Beer Man

Avery adjusts its brewing schedule to deal with cramped quarters

Avery Brewing, which jumped its first hurdle on Tuesday on its way to building a brand new, multi-million-dollar facility in Boulder, has adjusted its brewing schedule slightly to deal with cramped quarters and a rising demand for its beer. Instead of releasing Maharaja imperial IPA in March, Avery will brew and release four thirty-barrel batches of the cult favorite between today and the end of March. All told, Avery will brew 120 barrels of the beer, a hop bomb at more than 102 IBUs. "Because capacity is so tight, we are having to switch up how we do some of the high-demand, limited allocation beers," says brewery spokesman Joe Osborne. "And this is the big one. Everybody loves the Maj." By comparison, Avery brews 240 barrels of its big sellers like IPA and White Rascal every week, Osborne adds.

As a result, the beer, which uses a staggering 88 pounds of hops per thirty-barrel batch just for the dry-hopping, will be harder to find in other states, although not in Colorado. "We want to make sure we feed Colorado," Osborne says.

Avery has been located in the same office park since it was founded in 1993, but the brewery has outgrown the space and is in the midst of buying 5.6 acres of land in north Boulder, at 4910 and 4920 Nautilus Court, where it plans to build a showplace, complete with a 30,000 square-foot brewery, a high-end restaurant and a gift shop.

On Tuesday, the Boulder City Council approved a new zoning rule that will allow breweries, distilleries and wineries to open restaurants in industrial areas -- a change that Avery needed to have in place in order to open its new brewery.

But the brewery still faces opposition from some parents at Boulder County Day School, which is located right next to the planned location. The parents turned out to protest the zoning change on Tuesday and will likely be back on December 15 when the city's planning board will hold a public hearing concerning Avery's proposal.

"It's one step in the process, and we are looking forward to getting through that," Osborne says, adding that Adam Avery has been trying to work with the school on its concerns about having a brewery, restaurant and beer tasting room so close.

Avery hopes to close on its purchase of the land sometime in January.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes