Perth's craft beer scene punches well above its weight. Welcome to the cradle of Aussie craft beer.
There's no better time to discover Perth's craft beer scene.
Little Creatures, Feral Brewing Co., and Gage Roads are all probably names you know but there's also brands lesser known outside the state, like Mash, Nail, and Last Drop. Not to mention a band of south-western breweries like Colonial Brewing Co., Eagle Bay Brewing, Cheeky Monkey, Black Brewing and Bootleg, operating in the Margaret River Region. Don't worry; you don't need to travel south (although you really should), while there are so many great places in Perth flying the flag for good beer.
City and surrounds
On St Georges Terrace, Petition Beer Corner (Cnr of Barrack St and St Georges Terrace, 6000) in the State Buildings features a rotating tap list and staff that are qualified beer cicerones. Add in Chef Jesse Blake's beer focussed bar menu and you’re onto a winner. Down the terrace take to the roof at Bob's Bar (Brookfield Place, 125 St Georges Tce, Perth, 6000), the city cousin of Colonial Brewing Co. down in Margaret River. I favour their Small Ale, for big flavour at just 3.5%.
Across the tracks at Northbridge Brewing Co. (44 Lake St, Northbridge, 6003), they've got their core range, albeit bolstered by seasonal beers in limited supply. This is the heart of Perth's small bar boom, so also check out the likes of Lot 20, The Bird and Meat Candy.
In Victoria Park, traditionally a student burb, Dutch Trading Co. (243 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park, 6100) is one of Perth's brightest stars in the beer scene. 18 taps with a focus on the best in global craft, they go far beyond parochial beer choices.
Mount Lawley is an inner city mecca for good food, and finding a good drop here isn't difficult either. Five Bar (560 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley, 6050) is a personal favourite, with a small but robust beer selection on tap (and larger bottled list), while Caboose (639 Beaufort St, Mount Lawley, 6050), is a newer entrant in the craft scene; along the lines of a classic American tap house. 12 taps on rotation and a good bottle list, puts Caboose up front in Perth's craft scene.
Freo is the cradle of Craft Beer in Australia. The Sail and Anchor (64 South Terrace, Fremantle, 6160), the original brewpub that kicked off a revolution back in the day. While the microbrewery isn't operational anymore the Sail still has an amazing tap selection and is still held in high regard within the beer fraternity.
Just across the road, the Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen (33 South Terrace, Fremantle, 6160) has a roster of small batch beers and farmhouse ciders brewed on site.
The Norfolk Hotel (47 South Terrace, Fremantle, 6160), has serious old world charm with a new world line up. An impressive 32 taps pouring over 20 beers across the venue.
A visit to Freo without a visit to Little Creatures is inconceivable (40 Mews Rd, Fremantle, 6160). An icon in WA brewing, with a sibling brewery over east, the original is still pumping out quality beers from the "brewers favourite" Pale Ale, to seasonal brews. The quintessential Freo beer experience: a couple of wood fired pizzas and a good session.
Clancy's (51 Cantonment St, Fremantle, 6160) are the original craft ambassadors; serving good beer since 1996. Before we we're even banging on about "craft". The first pub to serve Little Creatures outside the brewery they've become a Freo institution. Also find their other outposts at City Beach and Canning Bridge.
If anywhere vies with Fremantle for the crown of Perth's beer capital it’s the Swan Valley, just 25 minutes from Perth's CBD. Traditionally known for winemaking, it's where it all started for Feral Brewing Co (152 Haddrill Rd, Baskerville WA 6069).The birthplace of what to me is Australia's best craft drop, Hop Hog. Much of the production is done in nearby Bassendean but the brewpub is still operational, what they now term as their experimental brewery and home of their barrel aging programme.
Nearby Mash Brewing (10250 West Swan Road, Henley Brook, 6055) is another brewing stalwart. Current favourites amongst their roster are the Freo Doctor WA Lager and Copy Cat IPA.
Homestead Brewery (10 Harris Road, Caversham, 6055) at Mandoon Estate is one of the newest players in the craft scene; but also check out Elmar's in the Valley (8731 West Swan Road Henley Brook WA 6055) and Duckstein (9720 W Swan Rd, Henley Brook WA 6055) for an old school German approach.
Top image: Petition Beer Corner, Perth by Garry Norris