Driven by craft-beer enthusiast Wade Tregonning, Caboose is aimed squarely at beer connoisseurs. Taking over the old The Velvet Lounge, Mount Lawley’s newest bar joins sister venues The Flying Scotsman and Defectors Bar in offering a range of drinking experiences to local punters.
“We’ve got a lot of beer snobs and enthusiasts in Mount Lawley,” says Tregonning. “The Flying Scotsman doesn’t have a reputation for the finest beer, and I really wanted to step that up. The idea of this bar is to have no contracts [with big brewers; a common practice with venues who dedicate taps to big producers in return for subsidised beer prices and set-up costs] so we can do what we want. There are so many micro-breweries and interesting, seasonal beers to showcase.”
The 80-capacity bar has been renovated “man-cave style”. There’s a copper bar and tables made from recycled shiraz bottles. The Velvet Lounge’s four beer taps have grown to a dozen; beers are rotated at least weekly.
Initial brews include Fox Hat Brewing’s Red Pelt, Boston Brewery’s Nut Brown Ale, Feral Brewing’s Watermelon Warhead and Mountain Goat Beer’s Aphonse IAA (India amber ale). Batlow Saison cider also forms part of the line-up. A hand-pump will be used to serve English-style beers.
“Instead of pushing the beer through with gas, you’re pressurising the keg and pulling the beer through with the hand pump,” says Tregonning. “The bubbles are finer so it won’t aggravate the beer and it has a nice creamy, Guinness/Kilkenny-type consistency. You also get more flavour.”
In honour of the 10th anniversary of Swan Valley brewery Mash, the first beer to be served in the hand pump will be Mash Brewing’s Challenger English IPA.
Twenty-one packaged beers are available, and one-litre growlers allow guests to take away any of the beers on tap. A similar philosophy of single-case “quirky” experiences will drive the wine list. The food is all about beer-friendly snacks: burgers, fried chicken, cold meats, cheese and toasted sandwiches.
Caboose opens at 3pm on Saturday December 17. Guests on opening day will enjoy free beer and menu tastings.
639 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley (next to The Flying Scotsman)