My first trip to the Great American Beer Festival was back in 2002 as a representative of Martha's Exchange Restaurant & Brewing Company of Nashua, New Hampshire. My friend and former co-worker Greg Ouellette was celebrating his first year as brewer at Martha's with a trip to the mile high beer festival. Greg's most popular beer at the festival was by far his Velvet Elvis, a vanilla bean stout. Its a seasonal favorite for stout lovers at Martha's ever since. Now almost a decade later I found myself taking a shot at such a beer here at Franklin's.
In order to handle the vanilla bean flavor without it overpowering the beer the grist bill was loaded up with Maris Otter pale malt, crystal malts, oats, and the trio combination of chocolate malt, black patent malt and roasted barley. To insure there would be a nice residual sweetness in this beer lactose sugar was added to the boil. For a mellow bittering hop addition we stuck with English Fuggles and fermented with our house English yeast strain. This stout finished out with a rich malt body, creamy mouth feel, with notes chocolate and roasted goodness.
After fermentation was finished Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans were split,cut and steeped in the beer. After a couple weeks the combination of the stout with the beans produced a very pleasing combination of aromatic vanilla and chocolate decadence. We've tapped this on our nitro line for a rich,creamy indulgent dessert in a glass. Enjoy!