The Swan Valley is home to a colourful collection of craft breweries. Within an hour of touching down at Perth's airport, visitors can take in stops that celebrate the Aussie spirit, German beer halls and wild experimentation in the space of a short drive. At the heart of the region is Mash Brewing, a contemporary brewery and restaurant on the side of the West Swan Road that also brews beer for a pair of sister venues in Rockingham and Bunbury.
Very much one for families as well as beer lovers thanks to a dedicated play area, Mash's Swan Valley home base offers bar seating where you can work your way through the range of regulars and rotating seasonals just metres from the brewhouse as well as heaps of terrace seating (complete with mist sprays to keep you as cool as your beer when the summer sizzles). Time it right and the brewers will be making beer as you order at the bar as the brewhouse is located directly behind the taps.
A new brewery team was brought in during 2011 and set about reinventing the beer range. The result is a mix of those aimed fairly and squarely at the more mainstream drinker, such as the Freo Doctor (pale lager) and a pair of ciders, alongside sessionable wheat and pale ales and an ever-changing lineup that's as much designed to satisfy the brewers as it is visiting beer geeks. The latter has included an IPA aptly named 'Challengerâ?, a series of rye beers and the Deville, a smoked German ale that picked up one of the few gold medals awarded at the 2012 Australian International Beer Awards. Since then, an American IPA called Copy Cat has taken out the Champion Australian Beer at the 2014 awards.
If you can't make it to the Swan Valley, Mash's other venues pour their beers and offer a similar range of quality pub fare too. The Bunbury Mash is found on the Marlston Waterfront overlooking the Indian Ocean, while Mash has also taken up residence in the Rockingham Shopping Centre, where you'll find 16 taps. Those living on the East Coast - particularly those in Melbourne - can find their beers with increasing ease too these days, with more and more Mash beer making the trip across the Nullarbor.