Two weeks ago we attended the National Capital Craft Beer Festival in Canberra where we had a cracking time. Canberra turned on some brilliant weather, bringing beer lovers out from every nook and cranny. The diverse mix of people, young and old, male and female really highlighted the variety of people interested in enjoying fantastic quality beer. Looks good for the future of the craft beer industry in Australia!
While in Canberra we also managed to make a side trip to the Wig and Pen brew pub, where we had a real treat. In the company of brewers from the Schwartz and Lord Nelson breweries, the visit ended up with a private, late night brewery tour and tasting. Surveying the Wig and Pen on the ground level it looked like a regular brew pub, packed tight into a small space. However, heading down to the underground car park we saw a very different side – a massive wheat room, storage of other vintage beers and a cool room with an array of kegs waiting to be tapped!
Once we’d finished poking around, head brewer Richard Watkins offered us a special beer tasting – including his Flanders Red, Grand Cru and Russian Imperial Stout. All were amazing but the Russian Imperial Stout, aged in oak barrels, was the stand out. We sampled both a 1 year old and a 4 year old version of this beer. The taste and smoothness of both brews was amazing, especially considering their alcohol content at around ten percent! Comparing the two, it was interesting to taste the difference aging had on the beer – just like a fine wine, time had been its friend, adding to the smoothness and flavour of the brew.
Heading back to home we have been busy over the last while, packing our monthly club beers for sending out. For May we have brought together a range of classic beer styles, including a dark ale from White Rabbit Brewery and a light refreshing organic lager from Koala Beer.