Like so many craft brewers, the blokes behind Tempe’s Willie the Boatman Brewery, rose from the ranks of home brewing.
They named the brewery after William Kerr, a boatman and local character of the 1830s, as a statement, they say, of the strong community spirit they believe in. Their beers, too, carry the names of local characters, living and dead.
In a stroke of genius, owners Pat McInerney and Nick Newey named their latest brew after their Federal member, Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese. Albo’s Corn Ale captured Mr Albanese’s imagination, and he attended the Sydney and Canberra launches.
Pat McInerney based the beer on American corn ales, brewed by farmers during the prohibition and war periods. A small portion of corn in the brew gives it a lively freshness and softness, though it’s no wuss at 5.5 per cent alcohol.
Willie the Boatman Brewery Albo Corn Ale 640ml $9.90
Pat McInerney and Nick Newey named their new brew after local Federal member, Anthony “Albo” Albanese. Albo attended the Sydney launch and now Canberrans can buy it at King O’Malleys and Plonk. It’s full-bodied, soft beer, with a tease of galaxy hops in the aroma and clean, fresh, mildly bitter finish.
Bright Brewery Fainters Dubbel 330ml $6.20
Named for nearby Mount Fainter, Bright’s Belgian abbey-style ale tastes like the beer equivalent of Rutherglen’s luscious fortified wines, albeit at around half the alcohol content (8.5 per cent). It combines lush raisin-like flavours with distinctive clove-like character, with a sweet but tangy finish, reminiscent of liquorice.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 22 and 23 September 2015 in goodfood.com.au and the Canberra Times