Category Archive: Brewery Reviews

Hawkers Beer

On Monday the 13th of November I visited Hawkers Brewery in Reservoir, Victoria. This brewery was started by Mazen Hajjar less than three years ago. When he opened he had four employees and produced 6000 litres of beer a year, he now employs 33 people and produces 3.5 million litres of beer each year. They have a potential capacity of 6.5 million litres each year.


The brewery employs four full time brewers and two full time cellar brewers and puts through ten batches of 4000 litres each day through their fully automated brewhouse ( that the brewers can start from home via their iPhone) and ferments this in one of five 80 hectolitre or thirteen 160 hectolitre fermentation tanks. These tanks have been specially designed and manufactured to allow controlled dry hopping in the tanks. They use an automated inline carbonator that individually controls the carbonation to each can, bottle or keg. They have a bottling line that can handle 6000 bottles an hour and a recently installed canning line that can handle 6300 cans an hour.


They are also environmentally friendly producing 40% of their energy requirements through solar panels and recycling 98% of their waste.
The brewery has won 62 medals for their beers in the last three years and several major awards. Most notably being; Brewer of the Year for Oceania for 2016 and Supreme Champion Brewer for 2016 at the London International Beer Challenge.


The beers that they produce include a Saison, Pilsner, Pale Ale, IPA and Stout in bottles. In cans they have Lager, XPA and West Coast IPA. They also produce some special barrel aged bottles of Imperial Stouts, Barley Wines and IIPAs.


The beers that I sampled were:
1. IPA, 6.5% abv, 65 IBU, this has a golden colour and a nice citrus fruit aroma. It has a well balanced flavour of sweet fruit with a mild bitterness on a crisp dry finish. Very easy drinking.


2. Imperial Stout 2017, 11.0% abv, this is aged in Bourbon barrels and has a black appearance and a rich, strong aroma of raisins and whiskey. It has a wonderful, delicious, strong flavour of raisins and alcohol soaked fruit. This is a truly sexy beer, wow!!

This is a brewery that is no bullshit, just good, honest, great tasting beers.
These beers are worth searching out, they are available from the brewery and from selected bottle shops Australia wide.
I would like to thank Mazen for taking the time to talk with me and showing me through the brewer

Paul Cooke

Uitgang Bar

On Saturday the 11th of November I visited The Uitgang Bar in Richmond, Victoria. This bar was started in April by Dave and Fraser. Who had become friends through the beer industry. They opened the bar to provide a venue to showcase the beers of Exit Brewing, which is run by Fraser and Grum. As well as showcasing Exit the bar also has some of their own beers that are only available at the bar. They also specialise in promoting independent craft breweries, artisan spirits and independent wineries.


The bar has a great beer garden and also has a selection of board games for use in the bar and garden. The bar has twelve taps, one of which is always a cider and one is always an easy drinking style of beer. The other ten taps change fairly regularly but will have some of the Exit range, some of the Uitgang house beers and some other independent brewery offerings. They also have a large selection of packaged beer.
The beers that I sampled were:
1. Exit Pale Ale, 4.6% abv, this has a golden colour and a tropical fruit aroma. It has a lovely sweet flavour of fruit on a gentle bitterness. Very easy drinking.


2. Uitgang House APA, 5.0% abv, this has a golden colour and a citrus aroma. It has a nice sweet malt initial taste and then a good fruitiness on a gentle bitter finish.


3. Exit Saison, 6.2% abv, this has a hazy straw colour and a spicy yeast aroma. It has a great wheaty, yeast flavour with hints of banana. Funky and delicious.
4. Uitgang Black IPA, 7.7% abv, this has a black colour and a roasted malt and citrus aroma. It has a wonderful malt flavour of coffee before a lovely sweet citrus fruit taste on a gentle bitter finish.


5. Exit IPA, 7.0% abv, this has a golden colour and a citrus and tropical fruit aroma. It has a sweet fruitiness on a lingering generous hop bitter finish. Nice!


