Sunday, February 9th, 2020

Fancy Pants Sunday: Avery Mephistopheles

Ron Swarner

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You fancy Avery Mephistopheles!

Fancy Pants Sunday: Avery Mephistopheles

In 1993, Adam Avery launches his Avery Brewing Company in a garage off an alley in Boulder, making him one of the pioneers of Colorado’s craft beer scene. At first, consumers were apprehensive when it came to the new tastes Avery introduced to the market place. In 1996, Avery was among the first breweries in Colorado to offer an IPA. Many of the deliveries were returned because the beer tasted too bitter. In 2003, Andy Parker joined the team, bringing an excitement for high-gravity brewing and barrel aging. Together, Parker and Avery began experimenting. Eventually, Avery released a series of “gold foil” specialty barrel-aged beers, including Mephistopheles, which fits our weekly look at complex, fancy craft beer. Enjoy Fancy Pants Sunday: Avery Mephistopheles.

The name Mephistopheles originally appeared in literature as the demon in the German Faust legend. According to the story, Faust was dissatisfied with his life and made a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Mephistopheles appears in this legend as a plain-clothed devil, mirroring the massive imperial stout.

First brewed in 2005, Mephistopheles (14.666%) was the third installment of Avery’s Demons of Ale series. After creating The Beast Grand Cru and Samael’s Oak-Aged Ale, Adam Avery decided he wanted the third demon to be a massive stout unlike any other. One of the most distinguishing ingredients is the beer’s Westmalle Belgian yeast strain, which produces layers of esters and phenols that create much of the beer’s complex flavor. The grist bill is focused mainly on roasted and black malts making it dark and rich. There is also a small amount of Special B, a specialty malt, added for a touch of raisin-like sweetness. The result is a massive and complex stout with notes of vine-ripened grapes, anise, bitter chocolate and an espresso-like finish.

You fancy Avery Mephistopheles.