Colorado Brewed: Avery Eighteen Anniversary Ale Dry-hopped Rye Saison

Each Wednesday in this column I post my insights about one of the thousands of beers brewed in the great state of Colorado. Feel free to shoot me an email with your suggestions of Colorado beers you’d like me to feature – Lee Williams at – or leave your ideas in the comments.

Since its tenth anniversary Avery has brewed a special concept beer to celebrate their birthday. Over the years the saison style has clearly captivated the brewery, with a couple of outlandish variations appearing under the Avery Anniversary Ale banner.

Twelve was a saison brewed with with orange and lemon peel, grains of paradise, chamomile and lavender.

Sixteen, a saison brewed with peaches, honey and jasmine.

So in 2011 we arrive at Eighteen, and another saison, this time brewed with a hearty measure of rye malt.

Not unexpectedly, the dominant character of Eighteen arrives courtesy of all that rye, a palate gripping spicy bite. Secondary to the rye character, but only just, is a dry, pepper dusted fruitiness produced by the potent Belgian yeast – actually a blend of five different Belgian strains in Eighteen.

The nose is an exotic mix of caramelized hazelnut, clove, vanilla and rose petal.

Eighteen is all about spice. Its overall flavors remind me most of a dry mulled wine or chai tea.

When it comes to food pairings, I suggest fish dishes. Fish curry. Baked fish with salad and well seasoned new potatoes – or mashed potato. Simple grilled shrimp, maybe with a touch of butter. Lightly seasoned swordfish or tuna steak. Fish tacos with a good squeeze of lime. For dessert, pair with something that has a strong nut or honey component: baklava perhaps or a moist slice of honey cake.


  • Brewed in Colorado by: Avery Brewing Company, 5757 Arapahoe Ave. Suite A1, Boulder, Colorado 80303
  • Released:  May in 22oz bottle and on draft.
  • Beer style: Saison
  • ABV: 8.12%
  • IBU: 40
  • Hops: Bravo, Hersbrucker, Tettnang
  • Grains: Two-row Barley, Rye Malt, Chocolate Malt, Acidulated Malt, Caramunich Malt

Check back next Wednesday when I highlight another Colorado Brewed beer. Cheers.

About Lee Williams

Beer writer. Founder of Hoptopia. I write for various beer related publications, websites and festivals. Email -