Nail Brewing

Western Australia's reputation as the birthplace of craft beer in Australia is unquestioned. Equally, the quality of the state's breweries, in particular the all-conquering Feral and Little Creatures, is recognised by beer lovers far and wide. But in the state itself there are few who have done as much for the craft beer industry as John Stallwood, the man behind Nail Brewing.

He's been brewing beers - and winning copious awards and gold medals - under the Nail banner at various breweries since 2000, has helped other WA brewers with their businesses, was the driving force responsible for getting the WA Brewers Association up and running, created microbrewing.com.au - Australia's first online resource for craft brewers, and helped launch the Perth Royal Beer Show. If that wasn't enough, his story has a personal side that makes the fact he is still brewing - let alone expanding Nail across Australia and even into overseas markets - truly remarkable. In 2004, he was assaulted while trying to stop a fight between strangers outside a pub in Fremantle and so severely injured that his brain was shut down and he was placed into a coma. The brewery he had established at Bobby Dazzler's in Perth was sold to The Monk (then the Mad Monk), his parents had to keep Nail from bankruptcy and his skull required rebuilding with titanium.

Eight years later, having eased himself back into brewing at Jarrah Jacks and Edith Cowan University alongside his brewing mentor Hugh Dunn, he completed his comeback by entering into the BrewCorp business with Feral, run by his longstanding friend and sparring partner Brendan Varis. The two breweries combined to purchase one of the largest microbreweries in Australia - based around a 50 hectolitre brewhouse - and work began to establish Nail as a brewery recognised across Australia and not just in WA.

John's brewing story begins well before that, however: with a home brew kit purchased for a friend's 21st birthday in 1994. His friend soon discovered brewing wasn't for him so John inherited the kit. Two years later - fully four years before his first commercial beer was tapped - he registered the Nail Ale trademark. The first commercial Nail Ale was poured at Bobby Dazzler's on March 23, 2000, and since then, accompanied by slogans such as "Hammer down a Nail!", his beers have become much-loved WA staples.

John likes to refer to himself as a "pale ale and stout brewer" and has created a few variants on each. Tack Lite is his light version of Nail Ale and the epic Clout his Russian Imperial version of Nail Stout. It was first brewed to mark Nail's 10th anniversary and has gone on to become one of Australia's most highly-rated and sought after annual releases. In 2013, he added a "hoppy, golden summer ale" – Golden Nail to the permanent roster and has since brewed all manner of limited release beers and continued to expand the core range, with Nail Red becoming a runaway hit, with good reason, and VPA appearing in cans.

There have been occasional limited releases too, such as the Antarctic Nail Ale that was brewed with water collected from Antarctica and auctioned to raise money for Sea Shepherd. Bottle number one went on to fetch $1,850, making it the most expensive bottle of beer in the world at the time, and the iconic Clout Stout, a beer that should be on every discerning beer lover's bucket list. Alongside that, supported by family, John has continued to work tirelessly on issues facing the microbrewing industry both in WA and across Australia; once he even packaged his beers in cartons with one side dedicated to highlighting the excise issues facing small Aussie brewers.

As someone who's done so much for the beer industry in Australia, it's perhaps best that the last word is left to John himself – and a phrase he used to describe the relationship with his BrewCorp business partner.

"Brendan is a better brewer than me," he says. "But I brew better beers."

Name
Nail Brewing
Address

323 Collier Road
Bassendean
WA 6054

Phone
0413 87 2337
Website

Nail Brewing Regulars

Nail Brewing VPA

Tapped December 16th, 2016
Historically, Nail founder John Stallwood is a brewer who has favoured putting malt centre stage in his beers; look over his 15 plus years in operation and you'll find most of the many gold medals and trophies he's gathered going to the likes of his Oatmeal Stout, Clout Stout, Imperial Brown and Imperial Porter. That said, the beer that's been winning Nail most fans in recent times, the Red Ale that was intended as a one-off but is now found on tap at all discerning venues in his home state of WA, ··· Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
Strength
6.5%
Stockists

Flying Scotsman / Caboose

and many more outlets to follow

Nail Brew Log Collection #4 Red Ale

Tapped August 20th, 2014
Having become increasingly convinced that Nail's founder John Stallwood is Australia's maestro of malt on the back of staggeringly consistently high quality releases such as his Oatmeal Stout, Hughe Dunn Imperial Brown Ale, Imperial Red Ale, Imperial Porter and Clout Stout, we expected this Red Ale to be another exploration of just how much character and depth could be expressed in a beer via the mastery of beer's backbone ingredient. So imagine our surprise when the first thing to hit us as the ··· Read more
Style
Red Ale
Strength
6.0%
Bitterness
35 IBU

