Whether you’re looking to sample wildly varied beers or gain a deeper knowledge of the process of brewing craft beer, Avery Brewing Company is the place you need to visit for a multifaceted beer experience in Boulder. Brewing beer in a small facility in an alley off of Arapahoe Avenue, Avery has a humble and unique backstory and outlook on brewing craft beer that will open your eyes to the art form that is craft beer brewing. A great place to bring a beer-loving out-of-towner or anyone who wants to learn more about craft beer in Boulder, spending an hour or a whole afternoon having a meal, tasting the beer, and going on the brewery tour at Avery will exhibit both the science behind brewing beer and the creative process responsible for the creation of some of the best craft beer in Boulder.
A brewery tour at Avery is an extremely informational and personable experience that delves in depth into the beer-making process. After you’re encouraged to choose a beer to bring with you on the approximately 45-minute free tour (offered at 4 PM Monday through Friday and at 2 PM on Saturdays and Sundays,) you’ll be led by your knowledgeable guide to the brewing facilities. What struck me about this tour was that it was literally all about the beer. There wasn’t ample time spent on the process of packaging or labeling or showing off large assembly lines of machinery. It was all about the product, the intricacies of that product, how it’s made, and why it’s made as it is. From learning why the beer you’re holding in your hand is the color it is to the scientific reasons behind why you should always drink beer from a tulip style pint glass, this tour is hugely informational and interesting, and the passion that Avery employees have for their craft beer is apparent.
As you’ll learn on the tour (or on Avery’s website), Avery’s ongoing philosophy is that they want to create beer that they themselves enjoy, often defying traditional categories, and then test that beer out to see if the public feels the same. You can see this philosophy being played out firsthand in the Avery Tap Room. Whether you choose to visit the tap room before, after, or on both ends of your tour, this is a cozy and welcoming spot to hang out with family and friends at the bar or at a table, order some food, and sample beer to your heart’s desire. With a menu of great bar-style food, there is also a long and thorough beer menu that features many products only available in the tap room.
Although there are no pre-selected beer sampler flights on the menu, you have the option to order a 4 oz sample size of any beer you’d like. With lengthy descriptions of each item on the list and very helpful service, this frees you up to create your own sampling. From the peppermint pattie-esque Mint Chocolate Stout to the very sweet, almost tropical Lilikoi Kepolo to two of my personal favorites, the White Rascal Belgian-Style Wheat and the Old Jubilation Ale, you can see in the sheer variety of the beers the artfulness that goes into Avery’s brewing. Avery encourages you to also sign up for The Avery Mash, their newsletter, to stay in the know about special events going on at Avery, such as special seasonal beer releases.
If all this talk of amazing, varied beer isn’t convincing enough that Avery is a must-visit location in Boulder, the fact that Avery is operating at absolute max capacity should speak for itself. Due to extremely high demand, Avery Brewing Company is in the process of moving out of its humble original tap room and brewing facilities in the “Avery Alley” into a new, much larger facility in Gunbarrel. As you’ll see on your tour, Avery’s brewing equipment is currently running at all times, 24 hours a day in fact, and their new location will facilitate the production of even more beer and will foster continued growth. With a planned move to this new location in January of 2015, get down to visit the Avery Brewing Company in the original Avery Alley soon, as you’ll see and hear about a passionate company, taste a great product, and gain an understanding of why Avery is a definite Boulder staple.
Photo credit: Brewtally Insane