On Friday, May 20, the Oreo Speedwagon imperial milk stout made its debut at Liberty Brewery & Grill. Reaching a huge 8.5 percent abv. and Nitro carbonated for a creamy mouthfeel, it’s loaded up with lactose, a milk sugar that gives this stout that sweet milky flavor. Along with the milk sugar, it’s got amazing aromas and flavors of vanilla, chocolate, and 25 pounds of Oreo cookies that were added to the mash - that’s over 1,000 Oreos.
This very special brew is the result of the first-ever collaboration between the first two brewing entities in Myrtle Beach. It’s an incredible milestone for our area, and knowing the drive and passion for brewing of guys behind it all, it certainly wont be around long, so keep on loving it while it lasts!
For over a year, Mike Silvernale, head brewer at Liberty, and Jilly Garner, head brewer at New South Brewing had been tossing around the idea of doing a collaboration brew, and a few weeks ago, they just couldn’t fight that feeling anymore.
“It was a long period of brewer spitballing. We could have ended up with something or nothing,” Silvernale says. “We finally said let’s do this thing, and it just so happened that we had an opening during American Craft Beer Week and it was the perfect time to do something special.”
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Flash back to the planning phase two months ago, and Mike and Jilly already had a pretty clear direction on what, where and how this brew should go down. Both fathers of young children, It turns out that Oreo cookies are a staple in both households because the kids (fathers included) just love them.
Mike said “I knew I wanted a big beefy milk stout. We started asking ourself ‘Well what goes with milk?’ and it was right in front of us at home, it’s cookies!” And the name Oreo Speedwagon, Mike remembers the moment the idea jumped in his head.
He jokes “It came to me in a dream after lots and lots of milk and cookies. Really it was 7:15 in the morning and I had just mashed in for one of our beers and it just hit me. I sent Jilly a text immediately.”
The beer was brewed on April 29th at Liberty Brewing with both brewers providing their pieces to the brew puzzle. The vanilla, went in just a few days prior to the release date, with an enormous amount of meticulous planning and calculating. “We got together the other day and sat there with the finished flat beer and little pipettes of vanilla trying get the taste to exactly what we wanted it to be. We were measuring down to the 1/16 of the pipette. It’s amazing how concentrated vanilla is.” Jilly said. With the vanilla added, Mike began the slow process of carbonating the beer with nitrogen instead the usual carbon dioxide, the difference being that nitrogen produces a creamy and smooth carbonation and carbon dioxide creates the prickly bubbles that we are all used to. The process takes around two days, so when Friday rolled around, Oreo Speedwagon was ready for its first taste.
“This really exceeded my expectations. It’s exactly what we wanted, it tastes exactly like what we were going for. It’s sweet, It’s balanced and drinkable. It’s high abv. so maybe it’s too drinkable” Jilly said as he took of sip of he and Mike’s creation.
“I think I have to coin the term ‘Imperial Bedtime Stout, Milk and Cookies,’ It’s the perfect combo. It’s the perfect bed time beer.” Mike added. “We hit every point we wanted to hit with this and it’s great. It’s something we are really proud of and are going to be doing this again for sure. I’ve already got notes on what I want to do next!”
They started with 310 gallons on tap at Liberty, which Mike thinks might last a month, but it’s already going fast. If you want to get a taste of the Oreo Speedwagon, stop by and visit Liberty and have a glass or get a growler and Take it on the Run!