25 January 2013
It’s not often that we get a chance to enjoy a beer with JUST the WILK Friday BeerBuzz crew, but since today was our 150th show, I decided we should just have fun. I also decided that we needed to choose a beer worthy of One Hundred and Fifty Shows…so I did. We’ve features quite a few different breweries on the Friday BeerBuzz, but never one of my favorites from Boulder Colorado. With that in mind, I decided to feature our first ever beer from Avery Brewing.
Avery Brewing got it’s start when Adam Avery took his homebrewing experimentation (and obsession) to the next level in 1993. He began with a 7bbl brewing system, and as time progressed he gradually bumped up until they had doubled their capacity and building size by 1997. Things moved forward for Avery Brewing with their original Out of Bounds Stout and Ellies Brown Ale, but two events started their rapid growth to the brewery we know today.
In 1994 their Out of Bounds Stout won GABF gold, and while this launched the reputation Avery Brewing, their big break came with our featured beer of the day, Hog Heaven Barleywine. In 1997 Adam Avery was approached by Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey/Port Brewing and Greg Koch from Stone requesting their Hog Heaven to be part of their San Diego Strong Ale festival. This in turn launched distribution of Avery beers into California and the rest, as they say, is brewing-history.
Hog Heaven is an American-style barleywine that is aggressively hopped to hold true to Avery’s motto. You see there were troubling financial times for Avery, and at some point Adam and his father decided to go big and brew the beers they loved or fail trying. This idea is best characterized on their web page with the statement that, “we brew what we like with utter disregard for what the market demands”…and of course they do.
Hog Heaven marches through your front door with 9.2% ABV but then slaps you in the back of the head with big 104 IBU of hops on board. And while the bottle labels it a Barleywine, it actually competes in the Imperial Red Ale Category where it took home GABF silver medals in 2004 and 2007.
Try this one for yourself and you’ll see how to balance a malt flavor big enough to get the high ABV of a Barleywine, with the piney and resinous punch of Columbus hops. This beer is almost candy-like until the hops enter the room, and then the finish is hoppy & satisfying.
hank you to Nancy, John & Joe for yet another
The Friday BeerBuzz…bringing good beers and good people together. As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday BeerBuzz page by clicking HERE.