If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s getting cold in Canberra, real cold. It’s no surprise – winter can be like that and it’s set to get colder, but a little cold never hurt anyone, in fact, winter can be some of the best time for a beer.
It’s no surprise beer is generally regarded as a summer drink, our crisp, fresh lagers and tropical noted pale ales downed cold while enjoying the Aussie sun and the great outdoors. But there is a world of wonderful winter beers set to warm your soul – think porters, stouts, brown ales or barley wines, their richer, darker, stronger characters taking centre stage as they appear on taps once the weather starts to turn south.
We’re lucky in Canberra to have the perfect combination of talented local breweries producing some of the finest winter beers in the country like Pact Beer Co Brickworks Brown Ale, Wig & Pen Tavern Velvet Cream Stout or BentSpoke Brewing Co latest release, the Gatekeeper Porter and some of the best winter pubs to enjoy them in. Here’s our pick of the best.
The Pot Belly (Belconnen) – “the Pot” (named after the famous type of stove) is a great place to relax by the fire on a chilly winter arvo or evening. Whether it’s Games Night, Trivia Night, Open Mic Night or just a quiet arvo or night at the pub, the Pot has got your winter beer needs covered. Soon to be brewing on site too.
Old Canberra Inn (Lyneham) – With wood fireplaces in the main bar area and gas heaters for drinking outdoors (if that’s your thing, Eskimo style), the OCI is a cosy place for a winter beer.With a regularly-changing tap list and hearty winter food, it’s no surprise to see the OCI packed to the rafters, even on the coldest of Canberra nights. Being built in 1857 just adds to the charm.
The George Harcourt Inn (Nicholls) – There’s nothing better than a summer beer in the beer garden at the George – except maybe a winter beer by one of the outdoor fire buckets. Like camping, but with better facilities. There’s also an open fire inside and a winter-friendly food menu to complement the regularly-changing craft beers on tap at thisEnglish-style pub.
Rose Cottage (Gilmore) – South-siders don’t need to travel north of the lake to enjoy a beer by an open fire. They can warm themselves by the fireplace or by one of the fire drums on the grounds of Rose Cottage, the late 1800s settler-era pub located just off the Monaro Hwy in Tuggeranong.
So there you have it, a quick list of options across the city that give you no excuse for skipping a night of beer discovery in the nation’s capital. Hope to see you soon by an open fire with a brew in hand.