When Miles Hull talks about beer, you listen. As the opening hospitality manager of Little Creatures, Hull was instrumental in introducing WA to craft beer. Little Creatures’ success didn’t just change the state’s drinking culture: it also kick-started Hull’s wildly successful 22 year (and counting) Australian hospitality career that’s taken in everything from slick suburban pubs, riverside bars and a contemporary inner-city hotel, plus a stint at Gage Roads. So when he suggests that the concept of craft beer is no longer relevant, you pay attention.
“I think beer has evolved,” says Hull. “Little Creatures is more than 20 years old, so someone who’s 18, 19, 20, and drinking beer, doesn’t know a world without craft beer. So for me, beer is beer. I think the division [between craft and non-craft beer] has been pulled down a bit.”
Beer-for-all isn’t just a throwaway line: it’s the idea underscoring everything at Ruin Bar, a new beer-centric 300-person bar that opened in January in a previously dilapidated heritage building. The look of the space is inspired by Eastern Europe – synonymous with Berlin, Budapest and other Eastern European centres, ruin bars and ruin pubs are low-frill venues that reside in abandoned buildings – but Australian beer is doing much of the heavy lifting. A third of the bar’s 18 taps will be reserved for six (all WA) house beers with steadily rotating Australian beers making up most of the remaining taps. Two cocktails – an Aperol spritz and a Paloma – will occupy two taps while a cider will also be poured. Inclusivity is the name of the game.
“We’re really trying to make sure we’re focusing on options for everyone and not alienating lager drinkers, because lagers are great, right?” says Matt Shiel, Ruin Bar’s venue manager and another long-time beer guy who worked with Hull at Little Creatures. “If you come in and you’ve got a mild interest in beer, we’ll have a beer for you. If you come in and you’ve got a serious interest in beer, then we’ve also got a beer for you.”
Packaged beers – including, says Shiel, familiar big-name brews – will also be offered alongside a thoughtful edit of beers, wines and spirits. The venue also offers something for everyone, with three dedicated “beer rooms” plus a courtyard for guests to make themselves at home.
On weekends, a food truck will set up space in the courtyard to feed the masses. Otherwise, they are welcome to get food delivered or snack on chips and nuts from across the bar. After Easter, an Aussie-style takeaway pizzeria will open as the final tenancy in the precinct, with guests able to enjoy their pizza in the bar.
165 Beaufort Street, Perth
Mon to Thu 3pm–late
Fri to Sun 12pm–late