Breweries are a much-loved asset for many Western Australian towns, even the smallest. Although many lack the name recognition of bigger city spots, they’re important hubs for locals to socialise and are an integral part of the local economy. Breweries are scattered throughout the small towns in WA’s south-west – some off the beaten track but definitely worth a detour.
Nannup Brewing Co
Nannup Brewing Co is a young brewery in an old, character-filled town. Immersed in history, the local brewery was built within the town’s original garage. Original materials, like exposed roof timbers, lighting and tin dominate the aesthetic, while vintage signage and photos adorn the walls, giving the space an antiquated feel.
Six tap beers include house-made efforts and a few select local beers, while food is comforting and approachable. Settle in by the fire with a board game or, if the weather permits, relax out on the grass and enjoy the views.
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The go-to dish would have to be the Bridge burger with 12-hour slow-cooked beef brisket and gravy topped with crisp lettuce, cheddar cheese and mayo on a brioche bun. It’s simple but in a way that perfectly suits the relaxing pace of the brewery. Best enjoyed with a stout in hand while sitting on the couch by the open fire.
Tall Timbers Manjimup
Manjimup is famed for its world-class truffles and the funky fungi are responsible for bringing tourism to the small regional town. For the locals – many of whom work in the truffle industry – it’s all about the trusty local pub, and Tall Timbers overdelivers with a menu that celebrates local produce and a range of freshly tapped (or canned, for takeaway) beers made on-site.
Menu wise, while there are options aplenty to suit just about every palate, crispy fried parmesan gnocchi jumps out as a hearty option that uses local spuds and a puree of earthy, sweet beetroot. Topped with sauteed mushroom, pistachio and roasted cherry tomato, this robust dish will satisfy more than the vegos.
Cowaramup Brewing Co
Just 15 minutes’ drive outside of Margaret River is the small but bustling town of Cowaramup. Situated among dairy farms and rolling hills, “Cowie” is a stone’s throw from world-class beaches and wineries, as well as home to Cowaramup Brewing Co, a beloved local spot that opened in 2006.
Neighbour to winding roads and untouched native landscapes, the brewery has a reputation for well-made classic styles, drawing inspiration from Euro beers like hefeweizen and pilsner, plus London’s famed porter. All easily rival any of their city-slicker counterparts, with the bonus of being served in a tranquil setting.
A succinct, globetrotting menu includes curries and pizzas, but the real hero is the pub classic: fish’n’chips. Crispy, glistening pilsner batter encases perfectly cooked gummy shark alongside steak-cut chips, house-made tartare and a coleslaw with sweet mustard dressing. Pairing this with a fresh, crisp pilsner is a must.