A visit to a brewery can range anywhere from magnificent to abysmal with most falling somewhere in between. The average skews closer to the positive but it helps when brewers sow the seeds of enthusiasm ahead of time.
When Jeffrey and Susan Green decided to open their own brewery, they seeded the field and called it the Very Nice Brewing Co. There’s a little bit of humility in using the word “nice” instead of “good” and a little bit of boldness by tossing in “very,” but the two play well together. The sign on the door says, “Very Nice Brewing,” and very nice brews are what you get.
Very Nice is on the smaller side. Green uses a three-and-a-half barrel brewing system to craft his beers, each of which has a distinct homebrew approach. There is personality in each glass and in the names of the beers. Take Steffie’s Hefe (4.5 percent alcohol by volume) for example, a traditional hefeweizen made with pilsner and wheat malts for easy drinking, galena hops to give the beer enough bitterness to quench your thirst on a hot day and Bavarian yeast to give the beer a hint of banana and clove. As Green’s Bavarian friend, Steffie, proclaims: “Es ist sehr nett” (“It is very nice”).
The pleasantries continue with the Very Nice Pale Ale (5.7 percent), a beer that is both floral and citrusy thanks to galena and cascade hops. As one might expect, the Pale Ale is higher up on the bitter scale than the Hefe but not as much as the Royal We IPA (7.2 percent), which not only has the bitterness of cascade hops but a funky, dank flavor from summit hops that Green uses to dry-hop the brew.
For those looking for more bitterness, The Logical Fallacy (7 percent) is a hoppy stout that is simply delicious. The hops — summit and northern brewer — are generous and leap right out of the glass and into the nose, but are tamped down in the mouth thanks to the dark malt. And with just enough smokiness, The Logical Fallacy carries the drinker straight down to the bottom and into another pint. It’s one of those beers that throws you off at first but quickly wraps you up and won’t let go.
If hoppy stouts aren’t your thing, then Very Nice’s seasonal Summertime Ale (6.8 percent), is sure to please. Easily one of Very Nice’s best, Summertime Ale is light and floral with refreshing fuggles and cascade hops that provide the backbone to all the mountain aromas and flavors that Green tosses in: rose bud, lemon balm and pineapple weed. It’s like herbal tea and pale ale had a baby and named it “Summer.”
And if Summertime Ale isn’t refreshing enough, try the Sin-Ger, half Steffie’s Hefe and half ginger ale; a “Very Nice” way to cool your heels during the dog days of summer.
Very Nice Brewing Co., 20 Lakewood Drive, Suite 112, Nederland, 303-258-3770, verynicebrewing.com