It seems like only a few months ago that we released our first version of milk stout. But, we pulled out the records and, lo and behold, it was just about exactly one year ago. So, without further ado – here it is, back again.
To provide some background info, we return to the post we made last time – starting with the fact that there is no milk in a milk stout, although that was not always the case. A couple of hundred years ago, milk was routinely added to the lunchtime beer enjoyed by many labourers as a fortifier. After a time, brewers began to experiment with adding milk to fermentations. These milk stouts were touted as ‘restorative beverages’.
Well, never let the government miss an opportunity to put the words ‘beer’ and ‘ban’ into the same sentence. In 1946, the British government banned the use of the term ‘milk stout’ in an effort to stem such innuendo that there might actually be a health benefit. The thing was, by the time the government acted, brewers were no longer using milk, but instead were using lactose, or milk sugar.
Lactose is one of those sugars that is not fermentable by brewer’s yeast. Stouts produced with lactose are therefore a bit sweeter and creamier.
Our Over The Moon milk stout uses a combination of black malt, chocolate malt, and roasted barley for that distinctive stout flavour, plus oats for body. However, the addition of lactose sugar sweetens it up and rounds it off, resulting in a rich and creamy treat, full of mouthfeel. We are looking for that perfect balance between the slight bitterness that roasted barley can bring (think bitter chocolate) and the sweetness from the unfermentable lactose. Give it a try, let us know if we struck that balance, or not. Feedback is always welcome. And, just to enhance the feedback opportunities, this year we brought Over the Moon out in bombers as well as growlers. That way, if you are not in the neighbourhood of your favourite Yukon brewery (like, say, you are in Alberta…) you can still find it.