If you brew beer outside Canberra but offer it through your own Canberra hotel, does that make you a local craft brewer – or an honorary one at least?
If it does, then Sydney's Jerry Schwartz deserves a place of honour alongside Canberra's home-grown craft brewers Wig & Pen, Zierholz and the BentSpoke.
Schwartz owns the Mercure, Braddon, and with little fanfare offers draft and packaged beer from the two breweries he owns – the Schwartz Brewery Hotel in Surry Hills, Sydney, and the Lovedale Brewery at the Crowne Plaza in the lower Hunter Valley.
The Mercure currently offers on tap Paddo Pale, Newtown Bitter, Darlo Dark and Sydney Cider from the Surry Hills brewery and Lovedale Lager from the Hunter.
The same brews are also available in 1.89-litre refillable, take-away "growlers". And the bottle shop carries a smaller range of 330ml bottles from Schwartz's two breweries.
Stone and Wood Cloud Catcher Ale
Byron Bay brewer Stone and Wood released Cloud Catcher to mark the opening if its new Murwillumbah brewery. A pale-golden coloured ale, Cloud Catcher offers a rich, full, malty flavour, seasoned with exhilarating citrusy hops flavours. The hops also contribute an intense, lingering bitterness.
4 Pines Brewing Company Imperial India Brown Ale
Definitely a winter brew this one – dark and malty, with an alcohol content of 8 per cent. This boosts the body and flavour, loading the palate with strong chocolate and roasted coffee bean flavours. The alcohol also contributes a warmth, while a massive load of hops delivers an extraordinarily bitter finish.