Friday, August 12, 2011

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, AVERY BREWING

You may have heard about the oft-discussed “retrenchment” of many brewers earlier in the summer from various markets in which they were distributing beer. Most of them, to my eyes, were middling-to-halfway decent brewers who presciently recognized that they couldn’t compete and had over-expanded. Totally understandable. Craft beer consumers are amazingly spoiled for choice, and last year’s Shipyard Brewing bomber that might have been purchased for novelty’s sake now sits forlornly on the shelf before it too gets spoiled. So some of them have started packing up and heading back to less competitive markets. Only one of these exits actually bothered me. Avery. AVERY BREWING turned tail and left Northern California.

Now frankly I’m not all that put out. I can buy their stuff if/when I travel or ask someone to trade me some of their goodies for some of mine (the benefit of living in a Russian River Brewing market is that I’ve always got someone who wants to make a trade). Yet Avery made one of the first craft beers that turned my head around – THE REVEREND, their quadrupel. They’ve made several anniversary beers that have blown me away. Even their pedestrian 12-ounce lineup has got some fantastic beers in there, as well as some darn good ones. Like their IPA. That’s right – AVERY INDIA PALE ALE. No fancy name, no clever play on the word “hop” – Avery India Pale Ale. It pours a light golden/orange with a distinct haze clouding up the glass. It’s 6.5% alcohol, fairly standard and pretty agreeable. It is hoppy, and it is tangy. And it is good. I have to say, I am really going to miss having the option to pass it by in favor of something much more shiny and exciting. 7/10.

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