It's not uncommon in the beer world for prospective brewery owners to experience delays. In fact, when someone tells you they're planning to open a brewery in six months it pays to add on another six. At least. Yet, for all the delays faced by breweries across the land, few - if any - can have experienced as many as the Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery.
By the time they poured their first beer, the brewery's owners had been locked in court battles with the owner of a neighbouring winery for nearly two years. She had argued that the yeasts used in brewing could potentially contaminate the indigenous yeasts at her biodynamic winery, but in April 2012 final approval was granted and Cheeky Monkey opened its doors.
The doors opened onto a venue befitting its location in Caves Road in the heart of the world famous Margaret River region. Designed as a family-friendly destination - complete with a seriously impressive kids play area - it combines a 450-capacity brewery bar and restaurant with a cellar door for Killerby and Ferngrove Wines.
If there was a plus side to the long delay in opening, it's that local boy Jared "Red" Proudfoot, who has since gone on to become one of the founders and head brewers at Pirate Life, had time to spend 18 months brewing at Scottish craft beer giants BrewDog before returning home to head up the brewing side of the business.
While the faces behind the beers have changed since, the brewery has kept on expanding and the beers have kept on improving, with a focus on honing excellent hazy IPAs in particular bringing them a new cohort of fans.
In 2019 came arguably the biggest change since the brewery launched, however, with the opening of a second production facility 25 minutes away in Vasse capable of producing up to four million litres per annum over time. With the move came another rebrand and some tweaks to the core lineup, now in the hands of a new brewery team, and the opening of a bar on the site too.
The move heralded plenty of awards success too, with the brewery claiming the inaugural WA Beer of the Year title at the WA Good Food Guide Awards in 2020 as well as Champion Small Brewery at the 2021 Australian International Beer Awards, among others, before embarking on another range refresh and rebrand as 2021 came to a close.