GABS Edition: 5 minutes with John from Nail Brewing

Q&A with John Stallwood of Nail Brewing about their GABS beer – Flaming Lamington

Melbourne’s Good Beer Week is well and truly underway with another four days to go and one of the biggest events of the week kicks off tomorrow – the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular, aka GABS.

GABS: Imagine a really beautiful building and inside are all your favourite Australian breweries, plus a handful of international brewing superstars, with their beers ready for you to taste and brewers keen to have a chat. There’s a variety of beer seminars with people who really know their stuff, plenty of food and live music and on top of all this there’s 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. Oh and it’s three marvellous days of this!

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 at 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.

Over the past week or so I have been posting Q&As with various WA brewers talking all about their GABS beers.


Here is the last Q&A before GABS kicks off tomorrow with head brewer and owner of Nail Brewing, John Stallwood about their GABS beer – Flaming Lamington.

GABS Festival Beer: Flaming Lamington | 5% ABV | Sweet Stout

The Official GABS Guide says: “A moderately bitter chocolate Stout blended with coffee, coconut and finished with chilli to add some fire to the brew.”

What is so exciting about GABS?

Seeing lots of people enjoying craft beer is a great sight. The industry has gone a long way and getting better by the day. I still have scarring memories of people back in the early 2000’s that would say things about Nail like – “this is beer?” and “you make money from selling this?”  It’s such a great site seeing people want to try as many way out beers as they can. It’s always a great atmosphere with lots of drinking but no thugs causing trouble. The organisers do a great job and it gets better each year.

Last year Nail had Copper Hopper which ended up being revved up to become Nail Red and part of the core range. I don’t think Flaming Lamington will …

Tell us about the Flaming Lamington and what was the inspiration for it?

About 4 years ago I did some chilli and stout testing where I would put full chillies in bottles. Hugh [Hugh Dunn, ECU brewing and lecturer] said back then it was the best chilli beer he has ever had, not hot but spicing with a slight after taste. That was what I was hunting for this time. Adding the coconut and cocoa was a test of something I haven’t brewed before. Dan [Dan Turley, assistant Nail brewer] brewed a perfect base chocolate like porter and I just finished it off.

How was the coffee added and what sort of chilli did you use?

We used about 4kg of coconut, 2kg of cocoa and 6 kilos of chilli (jalepeno and birds eye)

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

The trickiest part of this brew will be when we brew a 5000 litre batch at Bassendean in June, which will be the Nail Brew Log Collection #7 Flaming Lamington.

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

Sorry, too hard a question.

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