“One. Don't be a dick. And two, make your co-workers' jobs easier.”
Those the two main rules that Adam Avery had for his employees at the overgrown, ramshackle old Avery Brewing location on Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder – and they're the core of the company culture he plans to bring to his shiny new, $30 million brewing campus in Gunbarrel.
“If you do those two things, you will be successful. If you don't, those are going to be the reasons why,” he says. “That is our credo. There is nothing you can't do if you try. Put a goal out there, and try like hell to get to it.”
Last Monday, Avery closed its old spot to the public after 22 years in the same business park; on Monday, it will open its brand new restaurant and taproom on 5.6 acres of land at 4910 Nautilus Court. Avery will continue to make beer on Arapahoe Avenue for the next month or so, but by April, the brewery should be able to switch over to its 85-barrel, state-of-the-art German brewhouse – roughly twice the size of its current system.
When that happens, Avery should be able to crank out 85,000 barrels of beer per year — 30,000 more than what it made in 2014. In reality, though, Avery is looking at about 70,000 barrels in 2015, Adam Avery says. Revenues are also projected to rise dramatically, from $17.8 million in 2014 to a projected $25.6 million in 2015.
“Hopefully, everyone keeps buying our beer,” he says. By 2016, Avery will have the capacity to make 150,000 barrels per year; eventually, the brewery could turn out 400,000 barrels annually.
It's a dramatic shift from the brewery's beginnings in 1993 when Adam and his father, Larry, founded the brewery using a glorified stove-top homebrew system.
Avery didn't make a profit for ten years. “A couple years in, I thought if we ever sold a million dollars worth of beer, I would have made it,” he says. “But that goal seemed unattainable for so long.” About five years ago, though, Avery realized that he had surpassed those goals. “I thought, 'Wait a minute, we can afford something better than what we have right now.' But this new brewery is beyond anything I would have ever thought up.”
All told, the Avery campus will comprise 67,000 square feet of space (with another 95,000 square feet in the planning stages). The two-story tap room and restaurant will seat 150 people inside and another 85 on the patio; it will be open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. during the first two weeks of operation, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day after that. A new barrel cellar – one of Avery's gems — will hold more 2,000 wooden barrels to start with.
To make it all work, Avery has hired more than thirty people in the past month, bringing its total workforce to more than 130.
There is also a new canning line coming in June, which will be able to fill 340 cans per minute. With it, Avery plans to release a couple of new beers, including a raspberry sour, a low-alcohol IPA and its much loved Lilikoi Kepolo, a passion-fruit infused version of its White Rascal witbier.
By 2016, Avery says the brewery will have released eight new year-round or seasonal products, along with six more barrel-aged beers. It will also brew “a ton of one-off taproom exclusives – the dozens and dozens of new beers we've been wanting to make for years.”
“It's been a daunting task,”Avery says. “But we have a super strong team, and I'm feeling good about everything.”
Which means everyone must be helping each other out, and no one's being a dick.
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.