Boulder, CO — After 21 years of piecing together 6- and 8-car-garages in an industrial alley off Arapahoe Avenue, Founder and CEO Adam Avery was more than ready to build his dream brewery. In February, Avery opened the doors of his 67,000 sq. ft., $30 million brewery filled with the best brewing equipment available, including four new 850 hl fermentation tanks that nearly doubled the brewery’s capacity.
The former Avery facility had buckets strategically positioned under its leaky roof—at the new brewery, Avery engineers crane the roof off to bring in new equipment. Avery brewers joke that drain is now a verb, not just a noun, as they work in the comfort of “mission control”, where they monitor brewing operations from computers. “The best part about the new brewery,” says Avery Chief Barrel Herder Andy Parker, “is being able to smell the beer being made. The alley just smelled…really bad.”
In honor of their 22nd year, Avery Brewing is throwing an anniversary party celebrating their new home, craft beer, Boulder, and their anniversary beer, Twenty Two.
The beer label describes Twenty Two as a “100% Brettanomyces drie Fermented Dry-Hopped Wild Ale.” Brettanomyces—the wild cousin of the domesticated yeasts that humans have brewed with for thousands of years—can add flavors in beer lovingly described by brewers as funk, leather, and horse-blanket.
“The beer is wild and the party is gonna be wild, too!” says Avery. “To celebrate our new home, I’m pulling out 50 rare and vintage beers from my cellar to share with everybody.”
Avery’s brewers have experimented with drie wild yeast many times since 2006, when Avery brought the yeast from the Belgian brewery Drie Fonteinen.
“The only other beer we’ve ever made that was 100% fermented by drie was our fifteenth anniversary ale back in 2008,” says Parker. “With Twenty Two, we took it to the next level with dry-hopping.”
Avery Head Brewer Matt “Handtruck” Thrall says their 8 years of experimenting with the wild yeast really shows. “We know drie makes a lot of tropical fruit flavors during fermentation, so we knew that dry-hopping with the right hops could accentuate the fruity esters of the Bretts instead of beating them into submission.” He added, “It’s exciting to see beer drinkers embracing wild yeast and hops together. They’re both relatively new concepts in the brewing world, and using them in conjunction is really fun for us.”
At Avery’s 22nd Anniversary Party, folks will be able to try Fifteen Anniversary Wild Ale and Twenty Two Anniversary Wild Ale—the two 100% “Brett” fermented beers—side-by-side. “Fifteen is a showcase for wild yeast, for drie,” says Parker, “but Twenty Two is an evolution. I’m excited to compare the flavors. Plus, Fifteen is the best 7-year-old beer I’ve ever had.”
Parker is also looking forward to revisiting some of the “grape-beer hybrids” he’s made. “We added Cabernet Sauvignon grape must to Récolte Sauvage, and with Ross’s’s’ Melange, we used Chardonnay grape must, which was quite different. And I get to drink them side-by-side? Gunbarrel really is a place where anything can happen! It’s where the unicorns run free.”
Avery Brewing’s 22nd Anniversary Party is on August 8 from 4-8pm at their new brewery in Gunbarrel. Details and tickets are available at the brewery and at averybrew22.eventbrite.com.