Friday, 13 June 2014

Friday Five: Bent Spoke

Hurrah for the new pub in town! After many months of hard work, design concepts and brewing business, the Bent Spoke Brewery is open. Richard Watkins and Tracy Margrain were exhausted and ecstatic in equal measure as the pints were pulled and the punters imbibed last week. 

Him Outdoors has worked on some electrical stuff in the building, so we got to go along for the contractors night, the night before the official opening night. The beer was great and the ambiance was fabulous. I can see this becoming a new favourite watering home in Braddon.


The concept is generally that it is all about the beer; there are large panes of glass in front of the tanks, so the punters can see the provenance of what they're drinking. The vats and tanks are gleaming steel and marry form, function and industrial design. 

Along with the malt sacks on the walls and the manufacturing manual mural, other softening aspects include the amount of timber throughout the bar. We spoke to the chap responsible for the wood (from Thor's Hammer) and he told us the bars and table tops are made from Blackbutt and Spotted Gum, recycled from the Q Store Woolstores, while the doors, stair treads and ceiling panels are from roof house timbers, lightly sanded. We also love the tap handles, which are hand crafted from off-cuts of different wood and each one is uniquely matched to the style of beer.

And there are many cycling references, from the names of some of the beers, to the light fittings made from recycled chain rings and other bike parts.

The food is pretty appetising also, with plates of nibbles to enhance the beer-drinking pleasure. I am relatively reliably informed that the wings and wedges are encrusted with the beer grains used in the brewing process, which I think is a great idea (and a great taste too)!

Of course, as previously mentioned, it is all about the beer, and in the near future, discerning drinkers will be able to take their favourite pints home in handy two-litre flagon things for take-outs. They look like stylish thermos flasks and are aerated via the type of valve more often seen on a bicycle pump. 

5 Beers at the Bent Spoke Brewery:
  1. Barley Griffin - a cloudy, malty ale which reminded me of pizza dough. I couldn't think why until I saw that it is made with the addition of oregano.
  2. Crankshaft - a very hoppy IPA packed with lots of lovely American and citrus hops.
  3. Mort's Gold - I didn't try this one, which is apparently a crisp and hoppy pilsner. I was driving and so limited in my tastings, but there's always next time...
  4. Dick Tracy - a fruity, nutty Belgo-inspired brown ale, with a lovely mashed up nomenclature.
  5. Braddon Bitter - hand-pumped bitter; it's made with Aussie ingredients but had an essentially English flavour - my favourite!

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