Scott Douglas has been building successful breweries in Western Australia since starting his beer career founding Black Brewing Co in Margaret River in 2015. In December he opened a new brewpub under the Running With Thieves lifestyle label he runs with long-time pals artist Brooklyn Whelan and designer Pablo Frenkel.
“[We had] kind of a misspent youth – it was only natural the three of us would end up with a brewery and so far, we haven’t blown ourselves up,” he tells Broadsheet.
The old wool store (more recently the Sealanes warehouse) is more than 100 years old. It made for a few reno challenges: when the trio moved in there was no electricity, water or plumbing, and the uneven floor required levelling before any brewing could begin.
The result is a light, bright open-plan seaside escape with an exposed-beam ceiling, a concrete floor, long wooden high tables and a wall of oak barrels holding maturing whiskey. The cavernous 1400-square-metre space includes a 30-metre long bar, a 300-capacity restaurant, and a dedicated retail store selling bottles of spirits; growlers; cans of beer; and apparel such as tees, totes and caps.
Douglas‘s former head brewer at Black Brewing Co, Paul Gasmier, has created a range of eight beers from thirst-quenching pale ales that cater perfectly to a post-beach crowd, to a creamy stout and a zesty ginger beer.
“We only make what we want to make, not what’s on trend,” says Douglas. “Premium but without pretension. We wanted the space to reflect that. A space where anyone is welcome and can interact with the brewery. We basically live here so we are sharing our house with you.”
Paddles with three different brews make working through the range a breeze. The Loose Collection includes seasonal specials, which pop up on the drinks menu when inspiration strikes. The beers are all made and packaged on-site, and three styles of gin and a vodka are made in vast copper stills on show behind the bar. Whiskey and rum are also in the pipeline.
In February Columbian-born chef Santiago Ortiz Posada rolled out a new and expanded menu of share plates made using local produce, global flavours and a generous nod to the venue’s seaside location. Grilled Fremantle octopus with muhammara, Fremantle crumbed sardines with toum and fermented chilli, gin and beetroot cured salmon, and daily specials such as fresh oysters share the menu with huli huli (Hawaiian grilled) chicken skewers, sticky Korean-style lamb ribs and hearty poke bowls.