Beer Man

Avery Brewing will bust your cherry with Depuceleuse

Avery Brewing Company will release the fourth in its series of experimental one-and-done barrel-aged beers today at 5 p.m. at its tasting room in Boulder.

The new brew is called Depuceleuse which, according the brewery, is a French term for a woman who deflowers men.

It's an extremely unusual beer made with wild strains of brettanomyces yeast that Belgian brewers have used for centuries to make a style of beer called lambic.

In Belgium, the brewers do this during the brewing process by leaving the unfermented beer exposed to the elements. The yeast and other bacteria then enters the beer and causes a spontaneous fermentation.

In the United States, the same situation has to be manufactured. "Instead of relying on what is floating around in the air, we rely on yeast strains we have propagated and pitch it ourselves," says Avery spokesman CV Howe. "This is not a lambic or a Gueuze [a kind of lambic]. It's an American wild ale. We take what we like best about old-world or Belgian traditions and do it in an Avery way, in an American way."

The challenge with wild yeast is that the funky flavors can sometimes take some getting used to. "If you are virgin to brett beers, it can be offensive to some drinkers," Howe says about the yeast, which can add a barnyard-like taste to the brew.

And that's why Avery's brewers decided to age the beer in zinfandel wine barrels, which adds a rich, oakey element along with a sour cherry flavor. "We knew this was going to be intense," Howe says. "But we have balanced the funky, sweaty saddle-like barnyard flavors and aromas with the tartness and fruitiness of cherries."

It's also how the beer -- which will retail for $8 a bottle -- got its name, the brewery says: "Seductive to the core, she lies patiently in the bottle awaiting the day to deflower virgins of the funky flavors of brettanomyces!" Sounds like a winner.

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