Green as hops: Asher Brewing Company’s beer is as organic as the brewery is environmentally conscious
Where brewing organic beer is a sustainable enterprise
Everything is green at Asher Brewing Company. And I’m not just talking about their logo, their t-shirts, their IPA cans, or the signs that adorn their green walls (although, all of those are green too). Asher prides themselves on being Colorado’s first all-organic brewery, and their business is run to maximize environmental sustainability.
They are both literally and figuratively one of the greenest breweries in the state.
I walked in sometime around 3 PM, an hour after they opened, on a Wednesday afternoon. Immediately I was greeted by two happy black dogs. The bartender, Fernando, looked as though he’d been waiting for me, smiling, leaning on the bar with both hands. He nodded, as I bellied up and picked up a beer menu.
“Let me know if you have any questions,” he said.
I did. “What’s the most recently released beer you’ve got on tap right now?” I asked.
Without hesitation he told me that would be their Oatmeal Stout.
“Perrrrfect,” I told him. Oatmeal stouts are one of my favorite winter beers. And it was early December — the season of stouts.
He poured, I paid, and then made way for a table. There were several patrons hanging out already, lounging about and enjoying casual after-work beer conversations.
Photos courtesy of Asher Brewing Company.
Asher is exactly what a small local brewery should feel like: intimate, friendly, just off the beaten path, a hideaway that makes the world outside seem like it’s standing still. Just down Nautilus Court from Avery Brewing, a few minute’s drive north of Boulder on Diagonal Highway, this heartfelt local haunt is an escape worth taking.
The “Maced Barker” (Asher’s fresh oatmeal stout) was delicious. It’s got a big, round, malty flavor off the front, that slides into an oatmeal richness and ends on an almost creamy, slightly boozy note. For a dark beer, that stout is an easy drinker and I found myself slamming it a little faster than I might have intended.
But it was clearly beer-thirty, I realized, watching people trickle in — no one here was going to judge me for putting it back. Some people coming in looked like new customers, others were clearly regulars, who knew Fernando and the Asher staff well. The buzz was building as Asher got busier.
Asher was founded in 2010, shortly after Chris Asher (the founder and Brew Master) had his vision to create a totally organic, totally green-minded brewery business. Chris had worked at a number of other breweries around the state before he started Asher, and he’s had a rad run of things since then. His beers have won awards, and his brewery has gained recognition for its commendable organic nature.
Every ingredient used in Asher’s beer is certified organic, and sourced locally whenever possible. Their spent grain is donated to local farms and livestock operations; the brewery is lit by energy efficient lighting; they use biodegradable and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies; they purchase wind energy credits to offset their carbon footprint; and all of the food vendors who they work with also use compostable food ware and cutlery.
I can’t think of another brewery that goes about things with such a sustainable mindset. Their beer and brewery is as green as the hops they use.
The last sip of the stout went down, and I returned to Fernando for round II: bartender’s choice.
“What’s your favorite, man?”
He indicated the Summit Session pale ale.
“This one’s seasonal too, and I’ve been drinking a lot of these. It’s a really smooth.”
I was down. And in no time at all I was back at my table with a full beer in hand.
Fernando was right about this Pale Ale: it is smooth and a really easy drinker (as a session ale should be). It’s got bright, grassy hop notes that explode off the front end of the flavor, followed by a clean reverberation of pale aleness. I couldn’t help but drink it quickly.
You can tell that Chris Asher takes great pride and care in the brewing of his beers. Not just because he uses high end, organic, local ingredients to brew them, but the consistently high-quality of his beers is not typical to a small brewery like this one. Usually you’ll find one or two, hell, maybe even three beers that are really good, and a few that are hit or miss. But at Asher, all of the beers stand on their own — no matter what your preference is.
In 2011 Asher started canning their flagship beers, so now you can take that consistently delicious quality beer home, or out into the great outdoors to enhance your adventures. You can find Asher cans at the brewery itself, in local liquor stores, and you can even find Asher taps at bars and restaurants throughout Colorado.
Photos courtesy of Asher Brewing Company.