Sunday, February 5, 2012

Avery Brewing Company

Our quest to drink beer from every corner of the Front Range (so far we've still got a long way to go...) has brought many requisite visits to Avery Brewing Company in Boulder.

Avery is located in kind of a random industrial area in East Boulder, near Cherryvale and Arapahoe. Their directions clearly state to "turn at the car wash" off Arapahoe. From there, you drive back several hundred yards before trying to find a parking spot among the constant crowds at Avery.

The gem hiding behind the car wash

We've been to the tap room three times now, and it's always been fairly busy. Service can be slow, but the waitstaff is extremely knowledgeable about Avery's beer selection.

Mr. Oyster has loved Avery's beer for years, especially their White Rascal and Samael brews. I have an admittedly unrefined palate when it comes to fancy craft beers, but I do enjoy sours and Cascade-hopped IPAs. In particular, I fell in love with Avery's Eremita II beer, which I tried this past December at their tap room.

The colorful Eremita II description, straight from Avery's website:

Eremita II is strong blonde sour ale that has been residing in seven French oak barrels for two years. After a primary fermentation with a Belgian abbey yeast, we pitched it with our house Brettanomyces strain, house pediococcus, and lactobacillus. The resulting beer was a balancing act of rustic farmhouse flavors, mild oak tannins, moderate lactic activity, and an aroma of tropical fruit. After adding a healthy dose of apricots and peaches, we have Eremita II, an incredibly smooth 10.1% aby American Sour Ale. Available only at the Avery Tap Room for a limited time.

Eremita II was one of their revolving "tap-room-only" beers, so unfortunately it existed for only a few weeks before being consumed by the beer-loving Front Range public. It was a short-lived concoction of fruity, sour ale bliss. I wish I'd taken a picture of it, and I wish it still existed, as it was one of my all-time favorites.

Oh, by the way, Eremita is apparently the latin word for hermit, in reference to the fact that Eremita is a tap-room-only beer.

I arrived a few weeks later for their Eremita III, hoping that it met or surpassed my fondness for its predecessor.

Eremita III

It did not. Compared to Eremita III, it simply tasted flat and uninspired, and too similar to so many other sours on the market now.

Both iterations of Eremita had an alcohol content of around 10%, and were sold only in 4-oz taster glasses at $5 each.

Avery offers special tappings every Friday afternoon, which apparently are a really big deal.  The week of our last visit, their just-tapped brew was the Chocolate Mint Stout:

Chocolate Mint Stout

Unfortunately, this beer was an indication that Girl Scout Cookies and fermentation shouldn't be combined. We just didn't care for the mint flavor with the stout.

And I always get my standby, the White Rascal, which is a crowd-pleasing Belgian-style wheat.

Avery does offer food from Savory Cuisines across the parking lot, but having never tried any food there I can't comment on it.

Adjacent to the tap room is their giant barrel-aging cellar, where you can take a sneak peak at which brews are aging for future release.

Avery offers bottles, cans, and kegs of a limited selection of beers, but otherwise you'll be hard-pressed to get any alcohol out of the tap room. Avery does not fill growlers due to a series of concerns regarding the flavor and quality of their beer once it exits the tap room, including vessel cleanliness and maintaining adequate carbonation. Call it beer snobbery or call it good business sense (or both), but don't expect to walk away from Avery with a glass jug filled with beer. We tried. Bummer.


Avery Brewing CO on Urbanspoon


  1. I miss being able to go to CO breweries! This looks like fun. I tagged you on my blog today come over and check it out!