6. Exit Amber, 5.0% abv, this has an amber colour and a malty aroma. It has a sweet malt initial taste and then a mild fruity taste on a good bitter finish.
7. Exit Milk Stout, 5.2% abv, this has a black colour and a roasted malt aroma with chocolate and coffee notes. It has a wonderful sweet malty flavour with delicious hints of dark chocolate and coffee. Wonderful!

The Uitgang Bar is a great venue and it has a fantastic selection of beers on tap and in the fridge. Definitely worth visiting if you are in the Richmond area.
I would like to thank Dave for his hospitality when I visited.

Paul Cooke

Two Birds Brewing

 

On Saturday the 11th of November I visited Two Birds Brewing in Spotswood, Victoria. This brewery started by contract brewing six years ago. It is Australia’s first female owned brewery. The present premises for the brewery were opened three years ago. It is a wonderful venue with the brewery in the back area, this area also has a large section of seating for having a beer while being able to view the brewery. It also has a bar and room in the front section of the building. They also have a great food menu available.


The brewing is undertaken by Jane Lewis, one of the Two Birds, and Wilson Hede. They put through ten brews each week in the 18 hectolitre brewhouse and these are fermented in one of four 72 hectolitre or four 36 hectolitre tanks. They put in their own bottling line earlier this year with a capability of handling 2000 bottles an hour with three people working. It can process both 330 ml and 500 ml bottles. This is housed in the room next to the brewery which is their storage area and also houses their bright tanks. They also have some oak barrels for aging special batches. The first of these was completed earlier this year for their sixth birthday celebration. For their special summer release beers they use cans and employ a contract canner to come in and take care of this.


They have a few events occurring later this month at the brewery. These are; A Brewday Party with Goose Island Brewing on the 14th November, Movember Fundraiser Comedy Night on the 23rd of November and Afternoon Jazz for Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival on the 25th and 26th of November.

The beers that I sampled were:


1. Golden, 4.4% abv, 20 IBU, this has a golden colour and a tropical fruit aroma. It has a sweet fruity flavour with hints of apricot on a gentle spicy, bitter finish.
2. Pale, 5.0% abv, 28 IBU, this has a golden colour and a subtle sweet pineapple aroma. It has a nice smooth mouth feel and a mild fruitiness and a gentle bitterness. Very easy drinking.
3. Sunset, 4.6% abv, 28 IBU, this has an amber colour and a malty aroma of toffee. It has a wonderful sweet malt flavour followed by a fruity taste of tropical fruit and citrus on a mild bitter finish. Nice!
4. Taco, 5.2% abv, 28 IBU, this has a golden colour and a citrus and coriander aroma. It has a sweet, spicy citrus flavour on a gentle bitter, crisp finish.


5. Maltergeist, 5.0% abv, 22 IBU, this is a Oktoberfest Beer of the Marzen style. It has a golden colour and a spicy malt aroma of biscuit. It has a great malty flavour that is rich and biscuity on a clean, crisp finish.
6. Double Sunset, 7.3% abv, 70 IBU, this has a wonderful copper colour and a hoppy aroma of grapefruit. It has a great well balanced flavour that starts with toffee and caramel malt and then transitions into a strong citrus taste on a generous hop bitter finish. Magnificent!


7. Passion Victim, 5.0% abv, this has a pale hazy appearance and a tropical passionfruit aroma. It has a sweet fruity flavour with a good taste of passionfruit on a gentle bitterness before a crisp, dry finish. This Passionfruit Summer Ale has Amarillo, Mosaic and Galaxy hops in it. Available in cans only.


8. Saison, 5.6% abv, this is their spring version of this style and they are intending to make a different one for each season. It has a hazy golden colour and a funky citrus and yeast aroma. It has a great Saison flavour with a spicy citrus taste. Very fresh and refreshing. Available in bottles only.

I really enjoyed all of beers that I tried at Two Birds Brewing. They have a wonderful selection and a fantastic venue to enjoy them in.
I would like to thank Sarah and her staff for their hospitality when I visited.
I strongly recommend visiting this brewery.

