Quaffers

Swell Brewing Company's wheat bear, left, and pale ale.
Swell Brewing Company's wheat bear, left, and pale ale.

Historian Dr Brett Stubbs has written a brief history of brewing in Canberra, marking the capital's centenary.

Surprising in a city not noted for moderation, let alone abstinence, plans for Canberra's first brewery ran aground in 1933 because the territory's liquor laws failed to allow for granting brewers' licences, he writes.

''An application was made to establish a brewery at Braddon,'' Stubbs writes. But approval of the venture would require an amendment to the law. The cabinet declined to do so. Subsequently, the Methodist minister in Reid sermonised relief at the decision ''not to allow the national capital to be disgraced by the erection within its bounds of a brewery''.

Label for Joh Bjelke Bitter, originally brewed at the Eagle Hawk Hill Motel.
Label for Joh Bjelke Bitter, originally brewed at the Eagle Hawk Hill Motel. Photo: www.brewsnews.com.au/2013/10/capital-brews/

Canberra's first brewery, the Parson's Pint, opened in 1989 at Glebe Park, just a stone's throw from Reid. Stubbs's article, Capital Brews, is published at brewsnews.com.au.

Swell Brewing Co Wheat Beer,
★★★½, 500 ml, $7
Swell Brewing, founded by stepbrothers Dan and Daniel Wright, and Daniel Wright's wife, Corinna Wright, brew their beer down in McLaren Vale's wine country. Corinna Wright, of Oliver's Taranga vineyard, makes wine; the brothers make the beer - in this instance a fruity, crisp, slightly sweet expression of the Belgian wheat style.

Swell Brewing Co Pale Ale,
★★★★, 500 ml, $7

Brewer Daniel Wright models his pale ale on the American style - big on malt, with assertively bitter hops. It contrasts with his other overtly hoppy beer, Swell Golden Ale, with its focus on floral aromatics and flavour rather than bitterness.

Chris Shanahan