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Updated: Jun 5, 2021

A collaboration brew with Ghost Town Brewing, Oakland CA.

Grab the last of the Armageddon IPA 4pks or a pint in the taproom while you can! ALMOST OUT!!

Our Head Brewer Shawn Hammer of Epidemic Ales and Justin Burdt, Head Brewer of Ghost Town Brewing collaborated to brew Armageddon West Coast IPA. It released on 5/20/21 in the Epidemic Ales taproom on tap and in 4pks and was one of our most highly anticipated collab brews.

Shawn and Justin both agreed that our doomsday breweries had to do a West Coast IPA, and went back and forth on the recipe for weeks deciding on some dank hops like Strata, Citra, and Mosaic cryo. They also threw in some awesome new to us elements like Citra incognito, a liquid concentration of hops that go into the whirlpool (the end of the brewing process when hops are added to the hot kettle to add aromatics to the beer). Basically - the incognito liquid product adds tons of hoppy aroma to the beer instead of needing to add the equivalent (huge) amount of hop pellets! Let's not forget the insane dry hop too, one of the largest dry hops we've ever done at Epidemic Ales!

The text on the label reads:

“After many thirsty years, the time has finally come for the Ghouls of Ghost Town to haunt the halls of the Undead at Epidemic Ales in a collaboration to create the grisliest, stankiest, most gruesome West Coast IPA in the East Bay. Heavy Mosaic & Citra Incognito kettle additions give it sharp teeth for a big bite and a gluttonous dry hop of Strata, Citra & Mosaic cryo bring the big bold earthy, grapefruit & berry to boost the dank factor. In the battle between good and evil, we choose evil.”

The label shows an energized hop atop a outer planetary mountain skyline. It was printed on a reflective blue foil label and came out perfectly. Online pictures do it no justice! We incorporated a simplified white Epidemic Ales logo to match the Ghost Town logo, this is the first time we've ever had that logo on a can label.

We first met Justin when he was Head Brewer at Black Diamond Brewing (now closed) which used to be located down the street from Epidemic Ales. When Black Diamond Brewing closed he went on to start brewing small batches with the original Ghost Town partners.


We asked Justin a few questions about himself and Ghost Town Brewing.

How did you get into brewing? How many years have you been in the industry?

I interned at Black Diamond Brewing, which turned into the assistant brewer position and moved my way up to head brewer within 2 years. I have been brewing professionally for 8 years.


What is Ghost Town Brewing’s origin?

A bunch of metalheads that liked to drink beer and listen to metal. I naturally fit right in and brought some professional attention to the table.


Why was Oakland a good city for Ghost Town to be established in?

The owner is from Oakland and so is the music rehearsal studio that we used to all jam at. Plus, we are the oldest brewery in Oakland.


Where do you hope Ghost Town is at in 2 years? 5 years?

2 years would be a new Oakland location with water pressure. 5 years, taking over the world…..


What were your first brews for Ghost Town (on the original small 1BBL system) and who wrote those recipes?

Inhume and Final Rites rye ale. Even though Inhume was a completely different beer back then. The team wrote the recipes.


What are your production goals?

8,000BBLs. 3 years ago we only did 500BBLs.


What were your first brews on your large 15BBL system? What is the biggest difference?

Inhume, rye and pale ales. Volume and hop dosing rates.


What’s something stupid you’ve done while working in the brewing industry that you learned not to do?

Backed a forklift into a sample port on a full 60bbl FV.


What’s your favorite style to brew? Least favorite?

Favorite is West Coast, least favorite is Hazy. I don’t brew all of that other bullshit with fruit and lactose…….


What do you know now as a head brewer that you wished you known when you were just starting out?

I'm still learning every day, but I would say that hop quality is easily overlooked.


What’s your first memory of meeting or working with Shawn?

Hanging with him in the brewery at EJ Phair and seeing how passionate he is.


What is one of your favorite memories from Black Diamond Brewing?

Besides the fact that it helped start my career…. Smoking weed under the silo, aka “Silo Sesh.”


Stop by Ghost Town Brewing when you get a chance!

Ghost Town Brewing has 2 locations, West Oakland brewery and taproom (1960 Adeline St, Oakland, CA 94607) and Laurel District taproom (3506 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619)

West Oakland taproom hours:

Mon-Wed: 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Thur: 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Fri-Sun: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Laurel District taproom hours:

Mon: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Tue-Wed: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Thur-Sat: 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Sun: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

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