Monday, November 22, 2010

Be Thankful for Craft Beer

As you begin to prepare the menu for your Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday, make sure that you include craft beer in the mix for pairings and in the recipes themselves. Why? Here are just a few reasons why beer is a great beverage for pairing with food:

1. Versatility: Craft beer is available in all manner of styles, sizes, colors and flavors. This tremendous variety of style makes craft beer easy to pair with different foods, and simplifies the potentially daunting task of menu pairings for the amateur Chef or Cicerone.

2. Bitterness and structure: American craft brewers are using hops in ways that make Old World brewers cringe (i.e. LOTS of them!). A broader range of potential pairings is now accessible with big, aggressively hopped Imperial IPA's like The Maharaja or Hog Heaven around. Moreover, one can choose just about any level of bitterness that they desire from a beer and match it accordingly with the proper dish. Creamy, fatty dishes or cheeses, which can be difficult to pair with other beverages, are great with hoppy beers. The hop bitterness will cut through the fat and provide a contrasting pairing.

3. Carbonation: It will refresh your palate with every sip, leaving you ready for the next flavor experience.

4. Accessibility: While craft beer can certainly be nuanced and extremely complex (Brabant, anyone?), it certainly doesn't have to be that way. Sweet, nutty, citrusy, bitter, roasty; these flavors are obvious to anyone, and you need not spend decades training your palate in order to pair them properly with foods.

To paraphrase the original American homebrewer, Charlie Papazian: relax, have a craft beer (or homebrew)...and enjoy yourself while choosing your menu this Thanksgiving! Below are a few recipe ideas utilizing Avery brews to make the pairing even easier.


C.V. Howe

White Rascal Turkey Stuffing


2 French Baguettes (Whole Wheat or White) cut into 1 inch cubes

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1/2 Stick)

2 Cups of medium diced yellow or Vidalia onions

2 Cups of diced celery (3 stalks)

2 Granny Smith or Fuji apples large diced

½ cup of dried cranberries

2 tablespoons of chopped flat leafed parsley

1 ½ teaspoon of minced rosemary

2 teaspoons of kosher salt

½ teaspoon of ground pepper

½ cup of roasted chopped almonds or nut of choice

1 ½ cups of White Rascal


1. Crack a cold White Rascal to get in the right mindset.

2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

3. Put bread cubes on a 13X18X1 inch baking sheet. Bake in oven for 7 minutes

4. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, apples, cranberries, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 10 minutes, until the mixture is soft.

5. Combine the bread cubes and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and add the Avery White Rascal and almonds, if desired.

6. Place the stuffing into the main cavity of the turkey. This is for a 12-pound turkey for 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees F in a preheated oven. Make sure the stuffing in the cavity is secured by wrapping the legs tightly with string.

Avery IPA Mashed Potatoes


2 lbs. Potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks

Cold Water

Sea Salt

2 Heads of Garlic

2 T Olive Oil

8 Sprigs of Thyme

Sea Salt and Pepper

1 Cup Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Heavy Cream

2-4 T Avery IPA


1. Cook mashed potatoes according to your favorite recipe, but hold off on adding too much butter or milk.

2. Preheat oven to 300° F.

3. Take each head of garlic, remove papery skin. With a sharp knife, cut the top 1/5 of the head off, exposing the tops of the garlic cloves. Take a small square piece of foil and place the cut head in the center. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top of each head then a sprig of thyme. Season with a touch of salt and pepper; wrap each up and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the smell of garlic fills your kitchen. Remove from the oven, open each pouch and let cool for 5 minutes. Squeeze insides into a bowl and mash with a fork.

4. In a medium pan, add butter, cream and 2 sprigs of thyme and turn heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil, turning down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sprigs and add garlic paste and simmer another 3 minutes, using a whisk to stir and breakup the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and add Avery IPA.