Paul Cooke

Camel Rock Brewery

On Thursday the 2nd of November I visited the Camel Rock Brewery and Cafe in Wallaga Lake, New South Wales. This brewery is located in the BIG4 Wallaga Lake Holiday Park just north of Bermagui. It is situated in the Allawah House which is a 100 year old guest house.

The actual brewery is still in the process of setting up their main brewing equipment and is using a 50 litre pilot brew system to produce beer while they wait for the final parts to set up the rest. While they are waiting for the bigger 1000 litre brew system, which also has three 1000 litre fermentation tanks, to be operational they are developing the beer recipes they intend to use. As their production is limited at the moment they have been supplementing their taps with other craft beers. Their bar has been open for almost seven months.

At the moment they have these beers fermenting; Brown Ale, Black IPA, Smoked Porter and White IPA.

While I was there they were brewing a California Common or Steam Ale.

Coming soon to their brew list will be; an American Pale Ale, Vienna Lager and a Golden Ale.

Their next beers on tap that are their own brews I was able to sample, they were:

  • German Wheat, 5.5% abv, this has a hazy straw colour and a wheaty yeast aroma. It has a nice wheat and banana flavour. Very good and true to the style.
  • Belgian Pale Ale, 5.0% abv, this has a hazy golden appearance and a very subtle fruit hop aroma. It has a mild mild flavour with a gentle fruit bitterness on the finish. Very easy drinking.

Both of the beers were very enjoyable. The venue is great with room inside and a spacious area outside, as well as a wonderful menu in the Cafe and a Kid’s room to keep the children occupied. The Camel Rock Brewery and Cafe should be a great venue to visit when they are fully operational.

I would like to thank Jesse, the assistant brewer, for his hospitality when I visited. 

Paul Cooke

Hop Dog Beer Works

 

On Tuesday the 31st of October I visited the Hop Dog Beer Works in Nowra, New South Wales. This brewery opened just over six years ago, although, Tim the owner and brewer, has been in the craft brewing industry for seventeen years. He produces small batches of beers so that he can guarantee freshness and uses only quality ingredients to maintain quality beers.

The brewery initially used a 200 litre system but it now consists of a 800 litre brew system and has six 800 litre fermentation tanks. They have a taproom at the brewery as well as a second venue in Nowra town centre called The Dog and Monocle. This is a restaurant as well as a bar.

The taproom is open from Wednesday to Saturday and has a great offer on Friday when they will fill growlers for $13. They have a core selection of three beers and produce a regularly changing range of seasonal and specialty beers. The core beers are Cosmic Highway, Redhopulous and Horns Up.

Their beers can also be found in selected bottle shops between Canberra and Sydney.

The beers that I sampled were:

