It wasn’t all long boozy lunches at massive breweries in WA, occasionally I either popped in to a brewery for a quick one, sat on a beach drinking, or ended the evening with a nice brew.Whilst there I managed to find three brews that were perfect for each of these very specific situations and lucky you get to hear all about them.
Let’s start with a beer perfect for a quick pop in to a brewery. The brewery is a little one (by WA standards) called Occy’s which is on the outskirts of Busselton. It’s a rustic little setting, with the brewery itself in a shed in the corner of a huge beer garden. And the beer of choice for me at Occy’s was the Radler. Now the clever amongst you may point out, that ‘Radler’ is not a style of beer exactly, but rather a beer mixed with lemonade (what Australians would call a shandy).
In the past I’ve been known to claim that all stories were better if they had a monkey in them. Well I’m happy to say this one must be a corker, because it’s all about Cheeky Monkey Brewery located about half way between Dunsborough and Margaret River (the town not the region).
It’s a young brewery, just seven or so months old and I can tell you they ain’t doing things by halves (it’s not the WA way). The brewery is big, even by WA proportions, and to this Melbourne boy who is more used to bars that are made up of seven milk crates and three of nana’s old vinyl kitchen chairs in a converted space above an accountants office it seemed positively daunting.
When you tell people you are going on holiday to Margaret River they will immediately start banging on about wineries. As both you and I are enlightened (and possibly bearded) beery folk we know that the wineries are all well and good but what is really interesting is the breweries.
Before I took the Pet Shop Boy’s advice or alternatively the Village People’s advice and went west I did a little bit of research. Now I know, as I’m sure you know about the big boys of the WA craft brewing scene, names like Feral, Bootleg, Mash and Colonial, but after a quick trip around the interwebs I discovered that there were more than a few breweries that I’d never heard of.
One of these was Eagle Bay Brewing, in the town of, you guessed it Eagle Bay. I realised quickly that this was not far from where we were staying in a town called Dunsborough which by the way is home to two excellent bars, a Clancy’s Fish Pub and the Pourhouse, which I’m putting just behind the Wheaty as my favourite non-Victorian pub. Given its proximity it’s not surprising that we made it there on our first day in Margaret River.