Bootleg Brewery

These days the Margaret River region of Australia can lay claim to more microbreweries than any other part of the country. But back in the mid-90s there was just the one: Bootleg Brewery. It was the first to bring craft beer to WA's wine-producing heartland when it was opened by Tom Reynolds, just a short drive off the famous Caves Road, and soon found favour with local winemakers and tourists alike.

Head brewer Michael Brookes has been there almost as long as the brewery itself, joining as a home brewing barman in 1998 and instantly showing a desire to move into the brewery. Since becoming head brewer, he's helped Bootleg earn a reputation as home to some of the state's finest and most creative beers.

Back in 1994, the brewery started out with just a single beer - called "Bitter Beer" - but Brookesy now oversees production of six year-round ales and lagers plus a colourful series of limited release beers throughout the year, including a barrel-aged barleywine, a Black IPA and fruit-infused ales, as well as a cider. Some, such as the award-winning Raging Bull, are available fairly widely across Australia in bottled form, but the best place to sample them all remains the brewery's home in Wilyabrup.

There, the original building houses the bar, brewery and restaurant as well as a collection of Australian brewing memorabilia. Perhaps its greatest attraction aside from the beers, however, is the expansive beer garden that makes full use of the 30-acre site. Rows of benches and tables stretch out across lush lawns to Bootleg's own lake meaning there's plenty of room in which to stretch out and relax with one of the brewery's tasting paddles and food from the kitchen, which favours seasonal, local produce.

From its humble beginnings, Bootleg has now grown to the point where it produces well over 100,000 litres of beer each year, most of which is still sold in state. Brookesy has also been instrumental in the establishment of the South West Craft Beer Festival, which launched in 2012 and brings together brewers from across the region for two days of good food, great beer and live entertainment. You'll find plenty of live entertainment at Bootleg too, with a full lineup of bands throughout the year.

Two decades on from its founding, and despite the arrival of many other breweries within the region, Bootleg remains just as popular with local winemakers and tourists as ever, revamping its core range, playing around with barrel-ageing on a regular basis and always living up to its tag as "An oasis of beer in a desert of wine".

Name
Bootleg Brewery
Address

Puzey Road
Wilyabrup
Margaret River WA 6285

Phone
(08) 9755 6300
Website
Hours

11am to 6pm

Bootleg Brewery Regulars

Bootleg Brewery Speakeasy IPA

Tapped December 2nd, 2013
The fresh is best - at least when it comes to hoppy beers - message is one that's being hammered home with greater intensity by Aussie brewers these days. Whenever Feral releases its Tusk Imperial IPA it insists that venues tap it the day it arrives, while Bootleg's new IPA is designed to be delivered and finished within three weeks to ensure drinkers get it at its best. The Speakeasy is a replacement of sorts for the brewery's Settler's Pale, which now only appears as a seasonal after brewer Brookesy… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
Strength
5.5%

Bootleg Sou' West Wheat

Winner of Champion Wheat Beer at the 2011 Australian International Beer Awards - part of a large contingent of WA breweries to win trophies that year - the Sou' West Wheat is a delicate number. It uses Hersbrucker and Willamette hops to create soft floral hop flavours in a beer that's as approachable as they come and best tried fresh from the tap at the brewery.… Read more
Style
Wheat Beer
Strength
4.7%

Bootleg Settlers Pale Ale – RETIRED

A floral, citrusy, fruity and flavoursome New World Pale Ale in which the hops are the star, backed up by some biscuity and caramel malts and wrapped up with a refreshing bitter finish. As of 2013, this is now a seasonal release.… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
Strength
4.8%

Bootleg Raging Bull

Outside WA, this is the beer that Bootleg is best known for, a multiple award-winning strong ale that demands sipping and savouring. A multi-layered boozy treat that reveals all manner of malty delights as its thick, almost oily, body warms: from roasted coffee to chocolate, dark fruits and licorice. The alcohol content makes it gently warming, while there's a solid level of bitterness to prevent the richness of the malts running out of control. An Aussie cult classic.… Read more
Style
Strong Ale
Strength
7.1%

Bootleg Wils Pils - RETIRED

This pilsner from Bootleg is based on the traditional Czech style. As such it uses Hersbrucker and Saaz hops to create a spicy, herbaceous aroma, backed up with some soft, sweet malts. Solid bitterness rounds it all off.… Read more
Style
Czech Pilsner
Strength
4.9%

Bootleg Tom's Amber Ale

A beer named after the man who first brought Bootleg into being back in the 1990s, Tom Reynolds, this is described as an Australian Amber Ale. A malt-led and approachable affair with nutty, toffee malt flavours backed up by a firmer bitterness than is usual for the style.… Read more
Style
Amber Ale
Strength
3.5% (down from 4.0%)

Bootleg Hefe – RETIRED

Bootleg's take on the Southern German Hefeweizen style is a cloudy, foamy beer that packs plenty in: from sweet banana to spicy cloves with some lemon and wheat tartness.… Read more
Style
Hefeweizen
Strength
4.7%

Bootleg Brewery Specials

Bootleg & Cellarbrations Carlisle Boss Taurus 2018

Tapped October 19th, 2018
In this third Boss Taurus collaboration with Cellarbrations Carlisle and its associated beer club, Grain Cru, the whiskey barrel aged imperial dark ale has really come into its own. What debuted in 2015 as a barrel aged, imperial version of Bootleg's core range Raging Bull now feels more standalone – a majestic bull in the Bootleg paddock, something that bovine enthusiasts will note the name riffs on. Aromas of choc-caramel fudge, vanilla, a hint of soft liquorice and a tease of the whiskey to… Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Dark Ale
Strength
9.0%
Stockists

Bootleg Brewery

And select WA retailers

More stockists...