Nail Stout

The second beer to be added to the Nail range was clearly in no mood to be upstaged by its predecessor. No sooner was this oatmeal stout released than it started collecting its own swag of trophies at awards across Australia. Again very traditional in design, it takes inspiration from British stouts to create a multilayered malty treat full of chocolate, dark cocoa, roast and coffee flavours. The addition of rolled oats to the malt grist creates a fuller, softer mouthfeel too. ··· Read more
Style
Oatmeal Stout
Strength
6.0%

Nail Golden Nail

He may have told Crafty he's a "pale ale and stout brewer" but there are other tricks in the Nail arsenal. New in bottles in 2013 is the Golden Nail, a golden ale based on a beer brewed by John Luff at Degrees Brewery. It's a heavily late-hopped beer boasting lots of floral and citrus aromas that's designed for sessionability. ··· Read more
Style
Golden Ale
Strength
5.5%

Nail Ale

The beer that started it all, way back before Nail Brewing even existed, and has gone on to pick up medals and trophies galore ever since. Originally the name of his home brew and trademarked well before he took over the reins of his first commercial brewery at Bobby Dazzler's, Nail Ale is John Stallwood's impeccable take on the traditional Australian Pale Ale style. It's not like the more recent US-inspired pales, but instead a beer with soft floral hop aromas balanced by some malt sweetness, a ··· Read more
Style
Australian Pale Ale
Strength
4.7%

Nail Brewing Specials

Nail Brewing Hoppy Nut Brown Ale

Tapped May 23rd, 2017
They're cranking out the limited release, keg only beers at Nail Brewing right now. The latest to make its way steadily onto taps across the country from WA is the Hoppy Nut Brown Ale, a beer they've designed to ease beer drinkers into winter. Described as a "happy combination" of something dark and something for those who are stinging for hops, it's a 6.5 percent ABV brown ale hopped with one of the brewers' favourite hops, Citra. The result, we're told, is "an easy drinking brown ··· Read more
Style
American Brown Ale
Strength
6.5%
Stockists

And a growing number of good beer outlets across Australia

Nail Brewing Clayden Brew Imperial Porter 2017

Tapped April 11th, 2017
This imperial porter, named after one of Nail founder John Stallwood's sons, has quite the genesis story. For starters, it wasn't supposed to exist and only came about when John was brewing what was intended to be that year's vintage of his iconic Clout Stout. The first two brews didn't quite hit what he deemed to be the right level of Cloutishness so were instead blended together. And the result wasn't too bad. In fact, the Clayden Brew imperial porter was pretty damn good, picking up a swag of ··· Read more
Style
Imperial Porter
Strength
10%
Stockists

Caboose

Petition

East Coast venues coming soon...

More stockists...

Nail Brewing Cactus Kolsch

Tapped March 30th, 2017
When we think of Nail, it tends to be of a brewery that focuses, in the main, on creating pretty traditional and to style beers – and doing it bloody well, whether its the hoppy Golden, the trophy-laden Red Ale or the beast that is Clout Stout. Yet brewer John Stallwood isn't averse to the occasional detour from the straight and narrow. There's been the award-winning Flaming Lamington for one and, a while back, a short run of a beer brewed with cactus. And now the cactus beer is back in somewhat ··· Read more
Style
Cactus Kolsch
Strength
5.0%
Stockists

And other good beer venues in WA

East Coast stockists coming soon

More stockists...

Nail Brewing Chocolate Brown Ale

Tapped August 29th, 2016
Anyone who's paid even a passing attention to Nail Brewing over the past decade and more will know that founder and head brewer John Stallwood is rather adept at creating marvellous malt driven ales. The best known, his Clout Stout, is set to hit shelves in its limited edition form very soon, while it has a partner-in-crime for the end of winter 2016 too. The Chocolate Brown Ale joins a fine roster of darker Nail brews: Huhge Dunn imperial brown, a one-off Clayden Brew imperial porter, the trophy-winning ··· Read more
Style
Brown Ale
Strength
6.0%
Stockists

And select craft beer venues across Australia

Nail Brewing New Zealand Pale Ale

Tapped April 1st, 2016
Are you stinging for some Kiwi hops? Then Nail Brewing has just what you require. The WA brewer has snaffled one of the newest hop varieties developed by farmers across The Ditch. It's called Brooklyn (a choice that caught the eye of a brewer from a certain American brewery), was bred from Southern Cross and is described by NZ Hops as a "big hop". As with all new hops, brewers will be playing around to see how and where it works best. For Nail, they opted to use it to create a pale ale, ··· Read more
Style
NZ Pale Ale
Strength
5.8%
Stockists

The Mill on Constance

Flat Rock Brew Cafe

And select beer venues in WA, VIC, NSW & QLD

More stockists...

