Long-time beer drinker Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
Most craft breweries are a labour of love.
To spend the long hours making sure their beer is at its optimum the beer makers require the support of loved ones.
So Nail Brewing’s John Stallwood wants to recognise the help from family and friends in his special Brewlog series of seasonal beverages.
He paid tribute to renowned WA university brew master Hugh Dunn with his recent brown ale.
And now it is his sister and her immediate family that get recognised with his delightful Rauchbier, Smokey Burns.
“I’m lucky that I have a good family. When you are down you need your family, and unfortunately like most people, I have had my downs and my family always helps,” said Stallwood during a recent visit by The Sip to his Bassendean, WA, operation.
“When the Bassendean warehouse started a bank overturned my conditionally approved loan and put me under huge stress. My sister Catherine and the Burns family loaned me some money as a gift and I haven’t paid them back yet.
“This is beer is for the Burns Family for helping me keep my dream alive and 100 per ent ownership.”
That explains the Burns element on the label. The other word in the beer’s title requires just a small sip to understand.
Not many brewers release a Rauchbier, which requires the malt to be dried over an open flame. Nail have used five malts, including a pale variety smoked over German beechwood.
This beer smells wonderful from the bottle as if the lid has been lifted off a kettle oven cooking a pork belly.
With the smokey flavour comes a sensational taste of bacon. There is a hint of chocolate early in the experience.
And the hops give Smokey Burns a nice mid-sip kick.
Nail are well known for their willingness to test their skills. Once again they have stretched themselves by trying something most brewers are reluctant to consider.
The result is another superb drop that any craft beer aficionado must taste.
The Sip Snip
Brewer: Nail Brewing, WA
Alcohol content: 6%
Standard drinks: 1.6
Bitterness: 28 IBU
Bottles: 330ml bottles
Estimated calories: 125
The Sip Tip (rating): Worthy of a special occasion.
Average prices: $5 (bottle).