When Avery Brewing founder Adam Avery passes through Albuquerque he usually stops at Chama River Brewing, not only because it’s handy to Interstate 25 but because he likes the beers, particularly the hop-accented ones. Try to look surprised.
Last April I met him there for dinner about a week before the Craft Brewers Conference in Austin. He was headed down early to do a little rock climbing in Texas, then to visit outlets that sell Avery beer. His car was totally packed with beer. The trunk was jammed, mixed cases were piled to the ceiling in the back and he front seat was full. (Yes, I wish I’d had a camera.)
You’d have thought there was a desert between here and there.
The conference concluded with a banquet during which each table was supplied with a variety of beers for the meal (each paired with a different course). When there was a break in the action Avery sprang to his feet and dashed past the table we were at (next to his). He returned a few minutes later with arms full of Avery beer, leaving a few bottles at our table “just in case.”
Think about that when you read this from the Avery Monthly Mash (an email newsletter):
Twice a month the entire Avery team gathers on a Friday afternoon to taste beers that were brewed in prior weeks. All employees taste each beer and offer suggestions on improvements and taste (we are on a quest to make perfect beer). Once we have tasted all of our beers, a full-on world of beer tasting ensues, with each person clamoring to put in their two-cents on the perceived qualities of each beer. Anyone who has ventured into the Avery Tasting Room on an early Friday afternoon has undoubtedly seen these tasting sessions in their final throws.
This small oddity of initiation into the Avery crew is actually a sign of our unspoken mantra: the beer comes first. Each extra dollar we earn is first allotted to capital improvements that will assist us in making better beer. If a technique promises to improve the quality of our beer it will be implemented even if it means more work for the brewer and more money to make the beer. In short, the Friday initiation is the first step in the Avery way of ensuring that everyone in the company, especially our newest hires, understands our overriding philosophy about crafting and selling beer.
We would like to extend an invitation to you, our loyal fans, to take part in an initiation session of your own. Come and join us on Wednesday, March 5th for the opportunity to take part in a Hop Education tasting alongside a few of the brewers and staff members of Avery Brewing Company.
Details are on the Avery website events page.
The photo of Adam was taken during the now infamous “Extreme Beer” trip to Belgium that Sam Calagione led two years ago. Thanks to Tomme Arthur for sharing.