Beer Wednesday: Seventeen Black Lager by Avery Brewing

Avery Brewing is based in Boulder, Colorado, like many other cool companies. (Amusing sidenote: The tag line for Avery is "Small Brewery, Big Beers". Our friend Grace Boyle is also based in Boulder and has a blog called Small Hands, Big Ideas. They should, like, share notes on tagline creation.)

Avery tends to produce beers with interesting styles. I like that few of their beers are by the book; that experimentation must be fun for the brewer and is definitely fun to experience as a beer drinker.

The 17th Anniversary Dry-Hopped Black Ale by Avery Brewing is a great example of their creativity.

Avery is best known for their Maharaja IPA and Mephistopheles Stout. This Seventeen is billed as a "dry-hopped black lager," but given the 8.7% alcohol and the distinct IPA hops characteristics, the label of "black IPA" that I've seen on some reviews seems more appropriate. It smells super fruity and mildly spiced, like a lot of IPAs in style although not in specific aroma if that makes sense. The taste gets even crazier - there is a lot going on here.

I agree with a lot of the other reviews that list flavors such as: tropical fruits, citrus, pine resin, green vegetables, burnt toast, coffee, chocolate, molasses, chalk, and a whole lot more. The flavors in this beer are very complex. I love that. Avery's Seventeen reminds me of the El Camino (un)Real with its mix of flavors of all different types.

However, its flavors are so eclectic that they do not blend together smoothly on the palate the way that the Victory at Sea's flavors do. I agree with the Seventeen review by Daily Beer Review that the beer can feel "a bit rough in the mouth," and the heat of the alcohol does come through.

That said I love this beer. I love that it's different from anything, it brings a ton of complex flavors into your mouth, and it really makes you think. The Seventeenth Anniversary Black Lager by Avery Brewing is 8.7% ABV. I paid $7.49 for a 22oz and it was worth every penny. Highly recommended for beer aficionados.


  1. Just like the El Camino (un)Real black ale, I keep thinking about this beer days after drinking it. That is a very good sign. Will need to get another bottle.