Dining / Of beer, bikes and having fun

IT’S fun drinking beer where beer is made. Truth be told, I only had a sip of a friend’s beer, being more of a wine lover myself, but it’s still fun. Especially on the last day of the weekend when you get to enjoy Sunday roast or grazing dishes.

BentSpoke Brewing Co. is cool. Very cool.

It’s a microbrewery offering 18 varieties of beer and cider, all brewed on site. There are regulars – called the “Straight Six” – such as the Barley Griffin, Morts Gold and the Braddon Bitter I tasted. And there are brews that pop up to celebrate the changing seasons. You can enjoy a small glass or a large glass with BentSpoke, including the alcohol by volume content on the menu.

The fitout is about beer making and bikes – both loves of the owners. So you have massive, shiny silver equipment, such as humungous beer tanks and lots and lots of pipes, some thick and some thin. The handrails gleam also and at least one has a site glass so you can see beer flowing through it.  Fermentation stuff is downstairs and brewing stuff upstairs.

We settled in upstairs. The menu isn’t extensive on Sundays, but it’s all tasty. Roast is from noon to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm.

Three options were available on our visit. Thyme and lemon rubbed Burrawong chicken ($20), Spent grain loaf to keep vegetarians well fed ($18), and rosemary and garlic roast lamb ($20). All dishes came with French peas, broccoli, roasted chat potatoes and gravy.

The dishes are high on flavour and the top-quality chicken was succulent. Our lamb was tender, although we prefer it slightly pink. The peas were fabulous, made with onion and mint to perk matters up considerably. It was all very yum and inexpensive when you consider you can pay $10 for a lousy bowl of plain-Jane frozen chips in some pubs these days.

BentSpoke also offers all-day grazing. Think interesting hop and malt dusted potato chips with barbecue sauce ($9), braised pork ribs with corn bread ($14 half rack; $20 full) or a roast chicken or roast lamb baguette with more of that gravy and a side of chips (around $15 and the French-style crusty bread hails from Autolyse). If none of that tickles your fancy you can chow down on cheddar cauliflower mac ‘n cheese.

The “not beer list” at BentSpoke is as impressive as the beers and celebrates the top drops our darling region offers, with reds from Murrumbateman and Collector and whites from Murrumbateman and Majura. Good on ya, BentSpoke. Spirits ($8 to $14) are from countries including Scotland, America, Japan, and Poland.

BentSpoke, open seven days from 11am to midnight. 38 Mort Street, Braddon. Call 6257 5220.


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