  • Cosmic Highway, 4.7% abv, this is a Pale Ale with a golden colour and a sweet citrus and tropical fruit aroma. It has a biscuity, malt initial flavour and then a mild bitter finish.
  • Something, Something, Kettle Sour, 5.6% abv, this is golden ale that has been aged on Japanese Umoboshi ( these are a salty, tart, sweet preserved plum). The beer has a golden colour and a subtle sour aroma. It has a very sweet initial flavour that is followed by a fruity gentle sourness.
  • Redhopulous, 5.0% abv, this is a Red Ale that is amber in colour and a biscuit and caramel malt aroma. It has a wonderful malty flavour and then a fruitiness on a mild hop bitter finish.
  • Horns Up, 5.8% abv, this is a Rye IPA with a straw colour and a citrus, pineapple and tropical fruit aroma. It has a sweet tropical fruit taste that flows into a spicy fruit bitterness on the finish.
  • Sludge Core, 8.0% abv, this is a Rye Double IPA with a golden straw colour with a tropical mango, pineapple and pine aroma. It has a nice smooth mouth feel and a sweet fruity flavour before a generous, resinous, dry hop bitter finish.
  • Panda Popping Fairy Turkish Floss, 8.3% abv, this is a sweet Milk Stout that has been aged in Lark Whiskey barrels and was produced for GABS. It contains popcorn, fairy floss and rose water. It has a black colour and a sweet roasted malt aroma. It has a super sweet flavour with hints of dark chocolate. It is unusual and very delicious.
  • The Baconator, 5.5% abv, this is a collaboration brew with a heavy metal band called Reign of Terror made for the release of their EP “Tormentor of Lost Souls”. It is a smoked amber ale with a copper colour and a smoked meat aroma. It has a great smoked malt flavour with tastes of bacon and smoked meat. Available in bottles only.
  • Psychedelic Lizard Wizard, 4.7% abv, this is a citrus and Szechuan pepper Belgian Pale Ale, it has a hazy golden colour and a spicy citrus aroma. It has a complex tart citrus flavour with a mild spiciness on a dry finish. Available in bottles only.
  • Mage Armor, 7.7% abv, this is a Belgian styled Tripel with a hazy, light orange colour and an aroma of Belgian yeast, bananas and tropical fruit. It has a creamy mouth feel and a sweet flavour of malt and fruit on a gentle bitter finish. Available in bottles only.
  • Super Beast 2016, 10.5% abv, 85 IBU, this is their 5th anniversary Barley Wine, it has a cloudy copper colour and a strong fruity aroma. It has a nice smooth mouth feel and a rich, strong , sweet flavour of raisins and alcohol soaked fruit. Delicious! Available in bottles only.
  • Super Beast 2017, 10.3% abv, 75 IBU, this is their 6th anniversary Barley Wine, it has a cloudy copper appearance and a sweet fruity hop aroma. It has a fantastic strong sweet fruity flavour of Christmas cake on a mild bitterness. Wonderful!! Available in bottles only.

The Hop Dog Beer Works is making some delicious beers, some of which that are very unique and unusual. It is also a great venue to have a few brews. It is definitely worth a visit.

I would like to thank Tim for taking the time from his busy brewing schedule to talk with me and for his hospitality.      

Paul Cooke

Cupitt’s Craft Brewery

 

On Sunday the 29th of October I visited the Cupitt’s Craft Brewery in Ulladulla,   New South Wales. This is a craft brewery within a winery. It was started in 2014 by brothers Wally and Tom. Their focus is to produce beers of quality first and foremost and also to make styles that they personally enjoy.   They were initially worried about the response that their beers would receive from the local community, however, they have been pleasantly surprised and have become quite accustomed to converting the locals to drinking good tasting craft beers.

The brewery consists of a 300 litre brewhouse with five 300 litre and two 800 litre fermentation tanks. They also barrel age and condition some of their beers. They make enough beer to keep up with the demands of their cellar door and to supply a couple of bottle shops and a few select restaurants in the region. Their cellar door bar has several standard taps and one hand-pump.

They are considering expanding their output and to this end they have recently employed a new brewer to start there in the near future. This will be Liam Jackson, who will bring a wealth of experience from his time brewing at Staves Brewery. They are hoping that he will assist them in taking the brewery to the next level which should include producing packaged beer for wider distribution.

The venue is wonderful and includes a wine tasting room, a restaurant and a deck area where there is also bar food available, including delicious wood fired pizzas. The deck is great and overlooks a grassed area, where live music is performed every Sunday from 12:30, before having views over the vineyard, livestock paddocks and Lake Burrill.

The beers that I sampled were:

Kolsch, 5.1% abv, 23 IBU, this has a straw colour and a sweet fruity aroma. It has a nice malty taste and then a gentle bitterness on a crisp, clean finish. Very easy drinking.

Cupitt Hibiscus Wit, 4.2% abv, 15 IBU, this wheat beer has a hazy pink colour and a subtle sweet, spicy yeast aroma. It has a sweet wheat flavour with hints of banana and a gentle spiciness.

