Wig & Pen — beer worth bottling

After years of maybe-we-will, maybe-we-won’t, Canberra’s Wig & Pen Pub Brewery plans to offer bottled beer this year. Brewer Richard Watkins says they’ll kick off with a ‘regional ale’ made in Cologne’s Kölsch style – traditionally a pale coloured, cold-conditioned brew.

But it’ll probably be April or May before it’s released. They’re developing the packaging now. When it’s ready Richard will make and bottle the beer at Mildura Brewery. It’ll be the same as Kamberra Kölsch, one of the Wig’s most popular tap beers, aptly described as a ‘very drinkable lager like ale’ on their website.

The beer will initially be offered at the Wig & Pen – regulars, including Bruce, have been asking for it for years – but owner Lachlan McOmish expects to have it in one or two specialty retail outlets before too long.

Meanwhile the Wig has a couple of week’s supply left of its two summer ales, both Belgian inspired – Framboise, a lambic style, pitting raspberry sweetness against lactic acid sourness; and Saisson (season), a full, rich ale fermented by a specialty Belgian yeast.

And with the Tasmania hop harvest approaching, Richard has three special hop-focussed beers planned. For one of them he’s building a new ‘hopinator’ – a device for passing beer across fresh hops flowers en route to the glass.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009

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