Canberra’s winter stouts

On 20 June, Zierholz Premium Beers, Fyshwick released an oat malt stout on tap at its Kembla Street Fyshwick outlet. Brewer Christoph Zierholz calls the new stout a German take on an old English-Irish beer style. These traditional styles use a proportion of unmalted oatmeal, added during the brewing process, to create a rich, creamy smoothness to the palate.

But as Zierholz brews to Germany’s purity laws (using only water, malted grain, yeast and hops), he used malted oats, not oatmeal, to create the same effect.

The oats – along with roasted, malted barley and English-grown Kent Goldings and Brambling Cross hops – produced a 4.8 per cent alcohol stout. Zierholz describes it as having rich, roasted coffee flavours and a smooth, rounded texture, courtesy of the oat malt. We’ll review it in Food and Wine next week.

Canberra’s other brewery, the Wig and Pen, will shortly release its gold medal winning The Judges Are Old Codgers Russian Imperial Stout. Brewer Richard Watkins says it’s been maturing in tank for nine months. This year’s version is down to 8.5 per cent alcohol, a significant drop on the ten per cent we’ve seen in recent years.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010