November 20, 2017
With a star studded swag of world-class wineries, craft breweries, bars and cafes, Canberra is the perfect place to wet your whistle this summer. Boasting some of the hippest craft beer taphouses in the country, some of the best cool-climate wines on the map, some of Australia’s best bars, some seriously top-shelf gin and some of the world’s best baristas (proof is in the hefty swag of awards Canberra is notching up), you won’t go thirsty in Canberra.
Beer lovers will have all their hoppiest dreams answered with craft beer houses, microbreweries and trendy taphouses serving the tastiest, frothiest brews around.
Capital Brewing Co. is Canberra’s newest taphouse, serving beers from Wednesday to Sunday. Grab a burger from Brodburger’s iconic red on-site van and kick back in the Tap Room. Tours are available on the weekend for $25 (bookings essential), including a cold beer on arrival, a behind-the-scenes peek and tasting paddle memento.
If you’re looking for an inner-city watering hole, then Bentspoke Brewing Co. is your answer. This microbrewery, which rotates through 50 varieties of beer, cider and even a gluten-friendly ginger beer, is a favourite local haunt to savour the delicious brews and have a tasty bite to eat. The beers are so delicious that their Barley Griffin Pale Ale is currently being served on Singapore Airlines’ select business and first class international flights in and out of Australia. Respect.
For a German-inspired beer experience, try Zierholz Premium Brewery. The shankbier, weizen and porter brews pair perfectly with German sausages, slow roast pork knuckle or the Hungarian beef and beer goulash. Ja, bitte schön!
If wine is your jam (we mean, grape), drive just 30 minutes out of the city and have 33 boutique cellar doors to explore.
Canberra’s three cool-climate wine regions offer a spectacular range of experiences, from wine-tasting and dining to truffle hunting. Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Shiraz varieties thrive in the capital region. Try Clonakilla for boutique wines gaining international acclaim, Gallagher Wines for “The Best Riesling – internationally” in the 2017 Riesling Challenge or Four Winds Vineyard for hand-crafted wine and a slice of wood-fired pizza.
Or for a top-shelf wine experience just 10 minutes' drive from the city centre, visit Mount Majura Vineyard, a dynamic winery and vineyard with a cellar door and unique seated tasting. Try their acclaimed Tempranillo, or their Pinot Gris on a hot summer's day.
Canberra boasts Australia’s best bars - just ask Gourmet Traveller. Bar Rochford, voted Australia’s Best Bar in the 2018 Gourmet Traveller awards, really is a cut above the rest. They’re all about doing everything to the highest possible levels of perfection. Try their Strange Holiday cocktail for an edgy take on the standard tropical quencher.
Or for a sneaky Cuban-eque escape, head to The Highball Express, straight out of the prohibition era when an airline offered flights to the Caribbean serving an abundance of cocktails in highball glasses. The flight became affectionately known as "The Highball Express". Think a weekend away to sunny Cuba, where exotic rums, cocktails and punches await.
Perfect for lounging in the sun soaking up a delicious cocktail, is Tipsy Bull in Braddon, boasting a menu full of the good old fashioned classics with a tipsy touch. Walk just a few steps next door to Hopscotch, a gastropub with a massive beer garden and frequent live music.
With gin’s popularity levels almost off the Richter this summer, you’ll be pleased to know that gin has been making VIP appearances all over Canberra.
Get your gin fix with Underground Spirits’ Signature Gin, which scored a silver medal at the Melbourne International Spirits Competition 2017, or The Canberra Distillery’s Classic or Winter Gin. Go to Muse at East Hotel for their all-Australian Small Batch Negroni, which combines Canberra Distillery Gin with Castagna Classic Dry Vermouth, a red vermouth from Beechworth and a bitter hit of Applewood Distillery Red Økar from South Australia.
Or for a sophisticated spin on the classic breakfast martini, go underground to Black Market (downstairs from A.Baker, NewActon) and ask for Dr Jekyll and Mr Hendricks. You’ll feel like you’re at a tea party when this gin-based cocktail comes served from a Hendricks teacup.
Drop by the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre for a bottle of your favourite drop, ideal for a souvenir or Christmas gift.
Coffee devotees can be brewed the perfect coffee at The Cupping Room – brainchild of World Champion barista Sasa Sectic and his award winning ONA coffee. Their plates, which are updated seasonally are as on point as their coffee, and feature hipster faves like ‘Avo’ – half an avocado, poached eggs, smoked labna, red dukkah, lemon, sourdough + optional wood-smoked bacon.
For a sun-soaked start to the morning, head to Doubleshot, Deakin and opt to sit in their designer outdoor dining area. Here, families, friends and even foes are encouraged to sit back, relax and soak up the quirky interiors whilst sipping on a deluxe cuppa or a famous peanut butter smoothie.
Or you can’t go wrong at Lonsdale Street Roasters, right in the middle of Braddon. Their coffee beans have been scattering themselves all over Canberra, and can also be found perfectly brewed at Remedy by LSR in Belconnen and Kingston Foreshore.
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