Strawberries are something that Aussies remember fondly from their childhood, the ubiquitous summertime fruit, a staple in the fridge over the holidays and a regular on the Christmas pavlova. But when it comes to quintessential childhood memory of strawberry, nothing beats a Strawberry Milkshake. After enjoying brewing and drinking our Vanilla Malt Thickshake last winter we decided that our upcoming Third Birthday Celebration was the perfect time to debut a new, summery variation of the milkshake style. Introducing the Strawberry Milkshake IPA...
The challenge of creating a beer with the taste and texture of milk starts right from the mashtun. A huge dose of rolled oats in the mash is the first big difference as we tried to build a smooth, silky mouthfeel into the beer. The mashtun was also the first point that we added strawberry to the brew, 80 kg of freshly picked and sliced South Aussie strawberries which imparted a jam like sweetness into the wort.
Once in the kettle we added apple puree, lactose, dextrin and wheat flour. The idea behind these unusual additions to the beer is to add unfermentable sugars and proteins into the wort all of which contribute a fullness on the palate in the final beer. Into the whirlpool we added 80 kg of freshly pureed strawberry along with a 30 kg of Hüll Melon, a German bred derivative of Cascade hops who’s flavour descriptors include fresh cut strawberry and honeydew melon.
The beer fermented away for a week or so with a sneaky late ferment dry hop of Hüll Melon for good measure. Then came the next dose of fruit: another 80 kg of freshly pureed strawberries which kicked of a secondary ferment. After this was done we added another dry hop of Hüll Melon and the beer was chilled, gently filtered and nitrogenated for a smooth, creamy consistency.
The result is a beer which is as close to strawberry milkshake as a beer can be. Due to the nitro, a heap of residual sugars and a complex combination of proteins the beer pours with a rich, creamy head and a hazy, milky appearance. On the nose there is a gentle, sweet aroma brimming of Strawberry with a touch of honey thanks to the Hüll Melon. On the palate there is just enough hop character to remind you that you are indeed drinking a beer. But the real stars here are the strawberries; their characteristic flavour and slight tartness working perfectly with the sweet, full body of the beer. It really does remind you of shaking up a carton of strawberry milk back in the day and taking the first mouthful.
The Strawberry Milkshake IPA will be pouring for the first time on Sunday 4th of March as part of our Third Birthday Celebrations. The day is shaping up to be a cracker with a heap of fresh AF beers as well as a bunch of fun for the whole family, including SA inspired foods and local music. The party kicks off at midday!