4

Avery Brewing experiments with low-alcohol "session" beers it plans to can

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

"We're really well known for our strong ales and our forays into that genre," says Avery Brewing spokesman Joe Osborne. "But we're always innovating, period." And innovating will take the Boulder brewery in the opposite direction from the massive, high-alcohol beers that it has specialized in when, probably sometime next year, Avery will release the first of what could be a trilogy of low-alcohol beers. The brewery is experimenting with a couple of those beers right now, a hoppy ale called 3Point5 Session -- the fourth iteration of this beer is currently available in the taproom -- a small stout and a "something else," Osborne says, possibly a weiss beer.

See also -Avery Brewing will bottle Rumpkin Imperial Ale, its cult-favorite seasonal pumpkin beer -Session Beer Day is April 7, but do you know where your low-alcohol beer is? -Avery plans a new brewery and restaurant on 5.6 acres in Boulder

"We're trying to find sub-4 percent ABV beers with a lot of flavor. The end goal is to can them, but we're still in the proving stage of 3Point5. And as for the small stout, they haven't even let anyone out of the tasting group try it yet," he adds.

Avery started down this path last spring after brewery owner Adam Avery and his management team traveled to Germany to look at equipment for the new five-acre brewery campus that the company plans to build next year in north Boulder.

"They went and drank and said, 'Holy crap, this stuff is so good and it's so low in alcohol, I can literally drink all day. It's awesome,'" Osborne explains.

And while Europeans have mastered the low-alcohol session beers -- as have American mega-brewers like Coors, Miller and Bud -- it's something new for craft brewers, especially when it comes to bottled and canned beers. (Many local breweries and brewpubs make session beers for draft only.)

"It's hard to get something with a lot of flavor out of low ABV beers and to do it well and do it consistently, so you're starting with a challenge right off the bat," Osborne notes. "But great brewers are always going to challenge themselves."

He also acknowledges that several craft brewers in Colorado (like Great Divide and Breckenridge) and around the country are trying out low-alcohol beers: "It may be part of a trend, but it's also because people don't always want an 11 percent beer. I think a number of brewers are hitting on that at the same time."

At the moment, there are no sub-4 percent ABV packaged craft beers on the market in Colorado (excluding the 3.2 versions that New Belgium and Boulder Beer make for sale in grocery stores). The closest are Breckenridge Brewery's Agave Wheat and Ska Brewing's Mexican Logger, both at 4.2 percent.


Follow

Westword

's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.