Beer of the Week

Five Things About … BentSpoke Brewing’s Crankshaft


1) There’s a bit of a spurt of good beer happening in Canberra. Though, if you’re a beer geek, you probably already knew that. But if you’re not, let me spin you a tale. Back in the day it was pretty much the Wig and Pen for ages – a source of great beer nonetheless but still the only source.

2) Then Zierholz came along and the two places had all of Canberra to themselves. Even while craft beer was growing everywhere else. But then a trickle became a flood – brewer Richard Watkins left the Wig and Pen in 2014 to set up BentSpoke. A year later Kevin Hingston launches the Pact Beer Company. Then, this year a fifth joins the game – Capital Brewing Company.

3) Which is all very good news for a guy like me who is married to a girl from Canberra. It means that, whenever we visit her family, there’s now is a choice of breweries that I can go too. Or at least try and convince the wife we should go to.

4) We were there over Christmas and so I made sure we went to BentSpoke for lunch and then to Ainslie Cellars – a highly recommended bottle shop I found with the help of canBEERra on Twitter. Once there I was able to pick up the wares of all three new ACT breweries (as well as some cans of Taco, which aren’t from Canberra but are still f..king good (I would have said “fucking good” but someone objected to the fruity language a little while ago and now I’m all self-conscious about the swearing).

5) The haul included two canned BentSpoke beers, which come in that new-fangled can where the whole top comes off with the ring-pull (am I the only one who is unnerved by drinking out of them? I always fear I’ll cut my lip open on the edge). The first one I opened was Crankshaft, a 5.8 per cent IPA that tastes great on tap at the brewery bar. And it tastes pretty good in the can as well; there’s pineapple whacks on the nose and palate with an impressively restrained bitterness around the edges. Glad I bought two cans.

Free or paid for?: Paid for, all the Canberra beers I got on the Christmas trip I paid for.

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