BentSpoke brewpub in Canberra celebrates first birthday with four new beers

Natasha Rudra
Bentspoke Brewing Co will celebrate its first anniversary on the June long weekend.
Bentspoke Brewing Co will celebrate its first anniversary on the June long weekend. Photo: Andrew Meares

BentSpoke is turning one on the June long weekend with a big, four-day celebration of beer. Brewer Richard Watkins says they've done "a lot more beer and a lot more food than we expected" in the past year and while they were nearly drunk dry on opening weekend, things are still pumping. "It's pretty gratifying to think that people in Canberra are embracing a brewery opening."

Watkins has launched 30 different beers since BentSpoke opened in 2014 and will be adding a new beer every day from Friday through to the Monday of the birthday weekend. First off the rank is a strong Scotch ale coming out on Friday, June 5, which has a historic bent to it. "It's going to be over 8 per cent, it's got some really nice malty, peaty character. It's one of the beers the [Australia's early] governors would have had available to them in their colonial houses," he says.

For the birthday on Saturday, June 6, there'll be a "big stout with a twist" which will be revealed at a party for members on Saturday night. "It's 2015 so we've made [the beer] 15 per cent and there's an added bit of bentness," Watkins promises. Sunday will see the launch of a special black IPA "which is a real dark malt with all the fruitiness from the hops," Watkins says. "Most people associate hoppy beers with a pale or golden beer but this has a lot of chocolate flavours and darkness." And then on Monday the last beer in the great BentSpoke birthday is a "dark and sour" – a dark ale that's been fermented with wild yeast and lactobacillus.

Watkins and partner Tracy Margrain will host a party for the Draughters, the brewery's members' club, on Saturday. And on the Sunday they're doing a big bike ride and barbecue, leaving from BentSpoke at noon. They're still fine tuning the route and the details so head to their Facebook page to keep up to date.