I knew the day was off to a good start for two reasons, before the tours even began.
- I went to kickboxing at my gym in the morning so that I could justify drinking the rest of the day.
- Lisa managed to get ready in 12 minutes flat because of a previous late night of drinking, and we were speeding down the highway going 20 mph over so that we make it to the 2 PM tour at Avery Brewery.
Avery is a brewing company located in Boulder. They’ve been there for over 15 years and are run by a father and son. According to our tour guide, the younger Avery was suffering from a quarterlife crisis and convinced his dad to invest in a brewery instead of retiring. It worked out well, as all of the Avery Beers had unique flavors (even if we didn’t like all of them) and an awesome tour and tasting room.
Phil, our tour guide took us around to the vats that hold the barley. Apparently, they gypsy-trick the barley into thinking that it’s going to grow into real plants, which give them better barley for the beer.
We nodded knowingly. We've all been there. Like when a boy gypsy-tricks you into sleeping with him.
*(Along with not using fancy beer terminology to describe the beers, don’t expect us to give you detailed explanations of the tours. We aren’t going to tell you every time how beer is made. We also are bad at remembering statistics and numbers. And finally, Julia has a hard time walking and writing. This particular tour had a requirement for each person to have a beer in hand so that made just paying attention difficult.)
Phil also showed us the container where they dump all of the hops and yeast and everything after it’s not useful. Apparently, farmers collect it from them and feed it to their cows which was noted that it “relaxes” the cows. He also said that when it snows or rain, it all mixes and makes some sort of swill beer.
We nodded knowingly. This container is like the whore girl who sleeps with everyone. See: Sperm Dumpster.
He then took us to the brewing area where they make the beer. It’s really hard to lift the ingredients into the vats, so they have a pulley system they use that dips the ingredients into the water and yeast. They referred to this as teabagging. We snickered. We liked this brewery. They’re dirty.
Phil took us to their bottling room and explained the process. It’s relatively boring but the key take-away was clean bottles are important and you can’t let oxygen touch the beer in the bottling process because it will turn into soggy cardboard. A noteworthy detail was that Avery beers can be distinguished from other beers by the fact that they have a gold foil that goes over the top of the cap and when other breweries try to do it the outcome is “cute” but not successful.
This is why I started taking secret pictures, along with this gem of the saddest tattoo ever. My flash went off, and I almost got caught. But it was worth it.
How he had a girlfriend is beyond us. What are those? Sad people in a city? That will be there FOREVER.
As we walked into the bottling room, Lisa poked me and pointed out this.
That's a small plastic Ron Jeremy sucking his own penis, in case you were wondering.
We later found out they call their packing machine Ron Jeremy (Get it? Get it? I told you, this brewery is AWESOME).
The tour ended in the Crew Room. They have all kinds of barrels from all over the world and with all different flavors that they use to age some of their beers and create whole new ones.
Secret picture of Phil, our awesome tour guide. And the barrels.
They have a guy who breeds his own bacteria. Before entering this room we had to make a pit stop back at the tap room so people could get more beer since having an empty cup at any point during this tour was cause for harrasment.
This seems like the beginning of a horror/sci fi film. One that I would like to see.
And so ended the beer tour as Lisa leaned over to me to whisper, “I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. Let’s go drink.”
With this disturbing bit of information, we decided to call in reinforcement boobs. Seeing as I usually get drunk off of one beer and Lisa was struggling to rally (although she did a beautiful job of it).
Thanks to Megan for being our guest boob for the week. Your beer reviews were thought-provoking and spot-on (except for the beef jerky one). You’re welcome anytime to join us again.
Megan, your beer is missing an orange.
We were only able to order 15 beers (they have restrictions for how many each person is
allowed to have), but it was a pretty sizeable task. Luckily we had already tried out 2 of them from the tour so in the end all but the specialty, seasonal ones were tasted and rated.
We also ordered slices of tomato and basil pizza, which were delicious and a key role in the rallying efforts to get through the whole platter of beers.
Because we eat everywhere we go
Final thoughts- Avery was the best one so far (probably not saying much as we’ve only done one actual tour and been to four breweries). The tour was informative, relaxed and fun. All of the people around us were very friendly. We actually learned something about beer (granted, we forgot it later, but still).
The most interesting thing that I gleaned from the tour was what Phil said about their beer.
“Every brewer makes beer the same way. The ingredients and the process doesn’t change. What makes beers different is the personality of the brewers who make them. Here at Avery, we are all a bunch of really athletic and competitive people, and this shows up in our beers. We are always pushing each other to go to the extremes- whether it be a certain taste, or a higher alcohol content, we are always challenging each other to be the best.”
Now, for the beers.
Joe’s Premium American Pilsner- This was the basic beer. It was good, but not very flavorful. (this seems to be a reoccurring trend at each brewery).
Megan: “It’s like mild Mexican food. You expect it to have more of a kick or a taste, but it’s just lacking.”
Lisa: “There’s trash in this”
“That’s a bubble”
( I was clearly still drunk from the night before at this point seeing as how we were only on our second beer – Lisa)
Ellie’s Brown Ale- This was a really nice darker ale. It had a sweeter chocolate flavor.
Megan: “Does this taste like beef jerky to anyone else?…Wait, no, I think it’s buffalo jerky.”
Out of Bounds Stout- This is your basic stout. It’s more bitter and richer flavored than the Brown Ale, but still has a similar taste.
Ball Smack!! Baltic Porter- we figured that since it had exclamation points in its name, it had to be good. And we weren’t really let down. It did kind of give us coffee breath afterwards, but was a good porter.
Megan: ”Do you think it’s called Ballsmack because it’s a hoppy beer? And your balls would smack while hopping around?”
(Get drunk. Then that quote will make more sense.)
India’s Pale Ale- This is the Avery beer that is usually on tap at other places. It looks just like sparkling cider, with a golden, bubbly appearance. You feel classy just looking at it.
Dry Hopped IPA- This is similar to the pale ale, but not as good. It takes an extra swallow to get it down.
15th Anniversary- this beer tastes like your grandmother’s perfume. It’s sweet and flowery. This beer is made with hibiscus, white pepper and fig, which is a unique combination. There is almost too much going on with this beer, and so our rating was split.
J and M- 3 boobs
L- 1 boob
Salvation Belgian Style Golden Ale- It tasted like apricot, which is good, because that’s what’s in it.
Reverend Belgian Style Quadruple Ale- this had the highest alcohol content at 10%. The aftertaste was like stale dishwater, as if fresh dishwater would be any better.
“We will call this one Reverend Bathwater from here on forward.”
Hog Heaven Barley Wine Style Ale- Very malty.
Julia: “The glass just stuck to my teeth! I don’t know if that’s the beer or their poor washing abilities, but its affecting my thoughts on the beer.”
17th Anniversary- It smells like sugar and tastes like trees.
Maharia Imperial India Pale Ale- flavorful aftertaste.
Karma- It’s a good beer, until it gets warm. Then it’s a terrible beer.
3 boobs (when cold)
1 boob (when warm)
White Rascal- Wheatiest of the wheat. Pretty good.