Back in 2008 Jeremy Sambrooks from Beer and Brewer visited all six of Margaret River’s breweries in a single day. He recently returned to the renowned wine region to discover a plethora of craft breweries at a concentration found nowhere else in regional Australia.
Situated in Western Australia’s south west corner, about three hours’ drive from Perth, the Margaret River region stretches from Cape Naturaliste in the north, to Cape Leeuwin in the south, with most towns and attractions located within 20km of the coast. The southernmost brewery is found in the town of Margaret River, which is where we start our journey.
Until the 60s, Margaret River was a support centre for dairy farms and the timber industry, like many other small towns in the area. Since then, through a combination of wine, surf and other attractions, Margaret River has become a huge tourism success. On any sunny weekend the main street can be found bustling with people shopping at the many boutique stores. While a few chain stores have popped up in recent years, for the most, the laid-back surfer town charm remains.
In the light industrial area just out of the town centre is the production-only microbrewery for the Margaret River Ale Company. Operational since 2011, their beers are on tap primarily at Settlers Tavern – known affectionately as ‘The Tav’ by locals. The brewery’s range consists of their Rockin’ Pale Ale, Great White Ale, Bombora Pilsner and Day Tripa IPA. All the Margaret River Ale Co.’s beers are keg conditioned and unfiltered for a hazy appearance and fuller mouthfeel.