GABS edition: 5 Minutes with Ryan from Bootleg Brewery

Q&A with Bootleg Brewery’s Ryan Nilsson-Linne about their GABS festival beer – Chai Milk Stout

The Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS, is on again as part of the annual amazingness that is Good Beer Week, a nine day festival throughout Melbourne, all kicking off later this month.

Good Beer Week: 16-24th May

GABS: Imagine a really beautiful building and inside are all your favourite Australian breweries, even a handful of international brewing superstars too, with their beers ready for you to taste and have a chat. Upstairs there’s a variety of beer seminars with people who really know their stuff. There’s plenty of food and live music and on top of all this there are over 100 unique beers, GABS festival beers, which have been brewed especially for the event and all are on their debut outing because that’s one qualification to be a GABS festival beer.

My blog has been pretty free of Good Beer Week activity this year and I can only put this down to an act of self preservation as I am not going to GBW this year. Every time GBW is mentioned I get a pang of beer envy but, nevertheless, I cannot ignore the thirst-inducing creative GABS beers that our fab WA brewers have put together for this years festival so I am hoping to bring you a few Q&A’s with the brewers over the next week or two.

The first Q&A was with Craig, brewer at The Monk in Fremantle, about his GABS beer called Oakey Dokey. You can read it here.

Next up we have Ryan Nilsson-Linne, brewer at Margaret River’s Bootleg Brewery.

Ryan at the 2014 South West Craft Beer Festival

GABS Festival Beer: Chai Milk Sout

The Official GABS Guide says … “Milk Stouts contain lactose, a sugar derived from milk which adds sweetness, body and calories to the finished beer. In the past, Milk Stout was claimed to be nutritious and given to nursing mothers along with other Stouts, such as Guinness. Try this one infused with chai.”

What is so exciting about GABS?

For me GABS is so good because it allows brewers to explore their creative side and make things that they otherwise may not have done.  It opens your eyes to what can be done, how to do it and to the fact that no matter how weird and wonderful the product is someone is going to give it a crack.

Tell us about the Chai Milk Stout and what was the inspiration for it?

Last winter, in a failed attempt to give up caffeine me and Kelley [Kelley is Ryan’s wife] turned to drinking Chai Lattes on the weekend.  I hadn’t really drank a lot of Chai before and enjoyed the different flavour combinations you would get from different venues and really wanted to make a Chai mix for myself. In the general talking of what would be next with GABS I had an inkling that Chai and dark ale would make a good combo and put a teabag into a pint of Raging Bull. It was pretty tasty but not quite right and I thought a sweet stout would be a better combo.

I have had an  itching to make a Milk Stout for a while as I love the creaminess and sweetness of them and thought what better way than making a Chai Latte beer.

Where did you source the chai and how was it used in the brewing process?

The Chai was made by me and our kitchen staff after I did a few trials on different spice combinations at home, I settled on cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ground ginger and cardamom seeds.

It was added after ferment in small batches until I felt the flavour combination was right.

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

The hardest part was trying to settle on a Chai combination that I felt would work within a beer without completely overpowering it and then figuring out how much I needed to use to get the flavour I wanted.

Who’s beer are you most keen to try this year, and why?

With a hint of jealousy not being able to go this year I have so far refused to read the full list but I love the sound of the Nail Brewing GABS beer – a chilli and coconut imperial stout [Flaming Lamington], how could you say no to that?

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