Westside Ale Works
The Westside name refers to the style of bold, punchy beer brewed on America’s West Coast, which is the inspiration for American expat brewer Casey Wagner. Westside is his bid to recreate a San Diego-style beer experience just south of the CBD.
The ultra laid-back bar has a stripped-down, rudimentary vibe; it has a couple of trestle tables, some mismatched furniture and handwritten signage. With the brewhouse just a few steps away, there’s no doubt as to how far the beer has travelled to your glass, or how small the batch sizes are.
Wagner brews on what is little more than a homebrew system and makes only 400 litres at a time. Wagner doesn’t see this as a drawback – he believes packaging and sending beer around Australia equals more headaches.
You won’t find shiny bottling or canning lines here either. Everything is packaged by hand into 750-mililitre bottles. There are five core beers, including an an American pale ale, an amber ale and a red IPA. Wagner rotates seasonals and one-offs across the eight draught taps.