Home brewer Warren Everton got a chance at the big time last week when Bad Tattoo turned over their equipment to him so he could brew up a big batch of his award-winning Breakfast Stout.
In this case, that’s 1,500 litres instead of his usual 20 litres. Everton, and his stout, took first prize at the second annual CAMRA South Okanagan Home Brewing Competition last September.
“That was a great day working with those guys, they’re very open-minded and very inviting,” said Everton. “Essentially showed me the ropes and let me do all the work. It was a good seven-hour day.”
Some of the work was “pretty laborious” as he also had to clean the equipment as the process finished, like shovelling out 900 hundred pounds of grains from the mash.
“That’s a lot of wet grain to get out of there, to rake out of there,” said Everton. “There is a lot to learn, but it makes me want to do it again, but I want to get it down and understand the big system.”
Breakfast Stout is a reference to the oatmeal, coffee and chocolate that go into its making.
“It’s a hearty beer,” said Everton. “As it warms, the coffee comes through first and then the chocolate starts to build. Late on the palate, it’s the hops that come through.
“It’s fairly complex, but it’s balanced. The coffee doesn’t come through harsh.”
Despite the name, Breakfast Stout isn’t intended to replace your morning meal.
“That’s just the name of it, it’s kind of a quirky fun name,” said Everton. “I suppose you could (have it for breakfast), but you wouldn’t be going to work after that.”
The beer was kicked off Friday evening with a party at Bad Tattoo, where the beer will mostly be available. About a third of the 1,500-litre batch was bottled, and the rest was kegged — one of which was tapped for the party.
“Some of those kegs have gone out to other restaurants and a few of the bottles have gone out to private liquor stores,” said Everton. “So it’s out there a little bit. It will probably be around a good six weeks, maybe two months.”