Pale Ale, 5.3% abv, 45 IBU, this is an American Pale Ale with a golden colour and a pine and floral aroma. It has a well balanced flavour of sweet malt and then a fruitiness before a good hop bitter finish.

Nut Brown Ale, 5.1% abv, 28 IBU, this brown coloured Ale is served from the hand-pump and has a malty aroma of nuts and toffee. It has a wonderful malt flavour with good hints of caramel, toffee, nuts and chocolate. Very nice.

Indian Black Ale, 6.8% abv, 80 IBU, this has a black colour with a dark head and a fruity hop aroma. It has a great flavour of sweet fruit, chocolate and coffee with a pine-like resinous hop bitterness on the finish. Nice!

IPA, 6.4% abv, 60 IBU, this has a golden colour and a strong fruity, citrus aroma. It has a wonderful sweet, juicy, fruity flavour that transitions into a generous, lingering hop bitter finish. Excellent.

Cupitt Belgian Dark Strong, 9.1% abv, 30 IBU, this has a dark amber colour and a strong malt and Christmas cake aroma. It has a wonderful, smooth, buttery sweet flavour of caramel, toffee and Christmas pudding with a gentle spiciness. Quite magnificent!!

Cupitt Russian Imperial Stout, 8.0% abv, 75 IBU, this black Stout has a thick, dark head and has a roasted coffee and chocolate malt aroma. It has spent twelve months in Shiraz barrels and has a fantastic, rich, smooth flavour with tastes of dark chocolate, coffee and fruit cake. This is very special!!

 

The beers being produced by Cupitt’s Craft Brewery are all quite excellent. They have a great selection of beers, wines and cheeses, a wonderful venue and delicious food. This is definitely somewhere that you should visit if you have the opportunity.

I would like to thank Wally and Tom for taking the time to talk with me and for their hospitality when I visited.

Paul Cooke

Zierholz Premium Brewery

On Friday the 27th of October I visited the Zierholz Premium Brewery, Restaurant and Bar in Fyshwick, ACT. This brewery was started by Christoph Zierholz eleven years ago. He came from a home brewing background of ten years, where he had also won the National Home Brew Championship for two years in a row.   He left his job in public service to start the brewery with second hand brewing equipment from America.

They produce European influenced beers and have German style food available at the restaurant. The beers are made in 17 hectolitre batches using a steam jacketed kettle and hot liquor tun before being fermented in one of six 20 hectolitre, glycol jacketed fermentation tanks.   They also have seven bright tanks that are kept in the cool room. All of their beers go into kegs but they are considering packaging some in the future.

They are still producing the same selection of beers that Christoph started with eleven years ago. These have proved to be very popular and have been supplied to both the German and Austrian embassies for special events. At the recent Oktoberfest event held on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin they attracted over 4000 people and sold 110 kegs of beer.

They hold brewery tours and beer tastings with the Master Brewer, Christoph. Although, most of the brewing duties have been passed on to Martin for the last two years.   The brewery/restaurant is also able to be booked for private functions and can even arrange catering for your special event, including a bar with their beers.

The beers that I sampled were:

Schankbier, 2.7% abv, this is a light style Lager with a light straw colour and a malt aroma. It has lovely full malt flavour at a sessionable alcohol level.

German Ale, 4.3% abv, this was the first beer brewed at the brewery and is a Kolsch style with a light straw colour and a subtle fruity aroma. It has clean, crisp taste on a gentle bitter finish. Refreshing.

Hopmeister, 5.0% abv, this is an English style Pale Ale with a golden straw colour and a fruity aroma. It has a well balanced flavour of malt and fruitiness with a dry finish.

German Pilsner, 5.0% abv, this has a light straw colour and a sweet malt aroma.   It has a nice sweet malty flavour and then a mild bitterness on a dry finish.

Weizen, 4.4% abv, this is a German style wheat beer with a hazy straw colour and a spicy banana aroma.   It has a lovely, sweet, spicy banana flavour on a gentle tart finish.

