Beer Man

Avery Brewing will make White Rascal at New Belgium for a year as it builds new facility

Colorado's small craft breweries are well-known for helping one another out with advice, equipment and other kinds of support. But the big guys like to do that, too.

On Monday, Avery Brewing announced that it had signed an agreement with New Belgium Brewing that will allow Avery to make its best-selling beer, White Rascal Belgian Style White Ale, on New Belgium's system for the next twelve months.

See also: Avery Brewing expands its acclaimed barrel-aging program tenfold

Avery has run out of room at its existing Boulder brewery and needs the help until its new facility -- a $27 million, 68,000-square-foot campus in north Boulder -- is completed some time in early 2015. Avery will only brew kegged White Rascal at New Belgium; it will continue to brew the beer for cans at its own place.

"I had never imagined doing this, but it was too good to pass up," Adam Avery said in a statement. "Construction of our new brewery is now underway, but it was a long process to get started. While finalizing the plans for our new facility, we hit absolute capacity in our current brewery. It wasn't just the lack of space, it was the rest of the infrastructure."

Avery also said the banks that are financing the project wanted to see growth during construction -- and that "without it our entire plan for a new brewery was in jeopardy."

Avery and New Belgium are using what state and federal liquor-licensing agencies call an "alternating-proprietorship"; alt-props allow one brewery to loan or rent its equipment and its physical premises to another brewery for a certain period of time.

New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson says the brewers from Avery will be on hand every time Avery makes a batch of White Rascal in Fort Collins.

The agreement will also give Avery's staff a chance to train and brew beer on a larger, more advanced brewhouse very similar to the one that will be in Avery's new facility," and allow the brewery to make more of its other, specialty beers.

New Belgium, which is building a second facility of its own -- in North Carolina -- is also reaching capacity in Fort Collins, but Simpson says it will have room for White Rascal over the next year, but probably not after that.

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