5. Add 1 cup of the garlic cream to the mashed potatoes and fold in. Taste and see if you need more flavor, depending on your garlic and hop need!

Thanks to Sean Z. Paxton, The Home Brew Chef, for this recipe! Go to for more of Sean's creations.

Old Jubilation Ale Wild Mushroom Gravy


4 Ounces Butter, unsalted

2 Each Shallots, peeled and diced

2 Pound Mixed mushrooms: Crimini, Button, Chanterelle, Oyster, Black Trumpets, Morel, Puffballs, Portobello, Porcini Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

12 Ounces Old Jubilation Ale

2 Quarts Stock, Chicken, Turkey or Mushroom, reduced to 4 cups

Sea Salt and Pepper


1. To prep and clean the mushrooms: use a wet paper towel to help remove some of the dirt, pine needles and any other debris.

2. In a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, add butter. Once melted add the shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the mixed mushrooms, a pinch of salt and sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their water and start to caramelize. If the pan isn't large enough, saute mushrooms in batches.

4. Deglaze the pan with the Old Jubilation Ale, stirring 'til the beer has reduced by half and then add the reduced stock.

5. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. We do not to use a roux (butter and flour) to thicken the gravy, preferring to condense the flavors instead of just thickening them. This will yield a richer tasting gravy.

Thanks to Sean Z. Paxton, The Home Brew Chef, for this recipe! Go to for more of Sean's creations.

For further reading:

Thoughts on craft beer and Thanksgiving from Philly:

An entire Thanksgiving menu from The Home Brew Chef, Sean Z. Paxton:

Principles of pairing craft beer with food from our friends at The Brewers Association:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Want to work for Avery Brewing Company?

We are currently in search of an exceptional candidate to fill the position of Bartender in the Avery Tap Room. Those interested in this position should send a resume and cover letter to Phil Vaughn, Tap Room Manager, at This is a full time position.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tour of BoulDurango Wrap Up

Beer and bikes are a classic combination that we take advantage of here on the Front Range of Colorado. And why not? The two are practically as natural a pairing as the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich our mom’s made for us as kids. With breweries like Avery Brewing Company here in Boulder, and Oskar Blues in Lyons, something was bound to happen to try and combine the dynamic duo of libations and two-wheeled frivolities.
The BoulDurango ride was the brainchild of Adam Avery, President and Brewmaster of Avery Brewing in Boulder, CO. The ride started a year ago, although one could hardly call it a ride- the BoulDurango crosses 500 miles of burly pavement, ranging from long, rolling valley roads, to high mountain passes! The ride benefits local charities and ends each day at a local brewery to enjoy our days’ labors, and spread the gospel of craft beer.
I was lucky enough to attend the epic adventure this year, and as the first woman to ride the route, it felt like a huge undertaking at first. As it turned out, I was in for some gorgeous views, great laughs, and of course, some excellent craft beer. There were nine of us in the group altogether, two gents from Ska Brewery in Durango, Colorado, three from Oskar Blues in Lyons Colorado, and four of us from Avery Brewing in Boulder Colorado, myself included. Hence the name “BoulDurango”.The ride started at Avery Brewing in Boulder, and traveled south through Colorado, ending at Ska Brewing in Durango.

A total of six days were spent pedaling through tough terrain, the longest of the days being on Friday, with a total of 135 miles logged in one day! The week was long though, so I will take you through our day’s step by step so you can truly appreciate the undertaking!

