We recently had the privilege of working with Avery Brewing Co.—one of Colorado’s best breweries located just down the road from FREESKIER’s office—to create a darn good custom beer dubbed the Pow Day IPA. It’s a coffee-infused India Pale Ale inspired by skiers like you who want something flavorful (it has delicious hints of local Ozo coffee) and boozey (it’s an eight-percenter) for those epic days in the mountains.
It didn’t take long for us to realize making a beer from start to finish is a wildly complex process, but it’s an interesting one nonetheless and worth sharing, without a doubt. So, with that mind, we tapped into Joe Osborne, one of the key players on Avery’s staff, to recap exactly how it all went down. Below, find out how this amazing beer came to fruition.
The Pow Day IPA in 4 steps
Step one is determining a solid base for the beer before adding flavor. And since hops and coffee were coming into the mix, we went with a light-colored pale ale base to prevent things from getting too dark and heavy later on.
“We went with 96-percent two-row malt and four percent aromatic malt,” says Avery’s Joe Osborne, one of the brewery’s key players. “Two-row barley is the base malt in almost all beers, which gives us a great sugar source, and the aromatic added a hint of body and flavor.”
Then, it was time to brew through four different vessels: the mash tun, lauter tun, the kettle and the whirlpool.
“The mash tun is where the wort gets made and started; the lauter is where all the grains are swept out of the liquid; the kettle sterilizes the liquid and is where hops are added; and the whirlpool gets out the last of the solid matter from the liquid before being sent to fermentation,” says Osborne.
During this brewing step of the process, we had to integrate hops to make it a true IPA. Bravo hops came into play first for bittering, followed by Chinook for a citrus hit and Simcoe for even more, as well as a little earthiness.
The next step was adding yeast as the brew goes into the fermentation tank.
“While the yeast is thriving and eating all those sugars, it farts CO2 and pees alcohol,” says Osborne. “And the happier and healthier the yeast, the better beer we get.”
The four main ingredients of beer are water, barley, hops and yeast and the addition of yeast is the most important, for sure. For this beer, we went with Avery’s house ale strain, also known as the London Ale yeast. Once everything was all dumped into the tank, it fermented for an entire week.
Following the fermentation, the beer was run through a centrifuge to clarify it of any inconsistencies. And while some beers are additionally run through filters, too, the Pow Day IPA wasn’t so it would retain its full hop flavors. Then, everything flowed into a vessel that held the finished beer. But, first, it was treated with the carbonation process and mixed with the coffee that was carefully selected by FREESKIER and Avery employees.
“The coffee is from our local roaster, Ozo, and is a blend of their Colombia Nariño—floral, sweet, fruity—and Organic Honduras Las Capucas Omar Rodriguez—sweet, nutty, citrus-y—roasts,” says Osborne. “We made a cold coffee toddy by soaking the beans overnight, which reduces the astringency that you get from traditional hot brewing. That way we get a smooth coffee flavor to pair up with the beer.”
We officially debuted the Pow Day IPA last at Avery’s headquarters a while back with the local community and everyone was thrilled. To get your hands on a six pack (or 100), head over to Avery and let the good times roll.