Capital Brewing Co | A New Craft Brewery In Canberra
Interview: Capital Brewing Co. | New Craft Brewery In Canberra
Taking on the big companies who own most of the beer labels we’re used to seeing at the pub or bottle-o, craft breweries offer new and unique flavours. The craft beer market in Australia has grown significantly in recent years. Safe to say, it’s a pretty good time to be a beer drinker right now! Our choices are endless, with many different labels offering such different styles. If you don’t feel like drinking a traditional lager, why not reach for an IPA, saison, stout, or pale ale?
Capital Brewing Co. is one of the newest additions to Australia’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Based in Canberra, hence the name, the label was launched by a group of friends last year. Included in the founding team are brothers Rich and Sam Coombes, who also founded Batlow Cider Co. and Will & Co. coffee together. Sam is also responsible for surf fashion label The Critical Slide Society. Clearly he didn’t already have enough on his plate before starting a beer company too!
Rich and Sam joined forces with the operators behind iconic Canberra venues Honky Tonks and Hippo Co., Tom Hertel and Laurence Kain. Through a shared love of craft beer, Capital Brewing Co. was born. The team recruited Wade Hurley as their Head Brewer, whose experience at some prominent craft breweries in California gives him great insight into what makes a good beer. Together the team have set about creating their own contribution to the Australian craft beer scene, with their Coast Ale being first cab off the rank.
With plans to launch their own brewery in Canberra this year, Capital Brewing Co. has also been able to take advantage of the new Batlow region hop program. Though the area is predominantly renowned for their apples, a recent successful foray into hop farming means the brewery will be able to use fresh hops in their brews.
We recently had the chance to chat with Wade about beer, food, and Capital Brewing Co. Check out our interview below.
What differences have you found between the California beer scene and Australia?
Some of the main differences I’ve noticed between the Australian and American craft beer scene is style preferences. In the States people tend to gravitate towards big hoppy IPAs while in Australia low ABV sessionable beers are more popular.
Where do you see the Australian craft beer scene heading?
The Australian beer scene is growing bigger every day. The key to its growth is breweries making tasty approachable beers that everyone can enjoy. After people get a taste for craft beer their palates start leaning towards hoppier and more flavour forward beers. I think IPAs and barrel aged beers will keep gaining in popularity.
What attracted you to Capital Brewing Co.?
The opportunity to build a brewery and create my own recipes in Australia is what drew me to Capital. Also, it’s a great team behind the brewery and I knew working with them would be fun.
You’ve just done a collaboration with Grifter. What do you enjoy about working with other breweries?
Collaborating with other breweries is always a fun learning experience. When you have two Brewers working together you end up using different ingredients and usually come up with a unique beer.
You’re using fresh hops from the Batlow region. How will this influence the beers you brew?
Fresh hops gives beer a unique flavour. The Cascade hops grown in Batlow have a great fruity aroma. I am looking forward to using more of their hops in different recipes.
What type of beers would you recommend people opt for coming into summer?
I tend to lean towards lagers and session IPAs during the summer. The warmer weather calls for many beers and the lower the ABV the more you can drink!
What’s the best food to pair Coast Ale with?
Coast Ale pairs really well with seafood. It’s light and has a subtle citrus note. Drink one with a prawn pasta or some fresh oysters by the beach.