Back in town almost exactly one year after hosting a roaringly fun, high-gravity beer dinner at Chai's, brewmaster Adam Avery showed off some new ales from his Colorado brewery to Charleston last Wed. Oct. 28. We caught up with him during a late-afternoon in-store appearance Charleston Beer Exchange (14 Exchange St.), where he held court behind a massive stack of Avery six-packs. The aisles were packed with young fans and beer enthusiasts.
The Beer Exchange hosted the get-together as a warm up to the Avery Brewing Company Beer Dinner later in the evening at the downtown Mellow Mushroom. Shop owners Rich Carley and Scott Schor and shop manager Brandon Plyler labeled and filled special 22-ounce growlers with two unique new, cask-aged offerings from the featured brewery — a five-beer blend of ales aged in Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel barrels called Avery Voltron (9% a.b.v.), and a two-beer blend of ales aged in bourbon barrels called Avery Moloch (very strong at a staggering 13% a.b.v.). The limited supply of small growlers of these very rare specialty ales sold for $16.99 apiece.
Avery said he was inspired to create the Moloch and the Voltron from older batches of beer after a trip to Belgium. "I learned about the Gueuze style of ales, which are blended Lambics," he said. "Those Belgian brewers never waste anything, so if they had a little bit of one batch that was a little too sweet, and a little bit of another batch that was a little too strong in oak flavor or whatever, they'd blend several aged ales into something new."
Avery said he plans to make another trip from Colorado back to Charleston for beer dinner in March. Look for a review of the Moloch and Voltron in the City Paper this week, and stay tuned for more beer news.