If you want to know what it's like to experience the beer version of Santa's Grotto, you would do well to call in to Perth's Mane Liquor. Ever since its owners decided to try out this thing called craft beer five years after opening, the bottleshop located between the city and its main airport has amassed one of the most spectacular collections of quality beer you'll find anywhere.
When The Crafty Pint called in for a first visit, sometime in 2011, the amount of fridge, shelf and floor space dedicated to beer was already impressive. When we returned for a third time in 2016, while the wine, cider and spirits selection was still mighty fine, it was fighting to hold onto its enclave at the rear of the store. And it's an evolution that shows no sign of slowing
For the most part, Mane Liquor is about beer: good beer from all parts of the globe. You'll find it in fridges lining several of the walls. You'll find it piled high in cases. And you'll find aisle after aisle of the stuff arranged by provenance.
You'll also find it pouring fresh from taps into growlers that you can either have filled on the spot or pick from a pre-prepared selection in one of the fridges. Chances are there will be something with store bosses Elliot and Josh's fingerprints all over it too as they've been collaborating with many of the state's brewers on some pretty cool beers over the years too. The pair also bring some of their favourite brands into WA and distribute them around the state.
Taken together, this vast array of beer served by a team of people at least as passionate about it as you are, makes for one of the best bottleshop experiences you'll find anywhere in Australia, something acknowledged in multiple Best in Australia titles as voted by Ratebeer contributors.
Add in regular tastings and events like their annual Car Park Party, which attracts long queues whatever the weather, and you've got an institution right there.
You can read our interview with Elliot and Josh to mark their tenth anniversary here.