DROP: Richard Watkins wants Newcastle to be a hub for craft beer. – Picture by Peter StoopRICHARD Watkins knows a thing or two about what makes a good beer and he wants to share his secrets with his home town.
Mr Watkins, who grew up at Bolton Point, is the head brewer at the iconic Canberra brewpub the Wig and Pen.
He recently knocked up 2000 batches in the brewery at the back of the cramped pub, which specialises in ‘‘real ales’’ and is revered in craft beer circles as one of Australia’s best beer venues.
In town for Newcastle Craft Beer Week, Mr Watkins said he was keen to showcase his beers in Newcastle.
‘‘[Fellow brewer] Lachlan McBean told me how Newcastle has a growing craft beer scene,’’ he said.
‘‘I said to him that if you start [an event] I’ll send some beers. I ended up coming up for it as well.’’
Mr Watkins said he wanted to help establish Newcastle as a hub for craft beer.
On Monday night, he hosted a beer tasting at the Burwood Inn at Merewether, which featured some of his favourite Wig and Pen beers.
For the rest of the week, some of his brews will rotate at Wickham’s Albion Hotel.
Those lucky enough to have booked for the official Craft Beer Week dinner at the Albion Hotel on Thursday night will sample one of his unique beers, a ‘‘funky’’ Belgian-style ale called Bob’s Armpit.
The dinner features seven beers, all paired with a different course.
Bob’s Armpit has been paired with cheese because of its ‘‘strong flavours’’.