14 April 2023

Hot in the City: Cypher Brewing Co unlocks the doors to their new taproom

| Lucy Ridge
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four men pose for photo in front of brew tanks

Chef James Kirgan (centre left) and Head Brewer Matt Thiele (centre right) are keen to get pouring. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Cypher Brewing Co is set to unveil its new taproom in the heart of Gungahlin this weekend!

The new brewery is the brainchild of mates Jeff Wilson Shipley, Rachelle Loosen, Benn Masters and Leo Valenzuela – a group of keen home brewers who decided to go pro. Head Brewer Matt Thiele – previously of Capital Brewing – has come on board to run the brewing process.

After a few months of construction, the taproom will be opening to the public on Saturday, 15 April, with a grand opening day!

“We’ll have five different beers on tap, some live music, fun and games … it should be fun for the family and everyone,” said Matt Thiele.

Cypher Brewing Co signage on storefront

The Cypher brewpub location is right near the light rail in Gungahlin. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

The Cypher beers on tap will include a stout, hazy, XPA and red IPA. After looking for community feedback about the kinds of beer people prefer, they received the most requests for a lager. So they brewed a lager as their first in-house brew on the new equipment.

Jeff Wilson Shipley explained that they wanted to make sure that they were responding to what the community wanted.

“We’re a brewery by the people, for the people. We’re really here to give the people what they want,” he said.

“We’re small enough to have the flexibility to tweak things as we go, so we’re really encouraging people to let us know what they want, whether it’s more hops, a summer brew, or even non-alcoholic options. We’re listening and keen to make it happen.”

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Some Canberrans have been lucky enough to sample Cypher beers at their recent pop-up events at the Canberra Beer and Cider Festival and Multicultural Festival. They’ve also had a few beers on tap at The Old Canberra Inn, Frankies at Forde, and Siren Bar and Restaurant.

Now you can add the Cypher taproom to that list.

Jeff, wearing high vis, studies the Cypher Brewing Co architectural plans

Co-owner Jeff Wilson Shipley during construction of the new taproom. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

The group chose their Gungahlin site for its close access to the light rail and the growing demographics of the Gungahlin region. The light, airy space has a mix of booths, tables and bar seating, and even a play area for children.

The menu will focus on traditional bar classics done ‘just right’. Head chef James Kirgan said the full menu will feature fresh seafood and specials that ‘respect the ingredients’. But for the launch on Saturday, they will be running a limited menu to cater for the expected crowds.

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“We’re braising some beef in the red IPA that Matt has brewed, which is delicious … that will be served on sliders with provolone, jalapeño and red onion,” said James.

“We’ll have vegetarian options, and a few other small dishes like marinated calamari and some standard bar snacks like chips.”

The Cypher brewing co tent at the Multicultural festival

The Cypher team had a busy weekend at the multicultural festival. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Free online registrations to gauge numbers have now closed, and they’re expecting the launch to be very busy, but Jeff says anyone should feel free to come down and try your luck for a table or come and visit them during their regular opening hours. They’re looking forward to people coming through the doors.

Cypher Brewing Co is located at 3/35 Hinder Street, Gungahlin, close to the Gungahlin Place light rail stop.

The taproom is opening on 15 April from 11 am to 11 pm. Regular opening hours will be from Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to 11 pm. Follow Cypher Brewing Co on Facebook or Instagram for more.

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