Ellie’s Brown Ale, Avery Brewing Company, Boulder

Style: Brown ale

ABV: 5.5 percent

Serving Type: 12-ounce bottle

Malty? Hoppy? Roasted malts

Reviewed: September 2012

It feels like every brewer in Colorado has a beer or label—or both—dedicated to a four-legged friend. Boulder’s Avery is no different with their homage to a Chocolate Lab once owned by Adam Avery. The beer was one of the first brewed by the fledgling brewery in 1993 and is still one of its most popular brews. (It comes in third, after Avery’s IPA and White Rascal.)

This past fall, 5280 testers sat down to sample this perennial favorite. It pours like a dark syrup, but drinks smoothly without the cloying qualities of many browns. In truth, this brew drinks like a wannabe porter or stout. It’s almost creamy and has a hint of smoke in the aftertaste. Our team agreed, though, that the most appealing aspect of this beer is its malleability. Stout lovers were happy. Pilsners drinkers weren’t overwhelmed. IPA sippers were pleasantly surprised. In short, this beer is like a Lab: likeable to many.

Would we buy it again? It is in our regular rotation.

Bonus: Read our Q&A with Avery’s brewer, Matt Thrall, here.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter at @natashajgardner or on Pinterest.

Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.