Other than the Wig & Pen, the big beer discovery in Canberra was the Zierholz Premium Brewery. This is harder to discover than the Wig & Pen, because the backblocks of Fyshwick are the last place one would expect to look for a microbrewery with a restaurant attached. That said, it is really worth hunting down, because the food and the beer is genuinely unique.
Christoph Zierholz is a German who started brewing a beer for his father in a garage. He’s gone on to live the dream and build a real live brewery and make German style beers and serve it with German style food on site. The Brewery, Bar and Restaurant is all in one complex. A very simple space has long benches and tables designed for communal drinking and eating. The food fare and beer menu is very simply displayed on big black-board and there’s a bookshelf of books on beer from Christoph’s personal collection.
The best way to get into what Zierholz has to offer is to get a reasonably priced rack of 7 beers for $12, and you get to follow that up with a half pint of your favourite. There’s plenty of German style beers – “Schankbier”, “Weizen”, “HopMeister” etc and an Amber Ale in a “Dusseldorf style”. I really enjoyed the German Pils – a wonderful session beer with a sharp hoppy taste. $7 a pint is good value, and there’s also a locally produced cider.
The real surprise was one of the best light beers I’ve had. The Mild Autumn Ale has a wonderful dark brown colour and a decent amount of roasted taste. The aftertaste is not particularly long, but for a 2.1% beer – this is really, really good. So, if you get to Canberra make the effort to get to Zierholz Premium Brewery.