Avery Brewing experiments with low-alcohol "session" beers it plans to can

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"We're really well known for our strong ales and our forays into that genre," says Avery Brewing spokesman Joe Osborne. "But we're always innovating, period." And innovating will take the Boulder brewery in the opposite direction from the massive, high-alcohol beers that it has specialized in when, probably sometime next year, Avery will release the first of what could be a trilogy of low-alcohol beers. The brewery is experimenting with a couple of those beers right now, a hoppy ale called 3Point5 Session -- the fourth iteration of this beer is currently available in the taproom -- a small stout and a "something else," Osborne says, possibly a weiss beer.

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"We're trying to find sub-4 percent ABV beers with a lot of flavor. The end goal is to can them, but we're still in the proving stage of 3Point5. And as for the small stout, they haven't even let anyone out of the tasting group try it yet," he adds.

Avery started down this path last spring after brewery owner Adam Avery and his management team traveled to Germany to look at equipment for the new five-acre brewery campus that the company plans to build next year in north Boulder.

"They went and drank and said, 'Holy crap, this stuff is so good and it's so low in alcohol, I can literally drink all day. It's awesome,'" Osborne explains.

And while Europeans have mastered the low-alcohol session beers -- as have American mega-brewers like Coors, Miller and Bud -- it's something new for craft brewers, especially when it comes to bottled and canned beers. (Many local breweries and brewpubs make session beers for draft only.)

"It's hard to get something with a lot of flavor out of low ABV beers and to do it well and do it consistently, so you're starting with a challenge right off the bat," Osborne notes. "But great brewers are always going to challenge themselves."

He also acknowledges that several craft brewers in Colorado (like Great Divide and Breckenridge) and around the country are trying out low-alcohol beers: "It may be part of a trend, but it's also because people don't always want an 11 percent beer. I think a number of brewers are hitting on that at the same time."

At the moment, there are no sub-4 percent ABV packaged craft beers on the market in Colorado (excluding the 3.2 versions that New Belgium and Boulder Beer make for sale in grocery stores). The closest are Breckenridge Brewery's Agave Wheat and Ska Brewing's Mexican Logger, both at 4.2 percent.

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Location Info


Avery Brewing Co.

5757 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO

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A brewery taking the time to develop non or low alcoholic beers .

Presently , the best selection of non-alcohol brews is found at 'Jake's Roadhouse' , in Arvada .

They stock around ten different selections . Being on my sixth year of sobriety while

maintaining a life , I look for establishment that carry more than that NASTY O'Duels .

There really are some decent beers for those who seek taste & have been turned off by such a minute selection .

People who drink 'Bud' , should try Busch N/A . They taste amazingly similar . I personally , seek an alcohol free Stout .

Thanks for the heads up on the place . I know where the gf & I are having dinner this coming week.

Too bad it's in Boulder . I had better stop showering now .......


Those 3.2% beers are by weight, which equals 4% by volume. I know you know better.


Eric Steen
Eric Steen

Yeah! That small IPA they do is amazing and I would buy that all the time!



The 3.2% measurement used for grocery stores is measured by weight, not by volume. It's an antiquated measurement leftover from Prohibition. The U.S. has slowly shifted to the European/International standard, but some of these old measurements still exist.

3.2% by weight = 4% by volume.


As a kid we used to try to find certain Canadian beers 'cause we thought they were much stronger. Not really, just a different way to measure the %.

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