Happy days, beer drinkers: Northbridge Brewing Company (NBC) is opening a sister brewery in Hillarys. Part of the new Westfield Whitford City dining and entertainment precinct, Whitfords Brewing Company (WBC) will be a welcome addition to the northern corridor.
Ben Rasheed, general manager of the breweries’ parent company Marlin Group, says Westfield is attempting something new for Perth.
“We’ve never seen a precinct where a bunch of operators, including some from the eastern states, all emerge at the same time,” says Rasheed. “There’s 10 brand new food tenancies that will mostly be bespoke offerings.”
WBC is licensed for 750 patrons, 250 more than NBC. Common design elements will link the two venues and WBC’s brewery, capable of brewing 120,000 litres a year, will run along the pub’s entire length. The 200-capacity “skydeck” has ocean views and can be hired for private functions.
NBC’s core range of beers will be brewed at both venues, overseen by master brewer Ken Arrowsmith. Rasheed says the second brewery will bring an opportunity to increase seasonal offerings. “We can start brewing a range of different styles because we’ve got two venues to sell at,” he says. “That’s a new dynamic for us.”
The WBC food offering will follow the lead of NBC. Although the spin-off will also run events such as Chilli Week and Man vs Food, Rasheed promises that WBC won’t be a carbon copy of the original and hopes to establish a friendly rivalry between the two.
“We need to cater to the people that will be coming to the venue, not just impose something on them: that doesn’t work with pubs,” he says. “The focus will be on good beer and food in a fun environment with a relaxed service model. We’re going to provide the theatre of brewing just like we do in Northbridge.”
Westfield Whitford City’s full line-up of tenants is yet to be announced, but restaurants confirmed for the precinct include Miss Chow’s, Bangkok Brothers, and Hunter and Barrel, a meat-focused concept from the creators of Ribs & Burgers. A new Event Cinemas complex will lead the entertainment offering.
WBC and the rest of the venues in the precinct are expected to open this spring.