Amber Ale, 4.9% abv, this is a Düsseldorf style Altbier with an amber colour and a toffee and caramel malt aroma. It has a nutty malt flavour with good hints of caramel and toffee before a mild bitter hop finish. Very nice!

Porter, 5.4% abv, this is an English style with a black colour and a roasted malt aroma. It has a strong roasted malt flavour with tastes of chocolate on a mild bitterness on the finish.

The Zierholz Premium Brewery, Restaurant and Bar is a wonderful venue that is producing very authentic European style beers. It is well worth visiting.

I would like to thank Martin for his hospitality and taking the time away from his busy brewing schedule to talk with me.

Paul Cooke

Wig & Pen

On Thursday the 26th of October I visited the Wig and Pen Craft Brewery and Tavern in Canberra, ACT. This brewery started in 1994, which gives it the distinction of being Australia’s second longest continuously running craft brewery after The Lord Nelson in Sydney.

The brewery equipment originally came out of the closed Extract Brewery in Darling Harbour and although it is not a huge brewery it still maintains a large selection of beers including producing Lagers that have had a two and half month fermentation, as good lagers should have. The brewery consists of 6 hectolitre fermentation tanks and a 12 hectolitre bright tank. While in the brewery I was lucky enough to try their Imperial Stout straight from the tank, which was delicious, and a kettle soured beer that was being aged in an oak barrel, also very good.

The bar area has sixteen taps, fifteen for beer and one for cider. These include four traditional hand -pumped taps for their cask conditioned beers. These hand-pumped ales are a defining feature of The Wig and Pen and provide a traditional British beer experience to their Canberra drinkers. They are cask conditioned and are chilled to cellar temperature rather than refrigerated.

The beers that I sampled were:

The Last Splash, 4.8% abv, this is a Czech style Pilsner with a golden straw colour and a spicy floral aroma. It has great malt flavour and clean, crisp finish. Refreshing and true to the style.

Auf meine StraBe! , Munich Helles, 5.1% abv, this has a golden colour and a subtle hop aroma. It has a sweet malty taste and gentle bitterness on a crisp dry finish.

JP’s ESB, 4.4% abv, this hand-pumped Extra Special Bitter has an amber colour and a caramel malt aroma. It has a great malt flavour with hints of caramel and toffee. Lovely and true to the style.

Le Paysan Noir, 7.1% abv, this is a Black Saison with a yeasty, spicy Saison aroma. It has a nice malty flavour of smoked malt and then a Saison warm, dry finish.

Velvet Cream Stout, 6.7% abv, this is a black Stout with a thick creamy head and a roasted malt aroma. It has a wonderful sm

ooth mouth feel and a lovely sweet malt flavour with a great creamy finish.

Red Coat, 4.5% abv, this is an English IPA with a hazy golden colour and a subtle caramel malt aroma. It has a sweet fruit and malt flavour with a gentle bitterness on the finish.

D’Unkle Ester, 4.7% abv, this is a German style dark wheat beer with a dark brown colour and a yeasty, banana aroma. It has a spicy, wheat and banana flavour with a slight hint of chocolate.

W&P Pale Ale, 4.4% abv, this is an English style Pale Ale poured from the hand-pump with a golden colour and a strong tropical fruity aroma. It has a very light malt flavour with a sweet citrus fruit taste and then a mild grapefruit bitterness on the finish.

Little Citra, 3.7% abv, this is a light IPA with a light straw colour and a subtle citrus aroma. It is light bodied with a mild fruity flavour and a gentle bitter finish. Easy drinking and sessionable.

Streamliner, 6.4% abv, this is an American style IPA with a golden colour and a strong fruity aroma from the seven hop varieties used. It has a sweet biscuity malt flavour and then a lovely fruitiness on a mild bitter finish.

 

They have a wonderful selection of beers at The Wig and Pen Craft Brewery and Tavern and are well worth visiting.   I would like to thank Andy Cross, from We Love Craft Beer Australia, for arranging my tour and Alan, the brewer, for his hospitality and giving up his time to talk with me.

