I was coerced into this post about Epic Ale‘s Otto Optimizer by Bean. “If you drink it…you write it….NOW!” Well, those were not her exact words but… thats why we call her the boss. It was well worth the sacrifice of time and effort.
Epic Ales is located south of Qwest Stadium and the Baseball stadium so it makes for a perfect pre-game watering hole on Fridays. Cody operates a one-man brewery but may on occasion get help from his fiancé in bottling and will collaborate with other brewers to come up with unique ales. He has a passion for using spices and herbs in creative ways that make it difficult to categorize any of his delicious brews into any one box. His goal is get people to try new beers and not base their experience on what they expect. I tried several of his beers and all were a wonderful surprises to the palate.
The Otto-Optimizer Ale has on its label, “brewed with coffee and cardamom,” but what it does not say is that this Turkish Coffee recipe took several tries to perfect and only when he was able to utilize the knowledge of a friend’s Turkish boyfriend. So given this is Turkish Coffee you are treated to a wave of java flavor. I am loving this particular ale because for one I love coffee, but unlike all the other coffee flavored beers (predominantly porters and stouts) this beer has some excellent fizz to it that give it a nice Beer edge. I am thinking that the cardamom also tames the bitterness of the coffee resulting in a great balanced beer (for those who love coffee). On the bottle it states that the beer is “bottle conditioned–always store vertically”. Cody explained that his beer is pasteurized but prior to capping he adds yeast to provide the carbonation. This will result in some residue that will cloud the beer. In the bottle I initially tried there was no sludge on the bottom but on my subsequent tries at the brewery I saw the slight residue on various bottles. This is not a defect but merely a characteristic of the beer making style.
As for pairing I am not sure what I would eat with this. Really enjoying it on its own. I like it more when it has warmed from the refrigerator. Since talking to Cody and knowing that it is a Turkish coffee in the brew I thought it might be nice to have this as an after dinner brew with baklava.