The opening of BentSpoke brewpub, Braddon, on June 6, brings Richard Watkins’ much-loved beers back to the market.
It’s no exaggeration to rate Watkins among Australia’s most inventive and accomplished brewers. Over a period of almost 20 years at Lachlan McOmish’s tiny Wig and Pen, Canberra City, Watkins built a big and loyal following for his increasingly adventurous beers. A steady haul of trophies and gold medals simply confirmed the good taste of McOmish’s patrons.
Watkins left the Wig and Pen last year and with partner Tracy Margrain established BentSpoke in a new building on the corner of Mort and Elouera Streets, Braddon.
Watkins and Margrain offered six beers and a cider on opening day and plan to extend the range to 18. BentSpoke occupies two levels and offers food and local wines as well as beer and cider.
BentSpoke Brewing Co Barley Griffin★★★★★ $11One of six beers created for BentSpoke’s opening, Barley Griffin offers complexity and easy drinkability. A cloudy, pale-golden coloured ale, with the stunning freshness of beer direct from the tank, it features rich malt flavours cut by perfectly judged hops flavour and bitterness and the exotic spicy edge of oregano.
Bent Spoke Brewing Co Adam’s Cider★★★★½ $11 How outrageous. Cider made from apples, not concentrate. Hand-crushed Granny Smith and Delicious apples, from Batlow, give the cider its pure, generous apple flavour. However, granny does her work, injecting the variety’s distinctive, pleasantly tart finish to a delicious dry cider.