After three years of planning, construction is finally underway on Avery Brewing Co.’s new facility in Boulder, Colo. The project moved from being a dream to a reality last week as the construction trailers went up and heavy machinery began pushing dirt.
By the time the dust settles, following three phases of construction, Avery will have a brand new $27 million, nearly 96,000-square-foot, world-class brewery filled with state-of-the-art brewing equipment. The new facility, located on a 5.6 acre site, will also feature an expanded tap room, restaurant, outdoor beer garden and gift shop. Avery’s production capacity will double, boosting annual barrelage to 100,000 on opening day in January 2015, and then to a potential 500,000 barrels (bbls) in the years to come.
“Will we ever get that big? I don’t know, but this isn’t just about expansion. This is about making great beer,” said Adam Avery, who co-founded the brewery with his father, Larry Avery, in 1993. “We could have done a lot to speed things up. The easier path would have been to take little steps, maybe move the brewery to a less expensive city and into an existing building. We could have accepted outside investment too.
“Dad and I didn’t want any of that. We wanted to make a much bigger leap. We wanted to be in Boulder. We wanted to remain family-owned. When we costed out the entire project with what we wanted, we were outside the scope of what we could pay for. So we modified our construction plans into phases so we could stick to our core values, our vision and our budget. Now we are getting exactly what we wanted all along: a world-class brewery built from the ground up right here in Boulder that is designed to give us the best chance for success for decades to come.”
Phase one of the plans will include the brewery, production offices, first set of fermentation tanks, truck docks, grain silos, an expanded restaurant, a gift shop and the majority of landscaping and parking. The second and third phases will see the completion of the “front of house” part of the project with the completion of the full restaurant, full gift shop, administration offices, additional fermentation tanks and an expanded packaging area.
Avery said news of the new brewery couldn’t have come soon enough for the brewers and the rest of the production crew on “team Avery.” He said the current 25,000-square-foot facility — spread out over multiple units in an industrial park in east Boulder — hit capacity. He said as a result, the whole team had to step up and work almost around the clock to produce the roughly 50,000 barrels of beer Avery brewed in 2013.
“There’s been some pain over the last few years, especially for the crew, but their dedication and patience has been incredible. If it wasn’t for their commitment to maximizing both the quality and the volume of the beer produced in our current facility, none of this would be possible,” he said.
The $27.4 million project will be funded by $5 million from Avery Brewing’s cash and a $22.4 million loan from Colorado Business Bank and Citywide Banks. The plan for the new brewery was created by Boulder’s Coburn Development Inc. and the construction of the facility will be handled by Saunders Construction Inc., a Colorado-based General Contractor serving the region since 1972.
“It takes a lot of people to put all the pieces together to make a project like this happen. One of the most important things we learned throughout this process is the need to work with the right people. We couldn’t be more pleased with our partners in this project,” Avery said. “They are all local companies and, to me, represent the best in the business.”