Tag Archives: craft beer

Pot Belly, Belconnen

7 Jun

It seems everyone has a story about visiting the Pot Belly in Weedon Close in Belconnen. The bar sits in the same street as other Canberra institutions – Turkish Delight, Laser Tag and Can Tho – and has been a haunt for generations of uni students and Belconnen residents. But the last few years of its decades-long history have been a little shaky.

Let’s be honest: as many Canberrans will attest, the Pot has always been a dive bar. Its lack of natural light and dark wood throughout lends itself to an ‘English pub’ descriptor. It’s also familiar – the customers are familiar (which can be a bit daunting if you’re visiting for the first time), the beers are familiar (the only craft beer offered was Roger’s), and the location hasn’t changed in 40 years. In the last few years it took on the name Pot Belly Bar and Bistro, operating a small restaurant which was open most days of the week – but it was empty. Few people knew about it, and if they did, they rarely took advantage of it.

Pot Belly had been for sale for around a year when finally there was a taker – or takers. Six people – or three couples – now co-own this skinny pub in the heights of Belconnen’s Town Centre. Within a few days the new owners stripped the taps and replaced them entirely with craft beer (and I’m not talking Roger’s). The structure is entirely the same, but oddly-framed live act memorabilia that crowded the walls has disappeared. I think the most interesting thing to watch over the coming months is whether the usual customers will disappear – and, if so, if they’ll be replaced.

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Marble & Grain, Braddon*

16 Apr

* I attended this experience at Marble & Grain as their guest.

Hopscotch. Black Fire. Marble & Grain. Braddon restaurants have a thing about clever names and I was particularly excited when Marble & Grain launched, expecting a high-end gastropub, with gorgeous, delicately-marbled steaks and sides and a range of excellent beers to match. After its soft opening late in 2014, I watched first with interest, then surprise, as respected reviewers and friends emerged from their experience and gave Marble & Grain a resounding thumbs down.

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Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival 2014

9 Apr

The Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival is one of our ‘must-dos’. Sunshine, a great venue and, of course, beer all make for a great afternoon out… but the festival still has a few issues to get on top of.

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Small Brewers Beer Fest – take two

29 Sep

In March, we had a good time at the inaugural Small Brewers Beer Festival at the Botanic Gardens (not to be confused with the Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival). It had a huge turnout, and, with it, a few teething problems: the lines were enormous, there wasn’t water available on the hot day, and some of the beer served was hot. With news that the festival was returning for a second time in late September, I was excited – the second time was surely going to be better, with the benefit of lessons learned from the first festival. The first good news is early bird tickets: for the same price it’s 20 tokens instead of 10, meaning double the beer. The second good news is its move to EPIC – an inside event, like Oktoberfest, will be ideal. Even though there are 50km/h winds, I don’t bring a jacket – what will be the point if we’re inside? My expectations plummet when we arrive to find the festival in …

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Small Brewers Beer Festival

10 Mar

We thought the Small Brewers Beer Festival was going to be a small event. I hadn’t seen much advertising (except for the Riot Act and beer loving Twitter friends) and I thought it might be confused with the Craft Beer and Cider Event next month (13 April). We were wrong. It was huge. Continue reading