Celebrating locally grown hops
Since day one, beer has been one of the cornerstones of Strange Company’s drinks offering. This month, the Fremantle small bar is making its commitment to beer official via the launch of the inaugural WA Hop Harvest Festival on Saturday May 28. During the festival, all the tap beers will feature WA beers made with locally grown hops, and panel discussions involving brewers and hop growers will take place from 2pm to 4pm. The event is free (no registration necessary) and food specials will be on offer throughout the day.
Subiaco, meet Amelie
The former Bistro Felix site on Rokeby Road has reopened as Bar Amelie. Named after the heroine in the 2001 Jean-Pierre Jeunet film of the same name, the bar will offer tapas staples (chargrilled octopus, grilled haloumi, cured meat and cheese) alongside cocktails and wines. Bar Amelie is a joint effort from Regal Theatre general manager Kim Knight and Kat Dehavilland, a bartender who’s worked throughout London and spent time with legendary British bartender and inventor of the Espresso Martini, Dick Bradsell.
Playing the long (lunch) game
What’s better than a weekend long lunch? A weekend long lunch that takes in four ace venues, all in walking distance of each other. The last two editions of the William Street Long Lunch take place this weekend (Saturday May 21) and next (Saturday May 28), featuring a roving meal that starts with chicken tikka at Sauma, moves to a chorizo and white bean tostada at La Cholita, then No Mafia’s cassarecce bolognaise and a black sesame cheesecake to finish at Double Rainbow, all served with matched drinks. The lunch is $60 per person – pay $15 per person at each venue – and bookings aren’t required: just rock up at Sauma between 11.30am and 2.30pm and start your stomachs. More details here.
Pavlova vodka for the win
The pavlova-flavoured vodka from Swan Valley distillery Old Young’s took out the vodka category in the inaugural Dan Murphy’s Decoded Spirits Awards. Infused with meringue and summer fruits, it was one of 600 entrants in this year’s awards and will be promoted in Dan Murphy’s stores nationally.
Going out in style
Ian “Duke” Ranson and his wife Hilde got into the winemaking caper late in the game, but the duo certainly made up for lost time. In the time the Ransons had Duke’s Vineyard, in the Porongurup subregion of the Great Southern, they helped reinforce the area’s reputation as a (perhaps underrated) winemaking stronghold. (The couple’s Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling, in particular, turned the heads of many critics.) After 22 vintages, the Ransons are passing the baton over to winemaker Ben Cane – formerly of Margaret River’s Cape Mentelle – who will take over the property. To mark the Ransons’ retirement, North Fremantle’s Propeller and Old Bridge Cellars are joining forces to serve a four-course meal paired with Duke’s wines. Ranson will talk about his wine story while Old Bridge Cellars patriarch Jay Beeson will chat about the wine. The dinner is on Thursday June 16. Tickets are $135 per head and available online.