Day One- Boulder to Idaho Springs

Day one in our epic adventure! We rolled out of Avery Brewing at around 9:00 am, the sky churning and looking like it was going to pour on us. The first few miles were uneventful as we rolled down towards Golden, but then several of the guys got flats which set us back a little on our schedule. Flats are bound to happen though when you are riding in a group- it seems to be some sort of natural law that states when a certain number of riders are out together, the inverse ratio of how many flats can happen in a given period of time goes up. We definitely achieved our total that morning, and after cresting Lookout Mountain, we found that road construction was happening on the other side- fresh pavement. Ugh. A cyclist’s worst nightmare, and one that leaves you feeling like a fly stuck on that sticky fly paper. The wet pavement gets all over your tires, flicking up pieces now and then as you roll faster, including on the person behind you. With temperatures creeping up into the 80 degree Farenheit mark, the fresh pavement smelled equally as bad as it felt under-wheel. Luckily though, that didn’t last too long and we made our way along I-70 over to the frontage road that would help us safely get to Idaho Springs. At one point, on a fast descent off of I-70, I got a huge laugh after one of our riders, who’s same I won’t mention so he can keep his dignity, came cruising by me with a huge, and I mean huge hole in the seat of his pants! Lets just say that both buns were quite visible in the midday sunshine. I nearly fell of my bike when I saw that, and it definitely made the day memorable.

When we reached Idaho Springs, we cruised into TommyKnockers BewPub for some beers and food- an excellent place to head if you have a hankering for some good beer and grub while traveling down I-70. We logged about four hours on the road that day, a short trip with just 45 miles ridden. I was glad to start the week off gradually, since Day Two had quite a bit more climbing and altitude gain to boot.

Day Two- Idaho Springs to Breckenridge

Day two started out at 9am again, to clear skies and a light breeze blowing us down next to the river that follows the frontage road out of Idaho Springs. Everyone was feeling in good sprits, with all the cobwebs kicked out of the legs the day before, and great massage therapy provided by Jonelle from Avery Brewing, who came along on the trip to keep our muscles in tip-top shape. The road heading south was pretty smooth and rolling starting out, but we all knew what was looming ahead- Loveland Pass.

The road started to kick up outside of Georgetown, after we did some mini off-roading on our road bikes due to long sections of construction on the frontage road. At the base of Loveland Pass we regrouped and had a snack, just tilting our heads back enough while we stretched and ate to see the big four mile climb snaking its way up the mountain ahead. We mounted our bikes after a few minutes, (can’t stop too long or the old legs will stiffen up), and we made our way up the road at varying speeds of intensity. The climb only took about twenty minutes or so, and when we all reached the top several people commented on how much better it seemed this year, which is never a bad thing. The descent down the other side was amazing and super fast, but to our surprise we ran into a storm as we headed up Swan Mountain on the other side of the valley, drenching us with rain and little moments of hail! We kept riding through it though, rain jackets covering as much of us as possible, and as we started to descend the other side, the rain eased and we rolled down the hill to emerging sunshine. The rest of the ride was a piece of cake, rolling on the bike path that leads to Breckenridge, and ending at the Breck Brewing Co. Brew Pub for some delicious lunch and beers. To my surprise, my husband had driven down to give me some encouragement, on his way to Steamboat on business. What a treat! It really ended the day nicely for me, and gave me a little extra strength for another long day of riding. We logged about 5:30 hours on the bike and covered around 55 miles on day two!

Day Three- Breckenridge to Buena Vista

Today was another awesome day, rolling out of Breck’ around 9:30 am, with nice cool weather to start the day off. The very first part of the day started with climbing on a steady false-flat incline up to Hoosier Pass, riding up the steep four mile climb, and topping out at 11,542 ft. above sea level. Talk about a rough wake up! Construction on the descent down made us wait for about 5 minutes before we could start to rip it up flying down the mountain, but once we got started it was really fun and fast. One of our riders had a foe-front-flat at one point on the downhill however, which all scared us pretty bad since we were hitting about 30-40 mph. His front wheel started shaking rapidly and so he pulled over to the side so as to not wipe out on the road entirely. Luckily he didn’t crash, but we were all mystified as to how the front wheel went all crazy, because we could not find any problem with the bike- what a mystery!

