Canberra’s BentSpoke Brewery – one year, 160-thousand litres

A year in brewing

BentSpoke Brewery opened last June and on the strength of its superb brews became an instant Canberra landmark, smack in the heart of once-daggy Braddon.

For its first birthday this weekend, brewer Richard Watkins plans on unveiling four special brews, one each on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday (and bugger the Tuesday hangover).

He’s tight lipped about what’s in store. But for Canberra Times’ readers he’s revealed insights of the first year’s trading.

I think we’ll hit about 160,000 litres”, he said. Spreading all that amber liquid over the three thousand patrons visiting each week puts consumption at a little under two pints a head.

The strong and bitter Crankshaft IPA proved by far the most popular of 31 brews offered during the year.

And for the future Watkins hopes to, “get our beer on tap around Canberra and maybe even into bottle shops”.


BentSpoke Grainy half-pint glass $8
Under the ever-inventive Richard Watkins, BentSpoke’s new brews come and go at a pleasing pace. The new winter warmer, slurped joyfully on a cold autumn afternoon, offered the deep, sweet, toasty flavours of five grains – barley, wheat, oats, spelt and tiny teff – gently offset by mildly bitter hops.

BentSpoke Larken’s Brown half-pint glass $7.50
Larken’s Brown percolates through BentSpoke’s hopinator en route to the glass, absorbing exotic flavours from a mix of cinnamon, chillies and roasted coffee beans from Highgate Lane. Coffee aromas and flavours dominate the brew. And if it wasn’t cold, frothy and alcoholic, the drinker might swear they’d downed a very good espresso.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 2 and 3 June 2015 in and the Canberra Times