He certainly brewed it. But it was the tender loving care from his mum and dad that helped John Stallwood claim another honour in his illustrious brewing career today.
Stallwood’s Nail Brewing collected a silver medal in the Australian or International Pale Ale category at the prestigious World Beer Cup in Nashville today for his VPA (6.5%).
It was a great honour considering Nail had to send the carton of beer halfway across the world to be judged in a competition that attracts 8234 beers from 2515 breweries.
To ensure the VPA was in the best possible condition, Stallwood enlisted his parents Peter and Jean to chaperone the beer to the collection depot in Sydney.
Stallwood packaged the brew in the morning and put it on the plane with his mum and dad, who then watched the carton being loaded on to the shipping container bound for the US later in the day.
“It was expensive, but it was the best way to get it to Nomad Brewery - where the beer was picked up - in the best shape,” Stallwood said. “I guess it was now worth the effort.”
Nail first released VPA in 2015 as a short-term offering. But Stallwood brought it back in 2016 when he saw similar beers gaining traction amongst craft beer drinkers.
Later in the year Nail put the beer into cans – and it took off.
“Nail Ale was developed for the market, while VPA was a specialty to test a hop (El Dorado). It did well in kegs and then we had a break.
“Then Little Dove was doing well in the market and won big awards (AIBA Champion Beer) in 2016. I saw VPA as a good competitor. A hoppy high-alcohol beer. I gave it another shot and it did really well with drinkers.
“So we added it to the core range and it became our biggest seller. It was a bit of a creeper.”
Stallwood wanted to attend the World Beer Cup but work commitments thwarted the trip and to ease the pain he made a spontaneous trip to Bali to get the disappointment out of his system.
He returned to Perth in the early hours of this morning but must have had a feeling something good was imminent and turned on the event’s live stream service at 8.30am.
“When I tuned in they were up to No.48 and I checked to see what category VPA was in and discovered it was No.51,” Stallwood. “So, I got on just in time to see and hear our name called out live.
Nail recently celebrated its 18th birthday and over the journey the Bassendean-based operation has won several AIBA and Perth Royal Beer Show awards.
The gold medal in the World Beer Cup Australian or International Pale Alecategory was won by Breakside Brewery and Taproom from Portland with its Lunch Break ISA.
There were other top results for Australian breweries with Malt Shovel’s James Squire Jack of Spades Porter winning the gold medal in the Brown Porter category.
And Canberra’s Bentspoke claimed a bronze medal in the Double Red Ale for its Red Nut.