Nail Brewing Summer's Best

Tapped December 22nd, 2015
It's been a big year for WA's Nail. The brewery turned 15, stepped up its interstate distribution and underwent its first major rebrand. At the same time, medals and trophies kept coming, including those for fine new releases such as the Flaming Lamington chilli chocolate stout. The year is ending on a rather more straightforward note than a beer that looks to recreate one of Australia's favourite desserts (with added chillies), with the final keg only release a hoppy session ale called Summer's ··· Read more
Style
Summer Ale
Strength
4.2%
Stockists

International Beer Shop

And other good beer stockists in WA

East Coast venues to be added

More stockists...

Nail Brewing Brew Log #8: ESB

Tapped December 3rd, 2015
With its rebrand done and dusted, it's back to releasing new beers for the Nail Brewing crew. The penultimate new brew for 2015 from the WA brewery is an ESB and it's appearing on tap and in bottles as the eighth beer in the Brew Log series. A rather more traditional follow up to the hugely popular, quirky and trophy-winning Flaming Lamington, this one an Extra Special Bitter inspired by those you'd find in the UK. We're told it's refreshing and thirst quenching and comes with "strong fruity ··· Read more
Style
ESB
Strength
5.8%
Bitterness
55 IBU
Stockists

International Beer Shop

And other good beer stockists in WA

More stockists...

Nail Brewing Brown Claw IPA

Tapped October 21st, 2015
Happy accidents can be a fine thing. We may not have microwaves if a chocolate bar hadn't melted in the pocket of an engineer as he walked past a magnetron. Coca Cola originated from a medicine for headaches that was accidentally mixed with carbonated water. And would a whole subculture of art and music have come about if Albert Hoffman hadn't accidentally ingested an experimental compound while working in his lab only to find things getting decidedly odd as the day wore on? Certainly, if a batch ··· Read more
Style
Brown IPA
Strength
6.4%
Stockists

WA

Belgian Beer Cafe

Bob’s Bar

Lalla Rookh

Petition

PICA Bar

Northbridge Brewing Co

The Flying Scotsman

More stockists...

Nail Brewing Clout Stout 2015

Tapped September 25th, 2015
A couple of years back, we featured imperial stouts in one of our Blind Tastings. It goes without saying that it was an epic evening. The two top scoring beers were Courage's Imperial Russian Stout (the first ever imperial stout, no less) and Nail's Clout Stout. The lineup featured three vintages of Clout and it was the oldest that took second spot, in part because the age on it (it would have been released two years earlier) had brought out a softness, richness and creaminess that was still developing ··· Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
Strength
10.5%
Stockists

International Beer Shop

Brewski Bar

Woolly Mammoth

Flat Rock Brew Cafe

More stockists...

Nail Brewing VPA

Tapped September 11th, 2015
When we got word that Nail had a new, draught only beer coming out that went by the name VPA – and that the V stood for "very" – we assumed it meant it was a "very hoppy" pale ale. We checked with the team at the WA brewery and were told that it's just an abbreviation for "Very Pale Ale". "So it's very pale in colour then?" we asked. But, again, that wasn't quite it. It turns out it's because, at 6.5 percent ABV and with a heap of characterful hops in ··· Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
Strength
6.5%
Stockists

The Classroom, North Perth

Northbridge Brewing Co, Northbridge

Old Faithful Bar & BBQ, Perth CBD

The Print Hall, Perth CBD

The Balmoral, Victoria Park

International Beer Shop, Leederville

Who’s Your Mumma, Fremantle

Cellarbrations Superstore Hamilton Hill, Hamilton Hill

More stockists...

Nail Brewing Flaming Lamington

Tapped July 24th, 2015
UPDATE: This beer is back – draught only – for winter 2017, featuring 80kg of toasted coconut and 25kg of birds eye chillies loaded up in giant tea bags and placed into the fermenter. It will be an annual release and may return in bottles too from 2018. Original write up from 2015: Lamington beers have become quite a thing, it seems. Bacchus has brewed one, Quiet Deeds has one out as we write and there could well have been one entered when we took part in a past Beervana Media Brew competition. ··· Read more
Style
Chilli Coconut Chocolate Stout
Strength
5.3%
Bitterness
35 IBU
Stockists

The 2017 release hits taps across WA, SA, VIC, NSW & QLD

Nail Brewing Gareth Skywalker Golden IPA

Tapped May 19th, 2015
Throughout Good Beer Week 2015, WA stablemates Feral and Nail have been lining up some beer battles: taking over taps and challenging the crowds to decide who makes the better beers. Perhaps it's why Nail's John Stallwood has summoned the Force for his latest short run release, the Gareth Skywalker, named after Gareth Tarrant, the man who caught the attacker who put John into a coma in the incident that almost killed him last decade. The beer brewed in Gareth's honour is Nail's first IPA and also ··· Read more
Style
India Pale Ale
Strength
7.0%
Bitterness
50 IBU
Stockists

