Fun fact: Western Australia was the birthplace of the Matilda Bay Brewing Company, Australia’s first craft brewery. That pioneering spirit lives on in the state’s vibrant boutique brewing and distilling scene over 30 years later with a collection of venues that have an unwavering focus on quality. We’ll drink to that.
You’ve tasted Feral’s beloved Hop Hog, now visit the Swan Valley brewpub where the legend was born. In addition to carrying the brand’s entire core range, Feral’s Baskerville HQ also pours seasonal specials and exclusive Belgian-style sours. Gutsy, pub-style cooking, meanwhile, is as bold and flavoursome as the beers.
152 Haddrill Road, Baskerville; (08) 9296 4657
Located on the site of the former Swan Brewery, The Old Brewery certainly has history in spades. But it’s also very of the moment: Australian beef is carefully dry-aged, the menu features cosmopolitan flavours galore and plays nicely with the beers. Close-up views of the Swan River don’t hurt, either.
173 Mounts Bay Road, Perth; (08) 9211 8999
Nowhereman Brewing Co.
Situated in a former furniture factory, Nowhereman is the result of Reece Wheadon’s tireless, five-year-long dream. Along the way he’s done some strong recruiting to further bolster the brand: Paul Wyman (ex-brewer at Colonial Brewing in Margaret River) is in charge of the beer, while Matt Sartori (formerly of Restaurant Amusé and Wildflower) oversees the perfectly matched menu of pizza and charcuterie. The range of meats – which includes everything from sopressa to smoked pork collar – is as broad as the beers.
25 Harrogate Street, West Leederville
Whipper Snapper Distillery
The name may suggest youthfulness but the roots of this whisky distillery stretch way back. The recipe for their Australian Corn Whisky, for example, was taken from co-founder Alasdair Malloch’s home-distilling neighbour, who was also a World War II pilot. The whisky fanatics’ shared passion forms the base of this East Perth distillery, giving substance to its rebellious style. Book a tour of the distillery or simply drop into the tasting room to sample Whipper Snapper’s signature Upshot whiskey.
139 Kensington Street, East Perth; (08) 9221 2293
Northbridge Brewing Co
What’s a sprawling, two-storey brewery like this doing in the middle of Northbridge? Watering and feeding an appreciative audience, that’s what. Brewer Ken Arrowsmith is an industry stalwart and oversees NBC’s range of Beerland brews. As is the case with most venues in this lively nightlife precinct, NBC is open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.
44 Lake Street, Northbridge; (08) 6151 6481
Could there be a more perfect location for a cider house than a sprawling orchard in the lush Perth Hills? In addition to dry apple and pear ciders, Core isn’t afraid to occasionally colour outside the lines: they also craft ginger-infused ciders and hard lemonades. An onsite restaurant and bar offer opportunities to upgrade your tasting to full-blown lunch with picturesque photo-ops aplenty.
35 Merrivale Road, Pickering Brook; (08) 9293 7583
Last Drop Pub & Brewery
If this Tudor-style pub feels a lot like a slice of Bavaria, it should. German master brewer Horst Kempf brought the complete brewery to the Perth Hills in the early 1990s from a medieval village in Bavaria. Last Drop’s current brewer, Jan Bruckner, is another of the city’s brewing veterans and a champion of European-style lagers. Thanks to training in the former Czechoslovakia, his handiwork is legendary and certainly worth sampling, along with the hefty pub-style fare that compliments Bruckner’s pilseners, bocks and hefeweizens.
507 Nicholson Road, Canning Vale; (08) 9456 4228
Comprising a winery, fine-dining restaurant and brewery, Mandoon Estate – home of Homestead Brewery – has no shortage of ambition. The beers are snappy, thanks to the use of equipment from revered German brewing company Schulz; the kitchen keeps time with solid pizza and hearty, no-fuss eats; and the sprawling outdoor area sprinkled with picnic tables creates the sort of atmosphere guests lose afternoons at.
10 Harris Road, Caversham; (08) 6279 0500
Work smart. Stay present. These two extracts from The Old Young’s Manifesto go some way to explaining why this fresh-faced gin distiller is doing some of the most spirited (pun intended) things in Perth booze circles. Formerly Wild Swan Distillery and rebranded under distiller James Young’s leadership, this multi-award-winning label is definitely worth a trip to the cellar door, especially to try the spirits inspired by the fruity flavours of pavlova and cold-drip coffee.
10581 West Swan Road, Henley Brook; (08) 9296 6656
What does it take to be Fremantle’s busiest microbrewery? A breezy, timber-rich space on the port city’s main drag is a good start, as is designating part of the room as bar space. An extensive menu booming with flavour and great house brews and ciders are, naturally, another plus.
33 South Terrace, Fremantle; (08) 9336 7666
Top image: Monk Brewery