Busselton’s Craft Beer Boom

 

Crafty Pints

New large-scale breweries, fledgling operations, and up-and-comer brewers are defining Busselton as the place with the best (and most audacious) beers in the state.

The fact that the Margaret River Region is wine country is not exactly news, but what might come as a surprise to many, is that the region’s largest city – Busselton, loves its crafty pints. New large-scale breweries, fledgling operations, and up-and-comer brewers are defining Busselton as the place with the best (and most audacious) beers in the state.

Shelter Brewing Co Busselton

Shelter Brewing Co is the newest addition to the region, located on the Busselton Foreshore.

Shelter Brewing Co

One of the region’s newest breweries that has quickly garnered a loyal following, Shelter Brewing Co takes centre stage on the Busselton Foreshore. It’s big, with a capacity for 600, and designed to maximise the iconic views of Busselton Jetty and Geographe Bay. The impressive two-level structure features an open brewery, function rooms, lounge area, viewing gallery, café and a kids playground complete with a custom built wooden retro caravan. The venue is open all day, starting with coffee and cinnamon scrolls at 7am, then setting up the brewery at 10am. The beer doesn’t come any fresher, straight from the tank to the tap with the core range of beers being pale ales, lagers, and a summer sour. Shelter is born and brewed in Busselton, just like it says on the tin.

Rocky Ridge

From ‘ground to glass’ Rocky Ridge is one of a few breweries that also grows its own hops on their local farm. The cellar door isn’t on the farm but situated in a renovated 1930s house in the heart of Busselton with 25 taps serving six core beers and 16 or more seasonal brews. Margaret River Burger Co food truck is parked up each day to feed the hungry.

Eagle Bay Brewery

A packed car park is always a good sign and walking in, it’s easy to see why. Eagle Bay Brewing feels elegant. A modern venue that enjoys sweeping views over the lawn, and onto the Indian Ocean. The microbrewery is popular with families offering space outside for kids including a playground with a sand pit, long tables, high ceilings and big bi-fold doors that bring the outside in. Open daily from 11am, Eagle Bay Brewing Co pours six handcrafted beers that are naturally brewed: Kolsch, Pale Ale, Lager, India Pale Lager, Cacao Stout and Amber Ale mid strength. The food menu is based around seasonal local produce designed for sharing.

Settle in for an arvo brew at Wild Hop in Yallingup.

Wild Hop Brewing Company

With pretty views over a dam, a valley and onto vineyards beyond, the expansive alfresco area dotted with umbrellas and tables parked under shady cottonwood trees make this place a favourite. The family run Wild Hop Brewing Company does things a little differently. Inside the cellar door, there’s ten taps of batch-brewed beer that are continuously changing, the only constant being the Short Shorts Czech Pilsner. When it comes to food, don’t leave without trying a beer battered pickle. It blew my mind it was lip-smackingly good in a crisp, sweet and salty way.

Beerfarm

Beerfarm is exactly what the name implies, an old 160-acre dairy farm with beer. And on the farm are Black Angus cows that feed on grass as well as grains from the by-product of the brewing process, all to minimising waste. Inside the big welcoming barn there’s a fire, high and low tables and at the bar, a core range of beers along with seasonal and speciality brews. The menu changes regularly depending on what’s available from neighbouring farms and local suppliers, with a focus on smoked dishes that are cooked over a combo of fire, charcoal and smoke.

Monkey Bar Vasse

Vasse has been rapidly evolving before our eyes with new bars, creative outlets and retail popping up. Cheeky Monkey brewery have joined the hotspot, and have opened up their production facility in Vasse, wacked in a bar, added some seating, a pool table for fun along with a menu serving pizzas to create Monkey Bar Vasse. Good news, it saves a trip down Caves Road to their main cellar door to grab their freshly brewed beer, which is incidentally loved by families for its spacious setting and huge playground.

Monkey Bar Vasse

Located inside Cheeky Monkey’s production facility, enjoy pizzas and brews at the Monkey Bar Vasse.

Black Brewing Co

The colossal Black Brewing Co impresses before you even set foot inside. The grand indoor area is flooded with light from large windows, a sky-high wood-panelled ceiling, traditional stonework housing a fireplace that also separates the tasting area and retail space from Black Brewing Co, and several large outdoor areas, plus a deck that overlooks a lake complete with a fountain. Tasting paddles are available, along with Dune Distillery spirit tastings and Ground to Cloud wine tastings. The pared-back menu caters for a range of tastes with dishes such as Korean bang bang chicken wings, miso rosemary roasted pumpkin, maple glazed beef along with a range of woodfired pizzas.

Aravina Taphouse – 8 Waves Brewing Co

No longer just making wine, Aravina Estate has launched a new craft beer label, 8 Waves Brewing Co, pouring beers from five rotating taps in the new Taphouse, situated underneath the restaurant. Aptly named after eight famous surf breaks in the region, the 8 Waves Brewing Co ties in nicely to the established WA Surf Gallery that was formed in collaboration with Surfing WA some years ago. Inside, the Taphouse wall is donned with a colourful mural from the distinctive local artist Aidan Lee Smith. The Taphouse offers a tasting paddle, tap cider, cocktails and a casual dining menu featuring seafood baskets, duck spring rolls and a range of stone-baked pizzas

Thirsty for a brew? Hop along to the region’s craft beer trail.

Dianne Bortoletto

Author Dianne Bortoletto

Dianne Bortoletto is a food and travel writer, a regular contributor to Your Margaret River Region magazine and published in Italianicious, Luxury Travel, OUTthere, IN (LAN inflight), RedBull.com, Lightfoot Travel and Broadsheet. She’s been commissioned to write for Tourism Australia, Tourism WA, Perth Convention Bureau and Rottnest Island Authority. Dianne knows her way around the kitchen, wishes she could surf, pretends to keep fit and loves the sound of fast cars. Her other loves include a Greek named Zorba, a Westie named Bella, the Margaret River region and all things Italian. She's an ex-chocoholic and is shamelessly addicted to travel and proper coffee. Having travelled the world, Dianne knows how good we have in the Margaret River region. You can follow her adventures on her blog Travelletto.com / Instagram: @travelletto / Twitter: @travelletto

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