Epochal brewery makes beer with a sense of place. Whether through use of local barley, unique house microflora, our special Scottish water, the impact of climate on the aging process or inspiration drawn from local brewing traditions, Epochal beer is particular to Scotland and to the brewery itself.
All of Epochal’s beer is fermented with our house Saccharomyces culture in open fermenters before a long, slow fermentation in wood with our house Brettanomyces strains. This process creates inimitable, complex, delicious flavours which were once common in Scottish beer.
While Scottish brewing history provides us with much inspiration, we are just as inspired by modern craft beer, contemporary brewing science and our creative curiosity as by the beers of the past. Our beer is modern and our own, but with roots in Scotland’s brewing heritage.
What to call such beers can be bit of a puzzle – the most common term is ‘mixed fermentation’, but this is also used to refer to quick-turnaround, sweet and sour fruit beers fermented in stainless steel without Brettanomyces influence and so, while such beers can be great, the term ‘mixed fermentation’ doesn’t really pick out what Epochal is up to in a sufficiently specific way. We’ve settled on terms such as ‘barrel fermented’ or the older alternative ‘stock beer’ to capture our special combination of complex, funky microbes and wood aging.
Epochal specialises in barrel fermented stock pale ales, table beers, porters, stouts and Scotch ales. Some of these we’ve released already, whereas some haven’t arrived yet - when you’re fermenting them in wood, these things take time. They’ll be good though.
About the Founder
Epochal was founded in early 2021 by me, Gareth Young. My love of good beer developed into an obsessive home brewing hobby many years ago with funky, weird fermentation being the focus of my attention. My previous career was in academic philosophy, specifically philosophy of logic, more specifically some issues surrounding what a certain bunch of logical paradoxes can tell us about the nature of truth.
As much as I enjoyed teaching and researching this sort of abstract stuff (and even now it still influences some of Epochal's beer names), I convinced myself that I had to take my ideas about brewing Scottish funk and turn them into Epochal brewery. Part of the impetus for this came from winning the UK National Home Brewing Awards in 2015 (with a super funky El Dorado saison that was really more of a pale ale). Eventually, I left academia and got jobs in local craft breweries to learn what I needed to know about brewing on a small commercial scale. Finally, I kicked off Epochal in early 2021, with the first beers being released in June of that year.
In its daily operations, Epochal is, at this early stage, a one-person project, which affords little sleep but much creative control. In this way, I get to be uncompromising about what I brew at Epochal.