Paul Cooke

Capital Brewing Co

On Thursday the 26 of October I visited the Capital Brewing Co. in Fyshwick, ACT. This brewery has only been open for one and a half months. They shifted their operation here in July and set up throughout August and started brewing in September. Prior to that they were Gypsy Brewing at Hairy Man as well as other Sydney breweries.

The brewery consists of a three tank, 25 hectolitre brewhouse with three 5000 litre and two 10000 litre fermentation vessels as well as one 5000 litre bright tank used for kegging and when they package their beers. This is done into cans with the aid of East Coast canning and their mobile canning line. However, Capital will be installing their own line next year. They have plenty of room for expansion in the future if required. They even poached their head brewer from a very successful San Diego brewery.

Although the brewery is very new they already have a strong following, they had 4500 people through their door on their opening day and went through 61 kegs of beer.

The venue is excellent with plenty of room inside as well as beer gardens out the front and an enclosed one on the side of the brewery that has a children’s cubby house.

The front beer garden even has a stage area for bands to perform.

Food at the venue is supplied by Brod Burgers and Dogs, who were recently named the best burgers in Canberra. Their burgers did taste delicious.

The beers that I sampled were:

Coast Ale, 4.2% abv, 20 IBU, this is a California Common Ale made in the Steam Ale style with a golden colour and a very subtle fruit aroma.   It has a malt flavour and a mild hop bitter finish.

Trail Pale Ale, 4.7% abv, 30 IBU, this has an amber colour and a sweet citrus fruit, floral and pine aroma. It has a lovely well balanced malt taste followed by a big fruity hop bitterness on the finish.

Evil Eye, 6.0% abv, 60 IBU, this is a Red IPA with a dark amber colour and a citrus aroma. It has a malt body of caramel flavour and then a generous hop bitter finish.

Springboard Summer Ale, 4.6% abv, 10 IBU, this has a golden colour and a subtle malt and citrus aroma. It has malty flavour with gentle citrus hints.

First Tracks Stout, 5.2% abv, 10 IBU, this is a black Stout with a roasted coffee aroma. It has a smooth mouth feel and a nice malt flavour with lovely coffee tastes. Very good!

DYEUS Pilsner, 5.0% abv, 35 IBU, this is a New World Pilsner with a golden straw colour and a sweet fruity aroma. It has a great malty flavour on a gentle bitter finish.

Broken Shoulder Brown, 3.5% abv, 30 IBU, this has an amber brown colour and a citrus and floral aroma. It has a lovely malt palate with hints of chocolate and nuts on a nice hoppy bitter finish.

Rock Hopper IPA, 6.1% abv, 50 IBU, this has a golden colour and a grapefruit, citrus and tropical fruit aroma.   It has sweet tropical fruit taste and then transitions into a generous hop bitter finish.

Old Man River Barley Wine, 10.2% abv, 50 IBU, this has an amber colour and a fruity aroma. It has a full fruity flavour with tastes of apricot and caramel before a mild bitter finish. Nice!

Batlow Saison Cider, 4.4% abv, this apple cider is fermented with Saison yeast, it is cloudy in appearance and has a mixed aroma of apples and farmhouse style beer. It has sweet apple initial taste and then a gentle tart finish.

Passion Hop IPA, 6.1% abv, this has a golden colour and a passionfruit and tropical fruit aroma. It has a nice sweet tropical fruit taste and then a generous strong bitterness on the finish.

The beers at Capital Brewing Co. are all very well made and quite enjoyable. I really recommend giving this brewery a visit if you are in the Canberra area.

I would like to thank Dan for his great hospitality when I was there.    

Paul Cooke

BentSpoke Brewing Co

On Tuesday the 24th of October I visited the BentSpoke Brewing Co. in Canberra, ACT. The brewery was opened in 2013, about three and a half years ago. It operates with a three vessel, 12 hectolitre brewhouse and has seven fermentation tanks, five 24 hectolitre and two 12 hectolitre. They also have six bright tanks for delivering their core range of beers to tap, as well as one bright tank that is used for kegging their seasonal brews. They use the system to brew three to four times a week.

