Would the Australian craft beer scene be where it is today without Little Creatures? Just like founder Phil Sexton's first foray into craft beer at Matilda Bay, the Fremantle brewery has helped blaze a trail for others to follow since opening in 2000, never less than with its iconic Pale Ale, the first Aussie beer to give drinkers a taste of the bigger, hoppy US pales that had wowed the States years earlier.
Since opening on the site of a former crocodile farm on the Freo waterfront, Little Creatures has become a runaway success, attracting thousands to the brewery year-round. The brewery and accompanying bar grew to accommodate fans of the brewery's beers, now encompassing several large sheds featuring expanses of glass that let the stainless steel tanks take centre stage.
The brewery has expanded significantly beyond that Freo home too, opening a taproom in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in 2008 that's since closed, while in 2011, the brewery team purchased a sprawling old wool mill in Geelong to better ensure Little Creatures beers could become available on Australia's east coast.
The wings on Little Creature's iconic cherub have only flown further and further since, with Lion having bought the brewery in 2012 and going on to spread the brand beyond Australia. That has included small brewpubs in Singapore and Hong Kong, which have since closed, one in San Fransisco that's now a New Belgium taproom, and another in London.
But, wherever you happen to find a Little Creatures Pale Ale, whether in Sydney or London, the best way to experience the brewery remains with a pint at their old crocodile farm on Freo's waterfront. It's a moment that's not just been one of incredible discovery for many but one that's launched the careers of so many Australian brewers too.
It's set to get even bette too, after Lion announced a $30m redevelopment of their iconic home in spring 2021. It will feature a multi-level re-imagined hospitality venue housing the brewery and Great Hall with a rooftop terrace right on the waterfront.