My first destination -- straight from the airport -- was Avery Brewing. I'm a fairly new drinker of Avery beers (although I'm not really sure why). Some of their over the top beers are, well, too over the top in my opinion but I've really gained a new appreciation for their beers. In the tap room I sampled Freckles Saison, Eighteen and Eremita II. All great beers. Unfortunately I don't remember much about Freckles; I seem to believe it had some sort of interesting fruit or spice addition. Eighteen is a dry hopped rye saison. Very good. The dry hopping was subtle and worked really well with the spiciness from the rye. Eremita II is a sour beer that is only available in the tap room, which is incredibly disappointing (unless you live near Avery). It's tart but pristine; there's no off flavors. It reminded me of a lambic but without the cherry undertones that usually develop in lambic. I don't know if they soured without the assistance of brett or if the brett was just subdued. A nice tart beer, for sure, especially for a brewery that only dabbles in sours.
Avery's tap room releases new beers almost every Friday so it's a great place to visit. The tour is a less impressive. Avery's current location (they are moving soon) is the original location in a business/industrial complex and as the brewery has grown they have leased out the next warehouse so the brewery is sort of slapped together rather than a sleek operation. To get from different parts of the brewhouse you have to go outside. The brewhouse is definitely messier than I expected but the operation has a nice atmosphere where you can tell everybody gets their hands dirty making a great beer. If you looked at the operation and had no idea otherwise, you would never expect that the brewery pumps out so much beer and so much high quality beer at that. The tour was not particularly different from any other tour you might go on but you get a sense that the people working there really care about the quality of the beer.