The first thing to understand about Beerfarm is that it’s not just a brewery. Yes, there’s half a million litres of beer flowing out of its home in the Margaret River region, each year; however, in many ways Beerfarm upends the modern beer business model by focusing just as much on the experience.
The Beerfarm venue captures the essence of that through well-executed, yet incredibly social beers, a kitchen that's very much connected to place, and an event roster that welcomes all to the bonhomie - it’s as if the brewery is the head, and the neighbouring venue is its heart.
It’s a heart that beats within a working farm in Metricup, located halfway between Dunsborough and Margaret River in an old dairy farm and hayshed that was last used in the late 1940s. In this idyllic location, four self-described misfits pulled together around a shared vision to create a comfortably upcycled venue that seems like it’s been around far longer than it actually has.
The playful sensibility manifests in their cult classic, glowing pink, shiraz-fermented Berliner weisse, grain-fed beef, nationally recognised street art, footies to kick on the rolling lawn... all of which ultimately creates something effortlessly welcoming and cohesive.
In anyone else’s hands this might seem cute or, at best, a forced attempt at authenticity, but here it works. Perhaps most telling is the “No Dicks” policy spray-painted on the entry wall.
Being farm-based, seasonality and sustainability are central to the Beerfarm experience, while ongoing collaborations with Hidden Treasures and Cabin Fever, as well as well as native ingredient food and beer explorations with Fervor, are just some of their community-focused efforts.
Upon opening, head of production Josh Thomas created a range of beers suited to an afternoon session at the brewery, even if much of the production ends up in fridges and pouring across bars far from home. ABVs are typically respectable and, with a New World lean, their design has far more in common with jug-sharing beers in country pubs of old, a move that renders icons like India Pale Lager and Royal Haze part of the West Australian legend.
Concurrently, head of innovation Charlotte Freestone has spearheaded quality control and limited releases, her international expertise elevating already high standards while keeping fan favourites like the annual beer / wine hydrid sour releases feeling fresh.
Head chef Hayden Vink’s team showcases a modern, share plate-driven affair which looks globally for inspiration while sourcing the best locally-available produce. Expect Chinese 5 Spice Pork Belly to arrive next to ponzu-cured snapper ceviche and peanut chilli mole beef cheek. And don’t worry, there’s plenty more approachable fare for the less curious and kids.
For those looking for something more substantial, the ongoing Friday night Raise the Steaks experience is the stuff of legend, featuring large cuts from the farm’s grain- and grass-fed Black Angus cows.
Taken together, Beerfarm offer a relaxed backyard party at their home 300km south of Perth. Sure, things might get a little loose but it’s a party with its head in the right place – and beer at its heart.