Strickland brothers launch beautiful new beer in Canberra

How did five stonemason brothers come to make Canberra’s new five-star beer? Mick Strickland says it started with a Pilzen beer recipe acquired by a great-something grandfather on the Ballarat goldfields in the 1850s.

About ten years ago the Stricklands found the recipe, written in German, in the spine of their grandmother’s bible. Later, they had it translated and asked brewing consultant Brian Watson if he could brew from it.

Watson modified the recipe with the Stricklands and Denis Coldabella, brewer at Southern Bay Brewing Company, Victoria. Coldabella then trialled and tested a few small batches with the Stricklands before producing the first 5,000 litre commercial brew.

Mick Strickland says they aimed to make a beer that started fruity, gathered richness and bitterness and finished dry – a style the brothers hoped might appeal to women as well as men. Their sisters and wives provided feedback on the trial brews.

The resulting complex, very drinkable beer is comparatively low in carbonation with a rich texture derived from a five-week lagering period (natural conditioning). It’s currently available on tap at All Bar Nun, O’Connor, and soon at the Hellenic Club, Civic.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010

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