Wig & Pen’s great new brews, business still on the market

In May Lachie McOmish put Canberra’s unique Wig and Pen brewpub on the market. There’s been no sale yet, though we understand there’s at least on suitor in the wings.

So it’s business as usual, as we learned one busy Friday lunch time as patrons picked through the impressive range of brews, all made on site.

Behind the bar McOmish dispensed brimming glasses and lengthy opinions, while Richard Watkins took time out from the brewery to show the ales reviewed below.

We didn’t have time to taste the delicate Knocker’s Perry, made from Packham pears, nor the spiced ale, infused with fresh local truffles.

Watkins said his cherry-chocolate stout was due for release in the last week of July. And he’ll soon be releasing his 2000th brew – a hoppy, Belgian golden strong ale style, now ageing in barrel in the cellar.

Wig and Pen Dubbel Trubble 355ml $9
The brilliant mahogany colour and luxuriant head on the Wig’s Belgian ‘double’ style point to the amazingly good beer that follows. How can ale of this calibre come from such an unassuming place. It’s sheer brilliance. And at five months’ really delivers on this unique, opulent, velvet-textured style.

Wig and Pen Russian Imperial Stout 355ml $9
There’s a rasp of Rasputin’s beard in the Wig’s black and brooding Russian Imperial — a massive, 10 per-cent alcohol brew, pitting malt sweetness and syrupy, smooth texture against bitterness derived from hops and strongly roasted grains. It’s an impressive brew to sniff and savour — wisely served in 355ml brandy balloons.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 10 August 2011 in The Canberra Times