Goebel Liquor Wichita Kansas

Barrel Aged Series #18, Opuntia - Retired

Avery Brewing Company - United States

Available in 12oz bottles

Alcohol Content: 6.65% by volume

Ale aged in tequila barrels with prickly pear added. Released February 23 2014, 263 cases produced.

Article from http://www.brewbound.com/news/avery-brewing-co-announces-release-of-opuntia
"Really? A sour ale with a dose of prickly pears and patiently matured in first-use, small-batch tequila barrels for 9 months? Damn straight. Damn good!"

That's the simple description Avery Brewing Company offers to describe a complex beer. Opuntia, No. 18 in the Barrel-Aged Series, is a light sour ale (6.65% ABV) that's Avery's first release of a beer aged in tequila barrels and unlike anything the brewery has ever produced before.

"It sounds paradoxical to discuss �clean' as a focus when talking about a beer with so much complexity," said Avery Chief Barrel Herder Andy Parker. "We tailored this beer from the ground up to create a balance of four flavors: prickly pear, tequila barrels, Brettanomyces and a nice lactic sour. We wanted it to be simple enough to let each flavor shine and let the complexity come from the combination of those four flavors that we have never had in a beer before."

Parker said he developed the recipe after meeting the crew from Suerte Tequila, which involved a lot of tequila drinking (obviously), an instant friendship and an offer by Suerte to provide some barrels. Having never worked with tequila barrels before, Parker said he experimented with the first four barrels by adding a different type of beer to each. Those experiments led to a couple limited Tap Room exclusives, but more importantly, Parker said it helped him better understand the nuances of tequila barrels. Considering what he had learned he developed the idea for Opuntia and excitedly awaited his next batch of barrels from Suerte.

The base beer for Opuntia is a light ale comprised of two specialty malts with primary fermentation in steel tanks with Avery's house ale strain. From there the beer was moved to the tequila barrels and Brettanomyces and Avery's house Pediococcus and Lactobacillus strains were added for secondary fermentation and souring. After four months of souring the prickly pear was added and the beer was allowed to age an additional five months.

"This one was all Andy and it's awesome," said Adam Avery, the brewery's founder. "I couldn't be more proud of him. He developed a relationship with our new friends at Suerte. He developed a great idea and recipe. And then he executed the brew and the blend perfectly. The dude blows my mind."

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