After I drove past the car wash, the massive fermenters outside Avery Brewery reaffirmed my journey. Oak barrels line the edges of the brewery’s beer garden in the middle of the industrial park, on the east side of Boulder.
The inside of the tap house is friendlier and is dignified by the brewery’s elegant mahogany bar. Wood compliments the taproom, including the most important feature, the beer taps. Above the bar is a chalkboard listing the brewery’s beers and stats.
The Avery Tap list has eight beers on tap over 9 percent ABV. A handful of daily beer menus scattered across the bar list many of its Tap Room only beers, by far the most interesting ones.
Avery’s beers span the spectrum from sour to extra hoppy, spicy to smoked.
The brewery has five specialty beers on tap and two cask beers. On cask were two stouts: the Out of Bounds and the Out of Sight. The tap room only beers include Lilikoi Kepolo, a dry-hopped IPA. The beer is made with Simcoe and Columbus hops, two extra bitter citrus American hop cultivars. The Lilikoi Kepolo is one of the best IPAs brewed in Colorado. The Burninator, a doppelbock and the two beers I sampled, The Ermemita III and the Capaicinator, round out Avery’s tap-room-only beers.
The Capaicinator is a smoked German strong lager weighing in at 7.0 percent ABV and is cleverly spiced with chili peppers, which is my favorite non-traditional beer ingredient. But the Capaicinator did not meet this Beer Buff’s standards in pepper usage. This beer is all pepper on the aroma and no smoked malt, per the Brewers Association style guidelines. The Capaicinator assaults the tongue with a massive malt bill, with subtle smoke and oak, shifting to a dramatic spicy pepper flavor on the back of the throat. This lager packs more punch than the college favorite Keystone Light but lacks a balance between the smoked malt and pepper flavor.
Next, I sampled the Eremita III. This barrel-aged sour creation is a blend of beer from 12as different Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. The beer blend is a combination of light and dark Saison and Strong Belgian Amber Ales.
The Eremita III, a barrel aged sour beer, at Avery Brewing. (CU Independent/Andrew Kaczmarek)
The Eremtia III pours with an off-white head, topping its amber-brownish colored body, but this beer’s complexity begins well before it is poured — three years before, to be exact. In the finished form it is portrayed through an interesting mix of complex sour aromas and flavors. Eremtia starts with an earth malt, quickly shifting to a convoluted sour characteristic, mixing mouth-puckering, sour-oak, yeast, and fruits through the dry finish. This brilliantly mixed beer has the flavor qualities of a fine aged wine but with the drinkability of a beer. The Eremetia III will have me back at the Avery Tap house promptly at its 11 a.m. opening.
Avery Brewery is serving some of Colorado’s best beers just a few minutes east of campus. It is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days week, so stop in and enjoy a pint.
Denver’s newest brewery River North Brewery opened last weekend in the Ball Park neighborhood on 24th Street and Blake Street. Stop by Thursday through Sunday to sample Belgian style ales. Check their website for more info.
I love beer but sometimes beer’s older brother whiskey is a little more pleasing. If that is the case for you, check out the brand new Mile High Spirits Distillery and Tasting Room at 2920 Larimer St. in Denver. The new distillery will serve a house vodka, whiskey, rum and gin, which will be available in bottles by the end of the week. Check them out on Facebook.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Andrew Kaczmarek at Andrew.email@example.com.
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