Wig and Pen brews Canberra centenary ale

Canberra’s centenary celebrations kicked off early at the Wig and Pen. In January, the popular Civic brewpub released Centenary Ale, brewed from malted barley, raw wheat, oats and cane sugar.

Brewer Richard Watkins says this recipe ­– in tandem with fairly high fermentation temperatures – reflects brewing ingredients and styles of a century ago, before refrigeration reached today’s sophistication.

Four Seasons Ale” might suit as an alternative name as Watkins intends tweaking the style during the year. The current, light-lemon coloured, summer brew will give way to autumn leaf colours and richer malt; then beef up to pudding-like richness in winter; take on hoppy floral character in spring; then finish back on the original summer ale.

They’ll be gradual changes, he says, as he subtly alters each of the 26 brews planned for 2013.

Wig and Pen Centenary Ale half-pint $6The Wig’s carbonated, unfiltered beer presents with a cloudy, light-lemon colour and dense, pure-white head.  The aroma’s intensely fruity and pleasantly seasoned with spicy hops. The lively palate, fresh as bread from the oven, refreshes and thrills with its brisk acidity – a complex but easy drinking ale.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 6 March 2013 in The Canberra Times