Go big or go home

The new Avery Brewery impresses in size and style


Like a proud father Adam Avery would be justified in bragging about his new brewery. After 22 years bumping into walls and struggling to brew enough beer to keep up with the public’s unquenchable thirst for his signature products, the opening of his new state-ofthe-art brewery calls for some chest pounding.

But when you are showing Kim Jordan, the founder of New Belgium Brewing; Steve Hindy, the founder of Brooklyn Brewing; Steve Wagner, the founder of Stone Brewing; the rest of the board of directors of the Brewers Association (and me) around, it’s good to play it humble. But he shouldn’t — his brewery might be one of the most sophisticated in the country.

Gone are the days of running from one building to another during production. With a custom automated brew house designed by the Krones Group from Germany — a company known for designing much larger national breweries — everything is controlled from one room.

“The quality and clarity of our beer has never been this good before,” Avery says. “We always strove for the highest quality beer at our old location but what we are seeing here is blowing our minds.”

Every aspect of the new $30 million brewery is cutting edge. Starting with the grains used to create their beer a state-of-the-art wet mill allows for a natural filter bed to form during milling. What this means is a dramatic drop in off-flavor particulates leading to clear batches of wort — beer at its infancy stages.

Instead of adding their prodigious piles of hops by hand into the boiling brew kettles, three custom-designed hop-dosing vessels automatically infuse the botanic during brewing. It will result in more balanced flavors and even bigger hop hits.

To ensure the high quality of their products, a custom 1,000-square-foot lab is testing every batch. Their yeast plant is something out of Star Trek — a positive-pressure environment to ensure no outside air contamination while they are growing all of their own yeasts.

“People might not realize the importance of good yeast in beer,” says Steve Breezley, director of operations at Avery’s brew house. “We make a lot of high gravity beers with a lot of challenging styles and it all starts with having healthy yeast. Bad yeast means bad beers.”

As for any waste being generated by the new brewery, they have that covered also. A partnership with New Sky Energy is allowing the brewery to capture any CO2 emissions from operations and recycle them for use. Even cooler is the plan to supply thousands of gallons of weak wort (essentially sugar water) left over from brewing to the city of Boulder’s wastewater plant for use during water treatment.

As for getting more beer into the market, plans are to almost double in size the amount of beer being brewed over the next two years. A new highspeed canning line will churn out 340 cans per minute, an almost six-fold increase over their old system.

“People will start seeing many more brews from us hitting the market in cans, bottles and larger format bottles,” Breezley says. “A significant expansion of our barrel program is planned also.”

After an hour of being shown around the new brewery I was impressed, and so were the aforementioned liquid luminaries. So stop into the brewery and if you see Avery, ask him to show you around.