Cream of the hop: All you need to know about the South West Craft Beer Festival + WIN 2x double passes


Cream of the hop

All you need to know about the South West Craft Beer Festival + WIN 2x double passes

Words by Norman Burns | Images by Elements Margaret River

The South West Craft Beer Festival in Busselton on 13 February will showcase the cream of the region’s boutique breweries, cider makers and much, much more.

I’m not sure if Duff Beer qualifies as a craft brew but there’s no denying Homer Simpson’s homage to this most-excellent of beverages is right on the money. And beer lovers will be in seventh heaven on 13 February when the best boutique brewers in the region get to strut their stuff at Old Broadwater Farm, near Busselton, for the South West Craft Beer Festival.

Good Beer
South West Craft Beer Festival Beers
South West Craft Beer Festival Goers

Now in its fifth year, the South West Craft Beer Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever, with more than 60 brews to tempt your tastebuds. Add in samples of the South West’s finest food, some cool and groovy beats on three stages, and you’ve got a day that ticks all the boxes. Brewers will also be vying for the honour of the Boilertronics South West Beer of the Year. The head brewer of each attending exhibitor (at the time of going to press 16 brewers and cideries, plus a winery, were confirmed starters but many more were expected to be added to the list of exhibitors) will nominate one beer for the contest, the winner getting a $1,000 cash prize – but more importantly, a massive publicity boost and bragging rights with their peers.

The $30 admission (plus booking fee) will include one plastic cup and four tasting tokens (smart festival goers will ensure they have a nondrinking designated driver for the day) and gates will open from 10.30am, with drinks service from 11am. The event winds up at 7pm.

So whether you’re an ale guy/woman, lager drinker, wheat beer aficianado, have a pale ale preference, look to the dark (ale) side or really love your cider and perry, the South West Beer Festival is going to have something for everyone.

Margaret River Ale Company Rockin Ale Tap
South West Craft Beer Festival Goers
American Style BBQ
South West Craft Beer Festival cooling under trees
South West Craft Beer Festival Live Music

Win tickets

The kind folks at the festival are offering 2x double passes to the festival for one lucky winner. Enter below to try your luck!

South West Craft Beer Festival

Best brews

Take a look at just some of the great South West boutique breweries and cideries, and their star products.


Family owned and operated, these guys are veterans having been in the region for over 10 years, consistently providing great brews, delicious food and good times. With a restaurant focusing on local produce and seven beers currently available on tap at the brewery including: Cowaramup Pilsener, Cowaramup Hefeweizen, Cowaramup Lightsign Summer Ale, Cowaramup Special Pale Ale, Cowaramup India Pale & Cowaramup Porter. CBC also have a range of delicious local wines available by the glass or bottle as well as alcoholic Ginger Beer & lemon Lime & Bitters.


See Cowaramup Brewing Company

Bootleg Brewery


The Margaret River Region’s Bootleg Brewery has been handcrafting a range of multi awardwinning ales and lagers since 1994. For the festival, it brings, among others, its Raging Bull Dark Ale to the table. And, as its name suggests, this is no shrinking violet of a beer – it weighs in with a 7.1% alcohol content, and the combo of three Australian specialty malts and Tasmanian Pride of Ringwood Hops generates intense flavours of coffee and dark fruit. Like the original Raging Bull, boxer Jake LaMotta (memorably portrayed by Robert De Niro in the movie of the same name), this packs quite a punch.

Bush Shack Brewery


Chilli Beer, Chocolate Beer, the intriguingly named Pharaoh’s Spelt Beer and Dirty Dan’s Dark Delight are just four of the brews on offer from family-owned Yallingup microbrewery, the Bush Shack Brewery. It began as the Wicked Ale Brewery in the 1990s and now Danial and Coralie Wind specialise in creating all-natural, unfiltered brews, as well as producing flavoured wine-based drinks. For something different, try Scream’n Cream’n or Mango Madness.


See Bush Shack Brewery

Cheeky Monkey Brewery


The Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery has been creating beautiful handcrafted beers and cider since 2012. Cheeky Monkey is taking bold steps and expanding into canning their brews. So for summer 2015, you’ll be able to take a Cheeky Monkey can of beer or cider with you on picnics and days out – perfect for the esky. Expect seasonal brews and the hoppy Hagenbeck Belgian IPA, a mid-strength called Travelling Monk, plus ciders and more.

Colonial Brewery


Based in the heart of the Margaret River Region, the Colonial Brewing Co produces a wide range of superbly crafted beers, from draught to pale ale to witbier (wheat beer) and special “project” brews in which it encourages its brewers to “think outside the box”. The latest of these project brews is the Grapefruit Kristallweizen. A Kristallweizen is the filtered version of the traditional German wheat beer Hefeweizen, where the yeast is removed from the beer giving it a sparkling clarity. Says Colonial: “German wheat beers are renowned for the yeast that is used which creates candied banana, clove and sometimes smoky, aromas. We thought grapefruit would be a nice complement to these flavours, plus we had about 200kg growing on our orchard at the brewery property.” Colonial peeled the grapefruit, dried the skins and added these to the last couple of minutes of the “boil” to extract the zesty flavour of the fruit. The result, says Colonial, is what should be the “perfect beer” for summer – nice biscuit flavours from the malt, thick, creamy mouth feel from the wheat, candied banana and clove from the yeast and the grapefruit adding refreshing citrus flavours and some bitterness. Sounds delicious.

Eagle Bay Brewery Logo


Eagle Bay Brewing Co’s modus operandi is beer, pure beer – fresh rainwater, malted barley, yeast and atmosphere. Says Eagle Bay: “No preservatives or nasty stuff in our beers.” The family-run boutique brewery brings its own take on various beer styles – including a light and summery Kolsch (4.7%), an Americanstyle Pale Ale (5.1%) and, something to warm the cockles of the hearts of many an Englishman, an Extra Special Bitter (5.4%).

South West Craft Beer Festival sunny lawn

Happy cider drinkers

So hop on board this February!

Saturday 13th February 2016 – South West Craft Beer Festival tickets are $30 each with entry and a beer glass, four tasting tokens and entertainment. There are plenty more local brews to try.


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  • Avatar Jacqui says:

    I Believe there are musicians playing live. Any chance you could share some information about who and when?

    • Jenny Lee Jenny Lee says:

      Hiya Jacqui,

      Sure thing, here’s the line up! (via

      Here you will find relaxed vibes, with the best soloists and acoustic acts setting the tone.
      11am – Pete Mathews
      12pm – Latehorse
      1pm – Wil Thomas
      2pm – Seth Lowe aka Squid
      3pm – Cassandra Charlick Duo
      4pm – Tom Day
      5pm – Miss Max

      Bigger and more upbeat, the Mash Pit is the place to either boogie, or pull up on the grass and enjoy the action.
      11am – EnthuZe
      12pm – Axolotl
      1pm – Big Bark Boogie
      2pm – Salt Tree
      3pm – Formidable Vegetable Sound System
      4pm – Blue Child Collective
      5pm – Jason and the Stirling Rangers

      Keen to shake it? Head over to the Ferment Tent, where they like to tear the decks to shreds!
      12pm – DJ Mandy B
      2pm – Private Pickle aka UK
      4pm – DJ Chris Archibald

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