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Craft Beer Spotlight: Avery's Maharaja & Rumpkin

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It's the last week of March, which means it's the last week to head to Avery Brewing Company in Boulder and get a taste of their Maharaja IPA -- a craft beer they brew only twice annually and won't brew again until June 1.

Using a variety of Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Chinook hops as well as three kinds of malts -- two-row barley, caramel and victory -- the Maharaja is one of the most delicious and strong (10.24 percent alcohol by volume) Imperial India Pale Ales. And it's bold and regal as its namesake. With an intensely fruity aroma and absolutely mouthwatering tang, it's perfect for these warm spring days as we approach summer.

It may be difficult to find the popular 22-ounce bombers at your favorite liquor store, so head to the Avery Tap Room in the brewery and get one of the last pints from their Maharaja keg. If you hurry and make it to the tap room on Friday, March 25, you can also try their specialty tapping of what has to be the last keg of Rumpkin until 2012.

Rumpkin is brewed only in the fall by Avery, usually around October. It's an Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin puree and a blend of five tasty spices. It's then aged in (still rum-soaked) rum barrels for six months, resulting in an Imperial ale that has both a fruity aroma and a sweet rum bite (and a 13.2 percent alcohol by volume). And it pairs perfectly with a bar of dark chocolate.

Avery Tap Room
5763 Arapahoe Ave., Unit E, Boulder; 303-440-4324
Maharaja pints: available daily, noon - 10pm until gone
Rumpkin Tapping: Fri., March 25, 5pm - 10pm