and that helps the East Bay and Concord,” Wang said. “When you come here, you’ll find a local person — a neighbor — behind the bar.”
With a strong foundation of core beers and seasonal releases continually on tap and in bottle, Epidemic hopes to continue to keep up with demand and educate the local community about beer in general.
If doomsday struck the world tomorrow and sustenance meant loading up on the grainy goodness of small-batch craft beer, one would hope that beer was from Epidemic Ales.