Up until this past weekend I had never attended a bottle release party, especially one where attendance is a must to procure a bottle or two. I’ve been to my fair share of beer festivals and brewery parties, but this sort of beer event had alluded my attendance. To my recollection, few within the Colorado region have crossed my radar, and those that have presented scheduling conflicts. Therefore, I’ve always been jealous of friends in the North East who have taken many short whimsical road trips, through beautiful countryside ripe with delectable seafood and brew, to obtain a special releases from the likes of Allagash and Portsmouth Brewing Companies. Thus, when news of Avery’s release of Meretrix – a sour ale brewed with sour cherries and aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels – crossed my wire, Miss E and I decided we would make a rare trip to the People’s Republic with the hopes of acquiring a few bottles.
On a sweltering mid-summer day, with Miss E catching some flies while sitting shotgun, we headed northwest for our first special release party as well as first visit to Avery Brewing Company. In all honesty, I’m not that familiar with Avery’s offerings. I recently had Maharaja, their Imperial IPA, at Amato’s and enjoyed it. While I like their traditional IPA on tap, I found a recent 6er purchase to be a bit metallic on my taste buds. Other than that, I’ve knew little of their beers. Subsequently, we had little idea of what to expect from their tap-room and brewery. Upon our arrival around three in the afternoon, the brewery was alive with activity with beer-fiends packing the small tap room like bees to a hive. Impressively, the tap-room offered at least 15 beers conservatively speaking (more likely in the range of 20) and our favorite of which was Eremita, a sour ale.
We obtained a spot near the front of the line assuring us the eight bottles of Meretrix we had come to acquire. Having obtained a prime spot in line meant we were able to wait inside the brewery which was key given the heat of the day. A few minutes after the stroke of 5pm we purchased our bottles and headed back to the tap room to have a few more tasters and shoot the shit with some friends.
We’ve yet to try Meretrix, and I plan on writing about it when we do. We got three bottles for ourselves, one of which I will cellar for a year or so, and the remaining five will be given to friends and family. In hindsight, we didn’t need to get to the brewery so early to get the beer, as friends of ours were able to snag bottles long after the line had subsided. With that said, if I decide to attend their next barrel series release, I’ll still get there just as early to enjoy the fun.