Who are you?
I’m Matt Thiele, the head brewer here at Cypher Brewing Co. I’m a beer lover and a self-proclaimed hop lover; I love making hoppy beers. I’m also a music lover, and love spending time with my family and friends.
So I’m a pretty simple guy, but passionate about what I do.
What is Cypher?
Cypher is a brewery, taproom and kitchen down in Gungahlin. It’s got everything you need for a night out or just a lunch date. We’re pretty new and we don’t do much advertising but it’s amazing to see how word of mouth has gotten out around Canberra.
It’s been humbling to see how Canberra reacts to new places; we’ve had amazing support.
What’s a drink that best sums up what your venue does?
I always recommend starting with our Shooeys Aussie Pale Ale. That’s probably our most popular beer, at the moment. It’s low ABV so it gets drunk a bit more. From there I’d either take you toward the lagers or some of the higher ABV hoppy beers that we have on at the moment.
You can have it in a glass, but if you wanted to drink it from a shoe … well we wouldn’t judge!
What’s your favourite beer at the moment?
I’ve got a double IPA which is tasting really nice at the moment. It’s an American-style hazy double IPA. Loaded to the brim with hops, it’s got that hop aroma and that typical yeast aroma as well.
It’ll be great when it’s canned – the perfect beer to take home, pour in a glass and just enjoy.
I’d say either Mexican or American BBQ. There’s a lot of things that come very close but those two just stand out. If I was stuck on a desert island it’d probably be a burrito I’d want.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Chilli. I love heat and I love spice. I haven’t put it in beer yet, but there’s some beers that call for a bit of heat. Maybe a ginger beer.
Who is your biggest brewing influence?
There’s a lot of big brewers in America that are inspiring me. Some in Australia too like Mountain Culture, Range and Fox Friday that are really inspiring me to push my limits here which is fun and keeps things interesting.
What beer media is inspiring you right now?
I listen to the Craft Beer and Brewing podcast from the US a lot, they’ve also got a magazine. It’s always got good stuff.
What do you wish people understood about your job?
I think some people don’t realise it’s actually pretty hard, it’s very physical. And there’s also a lot of science and engineering to it. People see us standing around but they don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s quite an involved job!
Where do you dine out in Canberra for comfort food?
I love a big parmy, any pub that does a good parmy is alright by me.
Where do you dine out for special occasions?
Definitely Raku. Just went there for my birthday, it’s amazing.
Where do you go for a drink?
Apart from Cypher there are a few. I love going to Capital and Bentspoke. Brew Nation in the city is another good spot, or To All My Friends in Cook.
What’s your go-to coffee?
There’s a great little cafe in Narrabundah called Du Sel. It’s a tiny little spot but they make great food and great coffee. It’s pretty understated but there’s really good quality stuff coming out of it.
Where would you take out of town visitors to show off the best of Canberra?
I’d probably just go straight to Lonsdale street in Braddon and go for a walk up and down there. They do markets on the weekend and then it also leads down into the city where they’ve opened up that shared pedestrian space.
There’s lots happening, it’s pretty exciting.
Who do you admire in the Canberra food scene?
Obviously Richard Watkins, aka Big Rich, over at Bentspoke, he’s doing great stuff for craft beer not only in Canberra but also in Australia.
What’s a well kept (or not so well kept) foodie secret in Canberra?
La Empanada bakehouse in Gungahlin. They make incredible South American cuisine. I’m a pretty frequent visitor there.
Where are you excited to eat next?
The new Japanese place that’s opening up soon – Koto. I’ve been watching that and so I’m excited for when they open.
What’s your dream travel destination?
I’ve definitely got plenty of dream destinations, and most of them involve beer in some way!
I’ve got to get back to the east coast of America. And we recently went to Copenhagen so I’d love to go back to Scandinavia. They’re doing some really interesting stuff with beer. They’re probably top of my list.
What are your top 3 recipe tips for brewing?
1 – Patience.
2 – Hops, hops, and more hops!
3 – Keep everything clean. Cleanliness in the brewery is so important.