The cross-pollination / melding / bastardisation / whatever-you-like-to-call-it of beer styles shows little sign of abating. And if anything is likely to encourage brewers to indulge in a spot of jiggery-pokery in the brewery, it's the annual Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular in Melbourne with its requirement for more than 100 never-before-released beers. And thus it is that this year's GABS led McLaren Vale to conjure up a "very limited edition" white coffee stout. It's the sixth beer in its VALE/EXP line and a handful of kegs have made it out across Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne since the festival drew to a close. It's described as a combination of "sweet malts, coffee notes and creamy mouthfeel" that "offer hints of mocha milkshake". Head brewer Jeff Wright is a self-confessed coffee connoisseur who found inspiration while drinking a coffee martini.
'Firstly, I wanted to trick people's tastebuds with a beer that has the flavours of a stout but is white in colour,â? he says. 'We used wheat and ale malts in the mash and added freshly roasted Ethiopian Nikesse coffee beans from popular Adelaide roaster Bar 9. Then we used nitrogen during keg filling gives the palette a smooth, round finish."