Avery 18th Anniversary Recap

On Sunday, Avery Brewing Company celebrated 18 years of brewing craft beer with a party at their Boulder tap room.  It turned out to be a beautiful day with very few clouds in the sky (perhaps too few given the 90+ degree heat).  1,500 tickets were available to the brew-powered block party and since I’m horrible at estimating, I’ll just say there were a lot of people present.  Tickets included several pours of Avery beer (depending upon which ticket you bought), all-you-can-eat BBQ, live music, and games.  I partook in all of the above… at least as much as I could while still getting back to Denver safely.

From Avery’s website:

Since 1993 our brewery has been committed to producing eccentric ales and lagers that defy styles or categories. Our products are thoroughly American at heart: blending Old World tradition and expertise with ingenuity, creativity and boldness.

Now I try my best not to pick favorites (or at least write about them), but Avery won over my taste buds when I first visited their tap room several years ago.  They have a penchant for producing liver-punishing brews with an incredible amount of flavor.  Take the Beast Grand Cru for example.  This is one of my favorite beers on the planet, but (depending upon the year) it can range from 15-18% ABV.  Now imagine my surprise when I saw that Avery was offering a Beast vertical tasting in the VIP room including ’04, ’06, and ’08.

And here’s the full VIP tap list that’s sure to make you jealous:

The Hand of Buddha

A Belgian-Style pale ale spiced with Buddha’s hand.  Here’s to being good!  5.0% ABV; 10 IBUs

Winter’s Day IPA

Unfiltered India Pale Ale dry-hopped and spiced with rosemary.  6.5% ABV; 69 IBUs

Bad Karma

Here’s to being naugty!  A sour Belgian-Style pale ale aged in Cabernet barrels.  6.0% ABV

Fifteen Anniversary Ale

This funky farmhouse ale holds the record for being the largest batch of 100% brett beer EVER.  Brewed with white pepper, mission figs, and hibiscus flowers.  8.0% ABV

Fred’s Mom

A single barrel-aged beer that’s spicy, sweet, and sour… kinda like Fred’s mom!  10.5% ABV


1st release in our new Tap Room Only series.  Eremita I: strong sour ale aged in Cabernet and Zinfandel barrels.  9.5% ABV

Dihos Dactylion

Rare draft keg of our seventh barrel-aged series.  Delicious and sour!  10.74% ABV

2008 Reverend

This Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale has been aging in our cellar for three years!  10.00% ABV

2004 Hog Heaven

See how our barleywine has aged over the years.  9.2% ABV

2006 Samael’s

Incredibly sweet, incredibly rich.  This beer is the best Port you’ve ever had!  15.0% ABV; 41 IBUs

2004 Beast Grand Cru (Original Batch)

Accommodating, complicated, powerful, dark, and created to last the ages.  Time has allowed this seducer to express aromas of honey, nutmeg, mandarin orange, and pineapple.  This massive and challenging brew has flavors akin to a beautiful Caribbean rum.  15.7% ABV

2006 Beast Grand Cru

This hellish monster was aged in Adam’s personal cellar for 5 years!  16.31% ABV; 68 IBUs

2008 Beast Grand Cru

This crafty seducer has been aged in our cellar for three full years.  Cheers!  15.07% ABV; 68 IBUs

Meph Addict

This demonic coffee-infused imperial stout will leave you yearning for more!  15.5% ABV; 107 IBUs


Despite the presence of several aged Demon kegs, the beers causing the biggest stir appeared to be the sours.  Over the course of 4 hours I think I heard just about every possible joke about Fred’s Mom… but she deserved every one of them.  This beer was funky and fantastic – if you ever get a chance I’d highly recommend trying it.  On the slightly milder side, Dihos Dactylion was another popular sour… partly due to the rarity as this may have been one of the only (if not the only) remaining kegs.

With Adam Avery looking for a new tap room location – partly because of their rapid growth, and partly because of Boulder County zoning restrictions – it appears this may be the last anniversary party held at the current tap room.  So please join me in raising a glass to honor one of Colorado’s great craft breweries.  Cheers!

Here are the rest of my shots from the party:

Have a favorite memory from the party or a favorite Avery beer if you weren’t in attendance?  Share it in the comments!  Let us hear your best Fred’s Mom joke as well!

About Sean Buchan

Sean is a Physical Therapist and Photographer living in (and loving) Denver, Colorado. He enjoys shooting just about anything but his true passion is capturing the craft beer culture here in Denver. If you enjoy his photographs check out Beertographer.