Across Australia at good beer venues

Nail Brewing Beazle Brew American Amber

Tapped October 15th, 2014
For a man who used to brew only a couple of beers all year round, Nail's John Stallwood is certainly keeping us busy with new releases these days. As well as the core range, he's been sending beers out under the Brew Log moniker every few weeks, has an ever-growing lineup of imperial beers and is starting to line up some, such as the Hughe Dunn Imperial Brown and this Beazle Brew as annual releases. The Beazle is another beer dedicated to someone in John's life, this time around Daniel Bell, a member ··· Read more
Style
American Amber
Strength
5.0%
Bitterness
39 IBU
Stockists

Nationwide at good bottleshops and bars

Nail Brewing Clout Stout 2014

Tapped October 10th, 2014
If anyone was in doubt about the standards Nail’s founder John Stallwood sets for his annual Clout Stout release, they need look no further than the circumstances surrounding this year’s beer. Last year, he brewed a couple of batches he intended to be Clout Stout but when the beer didn’t nudge past the 10 percent mark, he deemed it unworthy of the Clout mantle. Instead it became the Clayden Brew Imperial Porter – named after his son – and was still good enough to win beer lovers' hearts ··· Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
Strength
10.8%
Stockists

At quality craft beer stockists nationwide

Nail Brewing Imperial Porter: Clayden Brew

Tapped July 9th, 2014
With yet another major trophy clogging up the mantelpiece at the Stallwood residence, this time for the Hughe Dunn Imperial Brown Ale (which is set for an imminent re-release), there will be plenty on the lookout for anything bearing the Nail logo now that the beers are available more widely. Out and about now is an Imperial Porter, the third Brew Log release. Continuing the tradition of dedicating each Brew Log beer to someone important in brewer John Stallwood's life, this one is for his son Clayden, ··· Read more
Style
Imperial Porter
Strength
8.5%
Stockists

At good craft beer outlets

(NB: At time of posting, the handful of kegs may have gone)

Nail Brewing Rauchbier (Smokey Burns)

Tapped May 1st, 2014
The second in WA brewery Nail's Brew Log series of limited releases is also the second to pay a tribute to people that have assisted head brewer John Stallwood in his ongoing mission to get his beers to the masses. The first was named in honour of brewing mentor Hugh Dunn; this rauchbier (smoke beer) is dedicated to family members, in particular his sister Catherine and the Burns family who loaned money to the business when establishing the BrewCorp brewery with Feral so he could keep Nail 100 percent ··· Read more
Style
Rauchbier
Strength
6.0%
Bitterness
28 IBU
Stockists

Find it at good bottleshops in WA now and further afield later in May

Nail Brewing Brown Ale (Dunn Brown)

Tapped March 7th, 2014
Step-by-step, well over a decade after starting out as a craft brewer, the pieces are falling into place for Nail Brewing and its founder John Stallwood. As one half of the BrewCorp project (Feral is the other half) with a sizeable brewery capable of supplying Australia's eager beer lovers, the means has been there to brew plenty of beer and now, with distributors lined up in the eastern states (Heron Towers will receive the first Nail delivery to Victoria this March), the means to deliver that beer ··· Read more
Style
Brown Ale
Stockists

At good craft beer stockists

Anyone in Vic wishing to get their hands on Nail beers should contact Heron Towers

Nail Brewing Hughe Dunn Brown

Tapped December 3rd, 2013
Slowly but surely, the pieces are falling into place for the rest of the country to discover what the people of WA and the nation's beer judges have known for some time: that John Stallwood of Nail Brewing is one of Australia's very finest brewers. Since going into business with longtime friend and sparring partner Brendan Varis of Feral as BrewCorp last year, he's had the capacity to supply the East Coast and the logistics are now pretty much there to get his immaculate takes on classic styles out ··· Read more
Style
Imperial Brown Ale
Strength
8.0%
Stockists

At good bottleshops in QLD, WA and NSW

Some bottles going into Dan Murphy's in VIC

Clout Stout 2010/11/12

Tapped May 15th, 2013
Despite the fact that well under 1,000 bottles of this have been released each year since it first appeared to mark Nail's tenth anniversary of brewing in 2011, it's probably the beer that has brought most attention onto the brewery in recent years. It's an imperial stout that's got progressively bigger each year and one that retails at $70 a pop for a 750ml. Such a price point means the beer is open to serious scrutiny and it's scrutiny to which the beer has held up magnificently, collecting trophies ··· Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
Strength
10.79%

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