Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trip to Canberra

G'day all, long time no chat, mainly due to an inconvenience known as employment.

Just returned from a long weekend in Canberra, staying in a winery guesthouse just off the Barton Highway near Hall. Although a lot of wine was tasted and purchased, I always ensure a brewery visit or two when in Canberra

Firstly, on Friday got into my favourite place in the ACT - the Wig and Pen. Had a brief yarn with the brewer, Richard Watkins, learning a couple of interesting things. He has a Flemish Red ale underway, not unlike Rodenbach he says. Still needs another 6 months in wine barrels, but sounds fantastic.  He's pretty keen on the old Brettanomyces, so is also planning an Orval-style Belgian Ale.

Bock (Classic Beer Style Series ; 9)While chatting he scrounged me up a sample of the Russian Imperial Stout. Still this country's best example, in my opinion. Other than that, I feasted upon the W&P pale ale, the Brewer's IPA, Belgian Blonde wit, Bulldog Best Bitter, and the Aviator double bock, which is rich in fancy dark malts (I thought I picked up Special B, but Richard had already returned to work so I couldn't ask him). After these tasters I returned to the Pale Ale, which is fresh as a daisy and drinking so well.

Had a Ploughman's Lunch for $12.90, which was the perfect accompaniment for a pint of bitter.

Yesterday, paid my first visit to Zierholz Premium Brewery, located (as with many breweries) in the industrial part of town. Fyshwick has pretty much everything for the discerning gent, so a brewery is just what you need among the porn factory outlets and full-body massage parlours.

Beer Tips and AdviceThe place was jumping. Barely a table remained in the bistro, but the family managed to squeeze into a spot next to a familiar-looking bloke.... a barman from the Wig & Pen.
As with all good breweries, you can order a flight of the beer range, including the Schankbier (low alcohol), German Ale (kolsch), Pilsner, Hopmeister, Amber Ale (Alt bier), Porter, and Weizen.
Libby enjoyed the Weizen, as I did too. I think it was the stand out of the range. The kolsch was pretty good too. The food wasn't to shabby either, with a Weisswurst and sauerkraut just the thing to accompany the wheat beer.

I wouldn't say that Zierholz beer is outstanding; I would say , however, that it is of high quality, and very brewery-fresh.

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