Allegedly, Lady Annie Lawley only gave permission for the surname of her husband, the then Governor of Western Australia, to be used in connection with the 1901 development of Mt Lawley if there were no licensed hotels in the new suburb.
More than a hundred years later, these teetotalling concerns have gone the same way as the trams that once ran along Beaufort Street; the craft beer train has arrived in the inner north Perth suburb and let loose in the Caboose.
While the venue, which opened at the very end of 2016, shares the crest of Mt Lawley’s gentle incline with its sister venues, the Flying Scotsman and Defectors, it’s in a carriage very much of its own.
Dappled light from under the jacarandas on the street side bench tables outside teases at the Caboose’s warm ochre interior. Once inside, the bespoke barrel stave clad bar takes centre stage - one that’s topped with a gloriously burnished copper, echoing the amber ribbon flowing from the 12 rotating taps and a lone hand pump: a nod to a love of malt driven English beer styles.
On the walls, the tentacles of the sepia street art style Hop-tapus wrap themselves around the secrets of the old church pew and booze booths, spots you’ll usually find filled with local beer industry and inner-urban types.
Packaged beer specials, complemented by a tight selection of rotating wines and spirits, ensure that the range is always fresh. Caboose hosts regular beer launch parties too, such as those for Feral’s hop monster Tusk and the Perth launch of the Beer Farm’s can range, meaning there’s always a new reason to drop in.
Food offerings keep things casual: fried chicken, gourmet toasties and beer infused burgers like the Hop Hog Jalapeño Burger complete with Hop Hog onion rings. Monday and Tuesday nights feature more substantial food specials – lamb shanks and steaks, for example.
As for the team pouring your beers from the tiled wall of taps, they're as likely to be handing out free dog treats to four-legged companions as they are to be joining drinkers post shift to watch the cars and characters line up on Beaufort Street, while classic rock and hip hop keep things moving musically.
Who’d have thought the back of the train would end up being first class?