Avery Brewing Company: Boulder, CO

Avery Brewing Company started in 1993 and became the first Colorado brewery to package an IPA. Due to Avery’s history of being a pioneer in the Colorado beer industry, many milestones were reached. In its first full year of being open, the brewery brought home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Fest. The lobby walls are littered with magazine articles that covered Avery since their founding. 

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Tours at Avery are coordinated such that you can visit any time during open hours for a self-guided tour or you can come by for one of their guided tours from an employee. Though I attended the guided tour, it was easy to see that the self-guided option was equally enjoyable. Most of the tour takes place on the walkway above the brewhouse and packaging facilities. It was cool to watch the brewing happen while walking through the brewery, which is not often possible for other tours. 

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Avery also has a restaurant that can have a long wait time. No worries! While you wait, the chairs and tables along the catwalk can help pass the time. Whether you choose to drink or not, it was exciting to watch the brewing process continue as if I were a fly on the wall. It gave me a new perspective on the logistical challenges that breweries face. 

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I was astounded by the packaging capacities of their bottling and canning equipment. Their canning line can fill 300 cans per minute. The bottling line is less, but close to 150 bottles per minute is still insane. This production facility was so mesmerizing that I recorded a video of the process:

Avery has a distinct focus on the historical aspect of their beers. They employ a guy from CU-Boulder who has a few PhDs in areas like history and archaeology that ensures that their recipes are true to their original intent back in the ancient days. I tried their Benedictus, which uses gruit instead of hops for bittering and the recipe has been used for 1200 years. The interest in maintaining the integrity in the recipes has also led to an expansive bottle-aging program. The brewery has a separate barrel-aging facility with about 500 barrels fermenting different recipes for up to five years. 

Avery also employs a highly ranked cicerone who ensures that their products are meeting all their requirements and there are no off-flavors in the final version. On the catwalk during a tour, you can walk right past the large quality control laboratory. Chemists, microbiologists, and sensory scientists work together in this space to keep people safe and happy. This facility is far larger than any other brewery of comparable size is expected to have.

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SUMMARY:

TOUR PRICE: FREE 

SELF-GUIDED TOURS OFFERED:  Always

GUIDED TOURS OFFERED: Monday-Friday: 4pm; Saturday: 2pm and 3:30pm; Sunday: 2pm

HISTORY: OPENED IN 1993

THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THIS BREWERY: Family, Modern, and Efficient

MY PERSONAL 3P SCORE (PRICE, POURS, AND PLEASANTNESS): 3.5/5

  • Long history
  • Long tour (over an hour)
  • Revolutionary beer makers
  • Great view of the brewing process

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