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?

GABS edition: 5 Minutes with Craig from The Monk

Q&A with The Monk’s head brewer, Craig Eulenstein, about his GABS Festival Beer – Oakey Dokey

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.

Follow Craig on Twitter

Follow The Monk on Twitter

The first Q&A is with Craig Eulenstein, brewer at Fremantle’s The Monk Craig at The Monk

Photo: Craig Eulenstein, courtesy of the man himself

GABS Festival Beer: Oakey Dokey The Official GABS Guide says … “An oak aged Belgian Double IPA (India Pale Ale) which is effectively an American style Double IPA fermented with Belgian yeast on oak chips”

What is so exciting about GABS?

GABS is a very unique festival. Not only does it showcase extremely limited releases from many different breweries from around Australia and the world, but it does so in a very unpretentious way. I often go with a few non-beer-industry friends and they always have a great time and are always blown away by the beers on show. Mix that with a mini bowling alley, live music, giant jenga and and who wouldn’t love it?!

Tell us about the Oakey Dokey and what was the inspiration before the brew?

My focus as a brewer is to produce approachable beers, beers that are full of flavour but are still sessionable and appealing to all kinds of folks. So when it comes time to brew up a GABS beer, I usually look to different yeast strains I haven’t used before, and different brewing techniques. This year was a Belgian yeast strain I hadn’t used before, with a different fermentation schedule than I have previously done. Higher ferment temps and move the brew in and our of “oaked” fermenters and storage tanks is something of a normal days work! But its great for experimenting, which is what GABS is all about …

Why did you throw in oak chips and where did you source them from?

The oak chips I used were an American oak variety sourced from a wine industry supplier from the Swan Valley wine region here in Western Australia. I opt for infusing the oak during fermentation to reduce the risk of oxidation and flavour spoiling bacteria.

What was the trickiest part of the brew?

The brew itself wasn’t overly difficult, the trickiest part was keeping an eye on the flavour profile whilst on oak and choosing the right time to remove the oak and what hop profile would match it best.

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

I never limit myself to the same breweries but I am always keeping an eye on beers from the smaller boutique guys, they usually have more time to come up with some crazy ideas. Looking over the GABS guide I noticed a number of sour beers on the list, this is a developing market worth keeping an eye on.

Weekend Reading #34

Mostly Australian articles this week including a blogger interview, a trade mark dispute and big barrel room news for a Melbourne brewery

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene, local beer news and anything else that tickles my beery fancy. There is a lot of excellent reading material out there so every week I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

Crafty Pint | Barrel Boys

I think it is safe to say that when this news was released there would have been mass pants wetting across the country. Melbourne’s Boatrocker Brewery are set to open their own dedicated barrel room and bar with help from their new minority shareholders ‘Made by HAND’, ex-Little Creatures folk. Read on for all the details and try not to lose your mind with excitement!

Thrillist | 6 Dirty Lies Men Spread about Women and Beer

Click bait title, I know but the words are worth the click. Most articles that try to look at why women don’t drink beer, a preposition I am not even going to get started on, take the path of saying women like sweet flavours so you end up with this suggestion list of super sweet beers only. Anyway, check out these six and I think you’ll agree. I particularly like Lie #5.

Beer is Your Friend | Meet the Beer Media – 250 Beers

Part of a series by fellow Australian beer blogger Glen aka Beer is Your Friend, he interviews various beer media folk. This edition is with Darren Magin from 250 Beers, a beer blog from QLD.

Australian Brews News | Trade M ark Stoush Looms Over ‘Pacific Ale’

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. As the article opens with, we have seen this happen a number of times in the United States (there’s a great link in the article if you want to read more about this) and also given Thunder Road’s previous attempts at trade mark disputes with CUB last year. Let’s see what happens I guess.

Brews in the Beer Garden (+ long table lunch) at The Blvd

I was invited to a long lunch that was held during the Brews in the Beer Garden event at The Boulevard Hotel on Saturday 18 April. Yes, I know I am a little delayed in writing this up but trust me, weeks on and the memory of top beers and beautiful food is still pretty fresh in my head!

Brews in the Beer Garden has now become a bit of a regular event at The Boulevard in Floreat where brewers and reps take over a section of the pubs beer garden to provide samples of their beers and shoot the breeze with anyone who cares to listen.

Brews in the Beer Garden

A sunny April Saturday was perfect beer garden weather

Eagle Bay Brewing, Colonial Brewing, Young Henry’s, Custard Cider and Little Creatures were joined by Batlow Cider, Camden Town Brewery (UK) and new South Australian brewery Pirate Life Brewing.

Eagle Bay showed off their Kolsch alongside their current seasonal Black IPA and Colonial flashed their cans around, namely their Draught Kolsch and Small Ale. Pirate Life, in the midst of their West Australian blitz, continued their launch to showcase their beers – Throwback IPA (a session beer), Pale Ale and IIPA.

It is the third Brews in the Beer Garden outing since first launching in August last year but this time around a long table lunch was added for those a little more serious about their love of beer and food. The lunch consisted of a shared entrée, pasta, meat and cheese with each course being served with two beers. If they host this lunch again, and I hope they do, I would strongly suggest you secure your seat early and plan not to drive as the servings of beer are generous and only out done by the servings of food.

Table Setting for Brews in the Beer Garden

 Roast Courgette, Red Pepper and Pecorino AranciniShared Entrée – Roast Courgette, Red Pepper & Pecorino Arancini

Brews in the Beer Garden

First two beers served with the shared entrées – Camden Town Hells & Young Henry’s Natural Lager

Pasta - Brews in the Beer GardenHomemade Lamb Shoulder Tortellini, Garden Peas, Basil & Parmesan

Served with Colonial Small Ale & Eagle Bay Pale Ale

wpid-img_20150418_143829.jpgRoast Porchetta & Seasonal Greens

Served with Custard Vintage Dry Cider & Batlow Cloudy Cider

wpid-img_20150418_150747.jpg

Beersine Pale Ale Cheese served with Pirate Life IIPA & Little Creatures IPA