What if your regular bar was not so regular, and that every time you visited, there were different beers on tap?
This is the mantra behind The Pot Belly Boutique Bar.
Tucked away in the industrial pocket of Belconnen, you will find a big wooden door that when opened, the first thing you notice is that the interiors resemble the establishment that first opened its doors in 1976.
With new owners and a small variation in the name, there has been a huge change in the philosophy for The Pot Belly Boutique Bar.
The new team, Joel Baines, Lisa Portolan, Kym Wojcik and Callum Copeman-Fleet, have a strong interest in micro-brewing and are bringing independence to the Canberra pub scene. Pot Belly Boutique Bar focusses on selling local wine, beer and boutique distilled spirits and uses brewed soft drinks.
I caught up with co-owner Joel Baines over a tasting paddle, to chat about the new focus for the bar.
Given that co-owner Joel is also president of the Canberra Brewers, it is no surprise that there is a focus on supporting smaller producers, and bringing the craft beer scene into the suburbs. One example is their support of local brewer PACT Beer Co, “if they could not sell locally where would they go” Joel said.
“If a Brewer walks in with a keg to try, I say why not”
The Pot Belly Boutique Bar does not have contracts in place with any breweries. They have ten beer taps, four of which they keep for semi-regular craft beers or ciders, and the remaining six they regularly change. Joel is open to trying new things – “If a Brewer walks in with a keg to try, I say why not”. The week before my visit they had a chilli infused beer on the menu.
Is Canberra’s best kept craft-beer secret?
My brain twigs – that means you could taste something new every week! I begin to wonder if this is Canberra’s best kept craft-beer secret, and if beer tasting aficionados around town are continually hitting refresh on the Pot Belly website to see what is currently on tap.
The Pot Belly Boutique Bar has longer term plans of brewing their own. Joel thinks that creating a ‘Belconnen Brew’ will provide a sense of ownership for their Belconnen locals.
The best way to sample something new is the tasting paddle; you choose three beers which are served in 200ml glasses. The beer menu is regularly updated with tasting notes. On this occasion, my paddle included the PACT Beer Co, Brickworks; Young Henry’s, Newtowner and the Batlow, Cloudy Cider.
The Pot Belly Boutique Bar may not have the latest in architecturally designed shop fittings, but if you want to taste something different; this is the place for you.
What you need to know:
- check the Pot Belly Boutique Bar website, NowTapped app, or Facebook page to see what is on tap.
- lunch is served Tuesday to Sunday & dinner Tuesday to Saturday
- you will find them at 5/26 Weedon Close, Belconnen.