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Cody Morris, Epic Ales

Even as a child, when he was allowed to take a sip, Cody enjoyed beer ("why, I don't know, since my dad drank Rainier"). To get their allowance, he and his brother had to make dinner twice a week since their parents both worked. That gave him some interest in food and how things work together.

In college, he had a friend who was a home brewer. Since Cody was living in a house, it was easier to brew there, so he brewed a few batches and was hooked.

Not wanting to go into academia, his degree in Western Philosophy wasn't heading him in the right direction. And counter-intuitively to attending Evergreen State College, he wanted to own his own business.

The more he home brewed and learned about beer, the more interested he became. Few people in the early 2000s had a degree in brewing, and you could start small and grow. When he finished with school, he was unable to get a job brewing, so he took a job working at Cellar Homebrew, helping other people brew. "It did what it was supposed to do-paid me while I learned about beer." He stayed three years. "It was fantastic. By the time I was ready to open my brewery, I had home brewed 300 batches, about two batches a week. I lived in a house with four other dudes and we'd have parties and go through it. Although once I had about 400 gallons in the basement. That was too much. Brewing all the time was my goal."

When he left the store, he took a detour from beer, taking a job at a wine shop in the Pike Place Market. That opened his eyes to the art of pairing. "When I was at Homebrew, I had a scientific/fermentation viewpoint toward making wine. Now I would do it differently. I think rustic wines are more fun. Wine pairing helped me think about pairing beer with food."

A year or so into his stint at Homebrew, he met another home brewer, a chef named Travis Kukull, who was shopping at the store. They talked about the future and what they were doing. Travis said he wanted to start a brewpub. "I said 'Best of luck to you'." Cody did visit the restaurant where Travis was working, Solo, and was impressed with what he produced from a small space. They decided to do a dinner together. "When you first start a business, you'll do anything. So we tried it and it went well."

Cody realized he need to sell more beer on the retail side to make enough money to continue. He thought he and Travis could open a brewpub together. They did pop-up dinners every Saturday for a year (2011-2012) that were popular.

In late 2012, they worked with the City to expand their space and serve food. By April 2013, they had moved the brewery to the back of the building, turned the original brewery space into a small kitchen, and added three rooms, two for dining and one for prep.

Things went well. They are opening a second, much larger, location hopefully in August 2015 in South Lake Union with a seven-barrel system and a bigger kitchen.

Epic Ales and Gastropod
3201 1st Ave S, Ste 104
Seattle, WA 98134
206-351-3637
www.epicales.com

Mollusk
803 Dexter Ave N
True North apartment building
Seattle, WA 98109


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