Chai High offers a taste of fall

Brian Hayes

Fall is around the corner. Leaves are changing color, and there’s a chill in the night air. 

You know what that means? Pumpkin spiced everything. From pumpkin spiced coffee to even pumpkin spice in in your beers. 

Pumpkin beers are nothing new; they date back to the early 1800s in America. But they’ve seen a recent resurgence in craft beer. 

Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, Colorado, wanted a new spice to attract beer drinkers during the autumn season, and the company looked to chai.

The brewery is known for its face-meltingly strong stouts and sour beers. The company brews a highly sought after coffee stout that clocks in at 17-percent alcohol-by-volume. 

Chai is a staple on any coffee house menu, but it always plays second fiddle to pumpkin spice when fall rolls around. Avery flipped the script. They’re not afraid to try something new. Pumpkin is king of fall flavors no more. Chai will be held high. 

Chai High is a seasonal release that will only be available during the fall season that is much milder than what Avery is known for, but just as flavorful. 

The 5.2-percent ale doesn’t really fit any popular category. It’s an ale with chai tea added. It most closely resembles a pumpkin beer; it’s cool weather’s cousin. 

Tasting

The 12-ounce resembles every other Avery beer branded with a red “A.” It pours a cola brown, with an off-white head. A low-to-medium carbonation keeps it fairly thin in your mouth and in the lacing down the side of the glass. 

The beer smelled strongly of chai — to be expected with a name like Chai High — faint hint of vanilla, ginger and even … pumpkin spice.

It tastes like unexpectedly like chai tea kicking me in the mouth in a good way. There is a menagerie of flavors in this beer: chai, vanilla, coriander, pumpkin spice and light traces of Belgian roasted malts. The taste of black tea hit the back of the tongue. As it warms, the vanilla and sweetness become more prominent. So many perfectly mingling flavors, but none of them outshine the chai. 

Despite all the flavor Chai High has, it a very friendly spiced beer. It’s just enough spice to warm you up on a chilly fall night.  

 4/5 stars