Golden West Brewing Co is the story of a group of friends who turned a weekend hobby into the resurrection of a classic WA brand. The success of their unofficial “nano-brewery” established in 2017 was naturally followed by a thirst to expand. Now owned by a group of seven, Golden West has officially commenced distribution from a Leederville warehouse.

“We got more comfortable with the beers that we made so we used our time to practice,” says Daniel Burt, one of Golden West’s owners. “We obviously couldn’t sell any of the beer. Drinking 400 litres between five guys, you might think it would be easy, but that’s a lot of beer. So we started looking to expand and found this location.”

The intention was to turn the warehouse into a tap room, however council restrictions put an end to that. The Golden West team, who work full-time in other jobs, decided to focus on distribution. The brewery’s capacity is 400 litres one week and 200 the next on a fortnightly rotation.

According to Burt, Golden West is the only brewery in the City of Vincent (Nowhereman Brewing Co in West Leederville is considered part of the Town of Cambridge). Initially, distribution will be focused on the greater Leederville area with the brewery's IPA and “classic” brews launched in February through small bars The 21st Amendment and Refuge in Subiaco.

“The classic golden ale is the easiest drinking beer that we have,” says Burt. “We like to call it a gateway craft beer. You’re looking at 7 to 9 per cent for most craft beers and a lot of people won’t try craft beer because of that. We wanted to make something that was hop-forward, easy drinking but still very much craft at about 4 per cent.”

The Golden West Aerated Water Company was established in Leederville in 1896 to produce soft drinks and cordials. Purchased by Coca-Cola in 1960, the brand was renamed Gest. The lapsed trademark was snapped up by the new team, and the Gest name may make a reappearance for sours and more experimental brews.

“We really wanted to hit that local vibe,” says Burt. “We found that Golden West Beverages dropped their trademark and [we] picked it up. It’s a great WA success story and good to win one back from Coke after they took Feral.”

Golden West’s future plans include canning and a tap room in the Leederville area.

“It’s hard to know how far to look into the future,” says Burt. “I think Feral made a massive jump and probably put themselves under a lot of financial pressure. We want to grow organically, but others have made that step too small and then twelve months later had to make another step. Finding that balance is what we’re looking into at the moment.”