The craft brewing movement emerged, in part, out of a desire for more creativity, but the recent trend in barrel aging has sometimes been anything but. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good bourbon barrel-aged dark beer, but the category is getting more saturated by the day. Thankfully, breweries like Colorado’s Avery Brewing are keeping barrel aging experimental and innovative, as it should be. Its Barrel-Aged Series is avowedly “anything goes,” and it shows in beers like Tequilacerbus.
One of the more readily available beers in Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series (1276 cases), Tequilacerbus is an American Wild Ale that is aged for an undisclosed amount of time (reportedly “several months”) in Anejo and Reposado tequila barrels from Suerte. It pours a medium amber color with a slight head and good carbonation. The nose is soft and slightly sour but the tequila barrel has clearly rounded some of the bitter edges with sweet citrus notes, some vanilla, and an herbal, almost, minty quality. The palate is immediately tart but balanced by an abundance of tequila character. Ripe lemon and lime notes become creamy on the finish with just a slight hint of smoke and a nice salinity throughout. At times the tequila influence is a little overbearing, but overall it’s a flavorful beer that showcases a refreshing creativity in craft brewing.
#43 in the Barrel-Aged Series. 7.3% abv.
A- / $14 (per 12 oz. bottle) / averybrewing.com