At the bar they have their six core beers on tap as well as eight rotating seasonal beers. They also have two through the hand pump and one that runs through their ‘Hopinator’ , while I was there this was their Barley Griffin which was run through Galaxy Hop flowers. Last week it was their Descent 17 Imperial Stout which was run through cherries and cocoa nibs, it sounded wonderful.

All of their packaged beer is produced off site at Mitchell where they have a 50 hectolitre system and a seven head filling canning line. They hope to open a retail bar there in 2018. They try to be environmentally friendly with all of their spent grain going to local farmers as stock feed.

The brewery bar was designed from the floor up, so they have made it the way they want it. All of the beers are plumbed through stainless steel piping that compliments the look of the venue.

They have a great food menu at the bar as well.

The beers that I sampled were:

Mort’s Gold, 4.5% abv, 30 IBU, this is a Pilsner with a golden colour and a subtle fruit aroma. It has a nice malty flavour on a gentle bitter finish.

Sprocket, 7.0% abv, 45 IBU, this is a summer IPA with a hazy golden colour and a tropical fruit aroma. It has a sweet tropical fruit taste and then a generous fruity bitterness on the finish.

Crankshaft, 5.8% abv, 35 IBU, this is an orange IPA with a cloudy orange colour and a citrus hop aroma. It has a strong orange, citrus flavour with a big hop bitter finish.

Big Nut, 7.5% abv, 45 IBU, this is a dark Ale with a black colour and a roasted coffee malt aroma. It has a wonderful rich malt flavour of nuts and coffee on a mild bitter finish. Very nice.

Cluster 8, 8.8% abv, 65 IBU, this is an Imperial IPA with a golden amber colour and a sweet fruity aroma. It has a great sweet fruity taste that turns into a rich but mild hop bitter finish.

Cluster 12, 12.2% abv, 65 IBU, this is a Triple IPA with a copper colour and a fruity citrus and pine aroma. It has a full fruity flavour of sweetness with hints of citrus and stone fruit before a generous, resinous hop bitterness on the finish.

Stratus, 8.0% abv, 62 IBU, this is a New England IPA with a golden colour and a strong fruity aroma of citrus and tropical fruit. It has a super citrus fruit flavour on a good, lingering, resinous hop bitter finish. True to the style.

Cluster 16, 16.2% abv, 52 IBU, this is a Belgian quadruple IPA with a dark amber colour and a sweet fruit aroma. It has a wonderful, strong, rich fruit cake flavour with a very serious kick. Magnificent!

Barley Griffin, 4.2% abv, 22 IBU, this is an Australian Pale Ale with a straw colour and a subtle sweet citrus aroma. It has a sweet initial malt taste and then a mild fruitiness on a gentle bitter finish.

Braddon Bitter, 4.2% abv, 36 IBU, this is an English Bitter served on the hand pump. It has a sweet caramel malt aroma and a lovely malt flavour of caramel and toffee on a mild bitter finish.

Red Nut, 7.0% abv, 56 IBU, this is a Red IPA with a dark amber colour and a pine hop aroma. It has a sweet malt initial taste that transitions quickly into a big fruity, resinous hop bitter finish.

Blow Your Bagpipe, 8.1% abv, 25 IBU, this is a strong Scotch Ale with a dark brown colour and a mixed aroma of malt and fruit.   It has a sweet, rich, fruity flavour. Quite delicious.

 

I really enjoyed all of the beers that I tried at The BentSpoke Brewing Co. they have a very extensive selection and are really putting out some amazing flavours. They also produce a cider and a ginger beer for those that are not into beers. I really recommend visiting this venue if you have the opportunity.

I would like to thank Tracey for taking the time to talk with me when I visited.

Paul Cooke
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