“Jay took a draw off his pint. ‘Wow, that is the best pint of GPS I’ve ever had.’ He took another long quaff.” — Home Sweet Road
Ah, Galway Pradesh Stout. There’s nothing quite like the ol’ GPS, the #1 beer of the Rucksack Universe. But there are a few other stouts that may be considered cousins, and I knew that I had to be able to homebrew this iconic beer, and make it so others could brew it too.
To my mind, GPS holds its own with Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish Irish stouts. It has the renown of Guinness, the roast of Murphy’s and the smoothness of Beamish. A touch of tanginess keeps things interesting. Plus, GPS is sessionable, a beer lower in alcohol so it’s easy to essentially drink the better part of a keg in an evening.
You know, as you do. (Well, at least if you do if you’re Faddah Rucksack.)
Because GPS not only figures in to my Rucksack Universe stories but is practically a character all its own, it was really important to me as an author and a homebrewer to come up with a homebrew version of the #1 beer of the Rucksack Universe.
Back in fall 2013, I took my first crack at homebrewing GPS
GPS Mk I/Version 1.0 is based loosely on Charlie Papazian’s Toad Spit Stout, from his The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition, with a few tweaks to make it more all my own.
The results so far?
We debuted GPS over Thanksgiving dinner at the end of November 2013, and so far it has been getting lots of compliments on its rich flavor, smoothness and roasted notes. I’m trying to decide if there has been enough tang or not, but so far I’ve been really pleased with this first attempt.
Now, I’m a steep-and-extract homebrewer, which means I use a combo of steeping grains along with off-the-shelf pre-made malt extracts to brew my beers. I want to see about not only improving the steep-and-extract version, but will also formulate an “all-grain” version for more advanced homebrewers.
But that’s what version 2.0 will be all about.