At the bottom of the hill we arrived in Fairplay, and reorganized and talked about the next section of road. We were about to get on a very fast, rolling road that looped out in the valley and connected back onto HWY-285 towards Buena Vista. After snacking and saddling back up, we got into an amazingly fast and steady paceline on Rte. 9, hitting 41 mph at one point, taking turns pulling through on the front with a nice tailwind pushing us along. Unfortunately though, we had to turn back, towards the headwind, on the road leading up to Hwy-285, so our pace became slower and more deliberate, but the views were so beautiful that we didn’t mind that much.

After climbing up to the highway, we started the long rolling descent down into Buena Vista, hitting a rainshower on the way down, but that wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. We arrived in Buena Vista around 2pm, after about 5 hours of riding, and headed straight for the Eddyline Brewery in town, where we refreshed ourselves with there tasty brews and had some food. After that it was chillin time, so several of us headed down to the river where we dipped our legs in the cold water for some much needed recovery and laughs. Beer is so much better when you can drink it while sitting in a river!

That evening we met up with some of the Crested Butte Brick Oven Pizza guys who would be riding with us the next two days. We all went out to Salida for dinner, where we went to Amicas for pizza and beer. They were kind enough to stay open late for us starving bikers. Much appreciated! We cruised back in to Buena Vista, still hungry for a little more fun, so we stopped at a local bar, whose name for the life of me I can’t remember as I was more than slightly inebriated, and discovered they were having a disco night! Shots and dancing were had all around, and we left feeling lucky to have stumbled onto such a neat local event. In the back of our minds though we knew that the next few days were the hardest of the entire trip.

Day Four- Buena Vista to Crested Butte

The day started with beautiful sunny skies and pretty strong winds outside of our Comfort Inn hotel. After a free continental breakfast we got suited up and took pictures at the base of the beautiful Collegiate Peaks- a good “before shot”, as we knew in a few hours we would be looking much more tired, after climbing 25 miles on Cottonwood Pass. The climb tops out at 12,500 ft. and believe me, you can feel it.

It took us two hours to get up that climb, and I felt especially rough due to the debauchery and dancing the nite before, but it was so worth it. The views heading up the mountain were stunning, with high alpine peaks shrouded in mist as we headed slowly above tree line. I got incredibly cold at the top, shaking uncontrollably and had to bundle up in several blankets and sweatshirts in the back of the van. I had to opt out of the long dirt descent on the other side of Cottonwood Pass, which I had been looking forward to all day, such a bummer. I was shaking so much though I would not have been able to control my bike adequately. So, I rolled down the 15 mile descent in the van, and finally was warm enough to get back on my bike by the time we reached the bottom.

The rest of the ride rolled along the road next to the river heading in towards Crested Butte. Once we got into the valley closer to town, I remembered why people love it so much there. The green grasses hugging the sides of the hills in the valley, the streams winding their way downhill- Crested Butte is truly a magical place. And with so many people in town who are bikers, arriving into CB always feels like a treat. We rolled straight to the Brick Oven Pizza restaurant and bar, and had some of the most delicious pizza I have ever had. I was so tired though, I decided to walk back to the hotel and take a nap, which helped rejuvenate me enough to go out and get groceries for our long 135 mile day coming in just a few hours. I went and had an early dinner solo, and headed to bed early, still behind on sleep from the previous night of partying.

Day Five- Crested Butte to Ouray

We all woke to beautiful skies in CB on day five of our adventure, some of us having slept well, and others, like our driver for the trip, were out till the wee hours of the nite and were hurting! We all know what that feels like, and it makes it much more painful when you have to drive in the bright sunshine the morning after.

Luckily though, we rolled out pretty much on time at about 8:00 am, and with the help of the supremely fit Crested Butte Brick Oven Pizza dudes, we rolled quickly through the first 60 miles of our ride with little to no effort on our part. Thank goodness for them! The only thing that slowed us down several times were flats- again there was so much junk and gravel on the side of the road, and now rumble strips were added in that made avoiding the junk in the road even more tricky! Glass, metal bolts, pieces of hard plastic and other metal shards made the list as just some of the things we rode past that day.

