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Canberra Beer Gets Crafty

Molly McLaughlin

The craft beer industry has exploded in Canberra over the last couple of years with Bentspoke Brewing Co. brewing 18 varieties of beer and cider on the premises, Zierholz Brewery brewing German inspired beer with a twist, and Wig and Pen Tavern offering 16 different beers with food to match. Now you can also discover new craft beer without leaving the house.

The team behind the new Canberra-based craft beer delivery service The Beer Crate, Murray Emerton and Mandy Francis, came up with the idea mainly so they could discover great craft beer to tell all their mates about.


Creators of The Beer Crate, Murray Emerton and Mandy Francis.

Creators of The Beer Crate, Murray Emerton and Mandy Francis.

“It’s a result of the unapologetic Aussie nature of one-upmanship,” Murray says. “The regular topic of conversation on Monday morning centres not on what you did on the weekend, but what you drank and where you found it.”

Due to the small size of many of the breweries around the country that focus on quality not quantity, it can be difficult it can be to track down that amazing golden ale or stout and to hear about unknown breweries. The Beer Crate is attempting to introduce beer drinkers (and newbies) to something different. Subscribers can get an 8 or a 12-bottle crate delivered every month or every quarter sourced from a mix of breweries.

“We keep across what’s happening at the breweries around Australia, our distributors are good at letting us know by sending monthly emails out about certain specialty beers which if we like we can then order and distribute to our subscribers,” Murray says.

If you’re overwhelmed by the choices and wondering when choosing a beer became as complicated as a wine tasting, you’re not alone. The solution, according to craft beer obsessives, is to try them all. The Hottest 100 of Aussie Craft Beers in 2015  was recently released and the results are in: Stone & Wood Pacific Ale took out the top spot and pale ales and IPAs dominated the list.

Murray likes to drink beer that matches the season but also loves the discovery of a new and interesting taste.

“I’ll go more into stouts and porters over the colder months and over December and January I’ve stuck to summer ales, pale ales and golden ales. I also like to put something different in the crate, so I’ll put styles of beer that are different in every box.”

His recommendation at the moment is an IPA. “In my fridge is the Galaxy IPA from the Little Brewing Company. It’s my latest favourite.”

See and get your own beer crate or buy a subscription as a gift from


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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