Friday, September 9, 2011

The Avery Project

Posted by: Tyler Rippeteau

Sept. 9, 2011

After a ton of deliberation, I have finally settled on my new project for 20 Beers in 20 Nights.  Actually, I have settled on two, and this post will signal the beginning of the first one – 20 reviews on 20 beers from Avery Brewing Company, located right here in Boulder, Colorado. 

Why 20 Avery Beers?  Well, first and foremost, I love Avery’s products - very rarely have I been disappointed by anything they have done.  Second, the last project was a ton of fun, but it took a lot longer to complete than I would have liked.  Not only did I have to trade and travel for a few beers that were not distributed in Illinois (Where I lived during most of that project), but I also had to wait for many seasonals to come out and then spend a ton of time hunting them down once they were finally released.  All of that made the project a blast and in some ways, more rewarding, but I would really like to start and finish a project within a couple of months.  Without a set list of beers to review and with a constant stream of many Avery beers available to me on a regular basis, this should go rather quickly.

In addition to all of this, focusing on a single brewery will prevent me from only focusing on a single style of beer, especially when that brewery is Avery.  Their taproom is set up perfectly for this project; they have 20 taps that range from wheat beers and Pilsners to intense, big and bold Double IPAs and Barleywines. 

Speaking of Barleywine, the second project, which I will also begin very soon will be very similar to my recently completed project – the DIPA Project.  It will, once again, use Beer Advocate as a source, but instead of ticking off the list of the Top 20 Most Reviewed Double IPAs I will be reviewing the Top 20 Most Reviewed Barleywines on BA.  This second project I expect to take at least a year to finish based on distribution and seasonal availability. 

Getting back to Avery, however, in addition to the reasons I listed above, I also want to highlight Avery in an effort to show what kind of fantastic diversity they are capable of.  When I lived in Chicago it was very difficult to find anything other than Avery IPA or Ellie’s Brown in the bars.  You could, however, go to most liquor stores and find a much more broad selection of theirs. 

Even here in Boulder, where almost every bar has Avery IPA on tap it is still pretty tough to find some of their more unique brews outside the brewery or the liquor store.  My hope is that by reviewing many of their other offerings I can show other craft beer drinkers just how great it is to have Avery Brewing just a 15 minute bike ride from my home.  More importantly, I know that I tend to get stuck on certain styles, particularly the highly hopped, but when I do take the time to explore an individual brewery I generally learn a lot about the brewery and more generally, about beer.  I hope that this will encourage others to more deeply explore whatever great breweries they have access to…and maybe even to pass it along to us.

In each Avery-related post, my plan is to provide information for the craft beer drinker in general, but also for Boulderites and Coloradans in specific.  I want people in the area to know where the beer can be obtained and for how much and I also want to give others the reason to track it down.  Some of these beers will be very rare (such as the first beer I will be reviewing) and others will be widely available throughout the 32 states that Avery distributes to.

As an FYI, I have absolutely no connection to Avery Brewing Company other than the fact that I live just a little more than two miles away from the brewery and that it is, so far, my favorite place to enjoy a beer in all of Boulder, Colorado and one of my personal Top 3 overall breweries in the country.  I am not doing this for any financial gain, free beer or special treatment from Avery itself, they have no idea I am doing this.  I am just a big beer nerd and craft beer fan with a desire to help others find the joy that I have found in drinking beer from one of the best breweries in the country.  I hope you enjoy the reviews and get inspired to go out and find some great Avery, Boulder and/or Colorado beer very soon.

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