Montrose was the hottest part of the day, but again flat so really nothing to complain about other than the time our rear-ends had already spent in the saddle that day and the days before. We made an early stop in Riverside that was much needed by all, for food and beer, before we crawled our way through the last nine miles to get to Ouray. Riverside is a neat little town, next to (who would have thought) a river, that runs all the way through town. The water looked amazing after being in the heat all day, but we waited until we made it to Ouray to take advantage of the waters cooling powers.

The ride into Ouray was just beautiful, with rolling grasslands, and the walls of the mountains coming closer and closer to the road. By the time you actually get into Ouray the rock walls are right next to the road and go straight up, the whole town surrounded by beautiful views of the peaks. We sprinted into town, and jumped straight into the icy waters- it felt amazing! After that it was shower and relax time, and after being in the saddle for nine hours and having ridden 135 miles that day, we were all ready for some sleep.

Day 6- Ouray to Durango!!

We honestly must have been pushing our luck with the weather, because we woke up in Ouray to another gorgeous morning of sunshine and warmth. We all were talking over breakfast about the climbs we had to endure for the day- Red Mountain pass, which topped out at 11,008 ft, Molas Pass which peaked at 10,910, and Coal Bank Pass with reached a height of 10,640 ft above sea level. So, we all nervously chatted away and ate mounds of hotel waffles with butter and syrup to get our bodies for the final day of assault. My legs were definitely stiff and sore from the days riding before, but not as bad as I expected, and I was really amped to start the ride that day. Apparently the views were going to be amazing, so that alone was something to be excited about. So I turned my IPOD on to some Type O Negative metal, and got my bike ready to head up the looong climb directly out of town.

The climb up Red Mountain and out of Ouray was not as bad as I expected. It was long, about 15 miles long, but gradual. The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer drop offs on the shoulder of the road! Literally, no bike lane, no guard rail and a seriously scary drop off into the gully below- talk about a wake up call. That kept all of us alert enough to finish the climb in good time, and we got some awesome pictures of the beautiful views on the way up as well. The descent on the other side was rippin and super fun, and I was told that that would be the pattern for the day- up a mountain, down the other side, up another mountain, until we reached Durango. So after descending the back of Red Mountain we started climbing Molas Pass, which somehow felt much harder to me. It was pretty darn hot at the bottom, and after descending Red Mountain so long, the legs were not necessarily cooperating with my efforts to keep a quick tempo up the hill. Our bodies at this point were also thrashing through calories like a racehorse, so we stopped at the top of Molas pass to eat more food and drink as much as possible. We didn’t dally too long at the top though because we could see a big storm coming towards us. Luckily another descent was coming, so we hopped back on our bikes and rode the long descent, about 12 miles, to the beginning of Coal Bank Pass, the last one of the day!!

The last climb was the shortest of the day, just four miles long, and I think we all thought it was easier than we thought it would be. We had our celebratory high fives at the top, saluting each other in our badass-ness, and took it all in for a moment. We grabbed some more water then, and started the long and rolling descent into Hermosa and then the rest of the way into Durango! I honestly don’t know how we missed all the rainstorms that were chasing us that day, but even rolling into Durango we were still immersed in sunlight and warm weather. The skies were very dark behind us, so we surely lucked out.

We had one final sprint up the hill into the Ska Brewing parking lot, and I attacked too early and lost the points, darn! People were waiting at Ska for us with signs and smiles, cheering us on for our great week-long adventure. It all felt kind of surreal to finally be there after so many miles that week, and after 70 miles and six hours in the saddle that day as well. We ate tacos and beer till we were well beyond satisfied, and hung out and reminisced about all the fun stuff that had happened that week. Doing a long ride like that changes you somehow, and in the end you feel like a stronger person, even if it’s just knowing that you really can do anything you put your mind to. We all had an awesome adventure, and made it safe to Durango, ready to drink some more cold beers, and laugh with friends.

