MEET THE BREWER: NITRO BEER EXPLAINED + CHOCOLATE FLAVOURED BEER

We’re all about innovation at The Endeavour Tap Rooms, and our brewers love to test out contrasting concoctions to entice all types of taste palettes. 

We sat down with our Head Brewer John Bogan (JB) to find out about the nitro beer craze, and his inspiration behind the new chocolate flavoured brew we have available at The Rocks.

So JB, what is nitro beer? 

Nitro beer is basically any beer that is carbonated with nitrogen rather than just carbon dioxide, which most other beers are carbonated with. Not only are the beers carbonated with nitrogen, but they are also pushed out of the keg with nitrogen.

That sounds pretty straight forward. What does it taste like and why is it better/different than regular beer? 

I find nitrogenated beers can have a very slight metallic character to them as opposed to beer carbonated with CO2. But really, the main reason to use nitrogen is to give the beer a more creamy texture. The nitrogen helps with foam stabilisation in the beer over CO2. Foam stabilisation is important because the foam on a beer holds the flavour, creates texture, and releases aromatic scents whilst drinking. Using nitrogen is especially good for beers that tend to be malt forward, rather that hoppy beers, which are better with CO2. It depends on the preference of the drinker, however, nitro beer is trending at the moment and is a very popular pour at Tap Rooms! 

Can you explain the process of serving nitro beer? 

It can take a bit longer to serve a nitro beer, as the beer tends to need to settle over a number of pours. As the nitrogen bubble is smaller than with CO2, it takes longer for the nitrogen to come out of solution when it is being poured. Therefore, a special ‘sparkler’ tap attachment helps force the nitrogen out of solution to create the head (or foam) on the beer. It will, however, take a few pours to fill the glass to allow the head to settle, as the nitrogen slowly releases from the beer after each pour.

OK, now that we’re hooked on nitro beer, chat us through your inspiration for your new chocolate flavoured brew? 

I love dessert beers! Beers with notes of chocolate and caramel are probably my favourite. With the Smooth Festival of Chocolate coming to The Rocks on Sat 13 + Sun 14 August, I saw it as a great opportunity to unleash my inner sweet tooth! I did not just want it to be sweet milky chocolate though, I wanted this brew to be for the real dark chocolate lovers. Using cacao has given the beer a richer, bitter flavour enhanced with the use of chocolate and roasted malts. To keep some balance in the beer, I also added lactose (milk sugar) to give a touch of sweetness that adds to the creamy character that the nitrogen brings to the beer. I really hope this beer will compliment the other chocolatey goodness those at the festival are tasting!

What ingredients did you use to brew chocolate beer? 

Malt: Pale, crystal, chocolate, and roasted
Hops: Helga
Yeast: S-04
Other: Cacao, lactose.

John Bogan (JB) joined the team at Endeavour Vintage Beer Co. as Head Brewer in early 2017. JB brings a wealth of experience from stints at Mountain Goat, Riverside, Malt Shovel and 4 Pines breweries after changing careers from construction management in 2010.

You’ll find JB onsite at The Endeavour Tap Rooms most days brewing and engaging with visitors, proudly showcasing Endeavour’s dedicated approach to using the best Australian harvested ingredients each and every year.

Join us at The Endeavour Tap Rooms and meet JB, and try our delicious brews! 

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