Jul 16, 2015

Avery Brewing Tectum et Elix

Yesterday, I reviewed the first of four barrel-aged wild/sour ales from Avery Brewing that I had purchased back in May of this year. Raspberry Sour was a tasty beer and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but it doesn’t quite stack up to the depth of flavor of the remaining three, starting with Tectum et Elix.

The name of this beer pays tribute to the company’s expanded brewery, translating from the Latin to “the roof and boiled.” Essentially, they are thankful for the roof over their heads and the brewery equipment at their disposal. And as one of the premiere producers of American wild and sour ales, I too am thankful for their current situation — especially after drinking a beer like Tectum et Elix.

This 5.5% ABV beer doesn’t just use their house strain of wild yeast, but instead employs multiple Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces strains. The beer is then housed in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for a period of time. The result is a funky, tart brew with plenty of depth and old vinous notes that do more than just compliment the base flavors.


Tectum et Elix pours a brilliant amber in color with a quickly falling head that disappeared before I could take the photos associated with this review.

Avery Brewing Tectum et Elix photo


Vinous notes, light wood, decent nose tingling tartness and soft fruits combine for a wonderful aroma.


Besides the immediate impact of all those wild yeasts, the first thing you notice is how delicate and refined a beer Tectum et Elix is. Old vine grapes, wood, apricot, a moderate sweetness and a solid sour tartness wash briskly over the palate. A sharp, effervescent mouthfeel accentuates the tart bite before fading slowly to a lingering tingle.


I love the latent winey character that arrives with this beer — it compliments the tartness wonderfully. The beer for all it’s depth and complexity is surprisingly refined and clean. If you can find a bottle available, and enjoy a sour funky ale, I highly recommend picking one (or three) up.

Rating: 4.25/5

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