Thanks to Avery Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewery and Ska Brewing for participating and providing delicious craft beers throughout our journey! Happy riding!

Story by Caitlyn Vestal, Avery Brewing Company

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sisterhood of the HOP! Meeting Scheduled for Sunday 4/11

Ladies! Have you ever wished that you could describe the flavors you taste in beer more accurately, or just wish you could show off some beer skills to your friends? Well, here is your chance! The Sisterhood of the Hop, a fun and educational group dedicated to learning more about the art and science of brewing and tasting beer will be having their next meeting on April 11th, at 1pm at the Avery Tap Room. This meeting will be titled Developing Your Palate, and there is a $5 fee for those who attend, as there will be a wide variety of beers on hand to taste! Avery Brewer Rob Christiansen will be a guest speaker and will tell you all about the why and how of different flavors in beer! So come on down to the Avery Tap Room for an educational experience and the chance to meet and mingle with other ladies of craft beer!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Craft Beer Enlightenment

Have you ever sat down and really contemplated the beer in your glass? Gone beyond your banal routine of look, sniff, taste then swallow, to the point where pontification and partaking blend into one giant smile of contentment? And no, it's not as simple as trading your fizzy-yellow-schwill for a chewy stout, but read on and find out good friend!

At Avery Brewing Company, we believe that this thought process--or to push the boundaries, this "high"-- is the pinnacle of a beer drinker's ascent into the glorious realm of American Craft Beer. Call it Craft Beer Enlightenment.

And oh how glorious it is! So glorious actually, that we are committed to introducing folks across the country to this wonderful experience, one beer at a time. We think it's a shame that there are so many Americans out there that don't have a clue what they are missing out on, and we want to enlist you to fight the good fight and spread the word about craft beer!

Enough waxing poetic over beer. Below are our five steps to Craft Beer Enlightenment. Learn them and teach them to all who will listen!

1. Educate - Take the time to learn about the brewing process. It will tell you a lot about the flavor of the beer you are drinking. Next, learn what process is unique to the beer you are drinking. Is it dry-hopped? Does it contain wild yeast? A chain reaction of thought is sure to follow.

2. Slow Down - We make BIG beers. BIG flavors are present in all. The Reverend is 10% ABV, and 2009 Mephistopheles' Stout is pushing 17% ABV! They're not made to quaff and gulp, or meant as a quick fix to a sober Friday night! Rather, we set out with a flavor profile to achieve, and modify ingredients to get there. So: Sip. Let the flavors work out. Let the beer warm up in your hand. New flavors and aromas will work their way out and you will appreciate the beer.

3. Understand - Think about the whole process. The beer in your hand is the culmination of thousands of hours of work by myriad number of craftsmen. From hop farmers and malting scientists all the way to Brewmasters and the Assistant Brewers who put the beer in bottles, your beer represents a nexus of thought and effort from many people.

4. Revere - Sit back and let everything drop out of your head except for the flavor. Does it remind you of a past place or time? Or does it define a new time or event even? Flavor, just like sounds or smells, can be a mechanism by which old memories are recalled. What will this flavor call forth from your mind 20 years from now?

5. Share with friends - Like anything, beer is better when shared in the good spirit and company of close friends and family. If they don't appreciate good beer, maybe you ought to make it your quest to show them the light?

Share this with less than 10 friends and your next beer will be labeled "XXXX light" and you'll be telling your waiter you ordered a beer not water. Share with more than 10 friends and a case of our duganA IPA will magically appear on your doorstep! (Just KIDDING!)

Onward! (with a beer in hand)
C.V. Howe and the rest of the Avery Crew

Friday, October 16, 2009

duganA IPA meets critical acclaim: Daily Camera article written by Aubrey Laurence.