Bootleg Brewery Brut-us IPA

Tapped September 6th, 2018
As the label infers, Bootleg might not be a bandwagon chaser but the brewers don’t mind having some fun. The label's shade is also rather evocative of the clear golden liquid that pours into your glass, thankfully without the bearded Brutus' follicles as company. Bootleg suggest you'll find tropical flavours with subtle mint from the Calypso and Citra hops used within; you might find them alongside lime, melon and faint grapefruit too. As expected of the fledgling style, Brut-us runs dry throughout,… Read more
Style
Brut IPA
Strength
6.6%

Bootleg Brewery & Caboose What The Fudge!

Tapped August 1st, 2018
The sweet dreams of the team at Caboose, the craft beer venue in Mt Lawley, have come true thanks to a confectioned collaboration with Margaret River's Bootleg Brewery. In the spirit of this carnival, house made caramel was added to the boil with cacao and vanilla pods joining proceedings along the way. The result is a beer firing off sweet, sweet aromas filled with vanilla, honey and choc-vanilla marshmallows – basically, all the fun of sideshow alley, but in liquid form. These rich treats continue… Read more
Style
Fudge Milk Stout
Strength
7.5%
Stockists

Available at the brewery

Other WA venues to follow

Wilson Brewing & Bootleg Brewery Lime! Mutha Shucka

Tapped July 27th, 2018
It's fair to say 3am may seem like a crazy time to be on the road, but the Bootleg team had a boat to catch … in Albany. The pre-dawn, four-and-a-half hour drive across the Great Southern saw them arrive at Wilson Brewing just time to collect 2,000 Akoya oysters from the cool waters surrounding Mistaken Island in King George Sound. Matty Wilson and Pizey from Bootleg had been spitballing ideas for a collab that quickly evolved into what may be an Australian first: an oyster and lime dark pale ale.… Read more
Style
Oyster & Lime Dark Ale
Strength
5.8%
Stockists

And select good beer retailers across WA

Bootleg Brewery Raspberry Porter

Tapped June 18th, 2018
The Bootleg brewers have been tinkering in the brewery. Beyond the core range and head brewer Pizey’s tenth anniversary DIPA, in recent months there has been a showing of brewpub only sours that hint at a broadening curiosity. This fruit-led exploration may well have begun with Flaming Youth – Passionfruit Gose but, whatever the cause, winter 2018’s Raspberry Porter surely bears some of this influence. The 60 litres of local raspberry juice added to the 1000 litre batch translates is more apparent… Read more
Style
Raspberry Porter
Strength
6.0%
Stockists

Find it in bottles and draught at select WA locations and Bootleg's brewpub.

Bootleg Brewery Sawbuck Double IPA

Tapped May 2nd, 2018
Ten years of service gives a brewer some level of influence on the beers a brewery produces. For Bootleg head brewer Ryan “Pizey” Nilsson-Linne, the opportunity to celebrate his own decade long tenure meant only one beer would suffice: a massive double IPA. As he noted in a Crafty Pint article marking the milestone: “No sense in making a 9 percent beer for the occasion”. Indeed, the name, Sawbuck – in true Bootleg style – is Prohibition slang for a $10 note, just to make the point clear. Congratulations… Read more
Style
Double IPA
Strength
10.0%
Stockists

Available in bottles and on tap from the Margaret River brewpub and select WA venues and retailers.

Bootleg Brewery & That Cold Stuff That Cold Brew Black IPA

Tapped April 11th, 2018
After a research trip to the USA, the coffee aficionados at That Cold Stuff were exposed to the vast ranges of both coffee and beer varieties available Stateside. On return, the owners wanted to trial some of the ideas they developed while travelling and approached Bootleg Brewery to do just that. The style the collaborators landed on, a black IPA, was ultimately chosen so the citrus flavours of Citra and Amarillo hops could pair with coffee’s lighter, fruitier notes, while still allowing the roasted… Read more
Style
Black IPA with Coffee
Strength
6.0%
Stockists

Bootleg Brewery

And select WA venues

Bootleg Brewery & SWCBB Cobbler American Brown

Tapped October 18th, 2017
SWCBB stands for the South West Craft Beer Bogans, who were invited by fellow southwest beer lovers, Bootleg Brewery, to take part in a homebrew competition. The prize: to have your beer scaled up to commercial scale. And the winner was Dave Baker, described by the brewery as a "super confident and passionate homebrewer from Donnybrook" who entered an American brown ale he'd been perfecting for years at home. And now it's out so you can find out what the judges saw in it. Dave's beer goes… Read more
Style
American Brown Ale
Strength
4.2%

Bootleg Brewery Flaming Youth Passionfruit Gose

Tapped April 5th, 2017
While the weather is still reasonable in WA, now is the time to enjoy Bootleg’s collaboration with their WA distribution team, the Hop Squad. The Flaming Youth names refers to a then scandalous 1920s novel and later silent movie about loose fashion, sexual awakening and experimental marriage. The book and movie became tied to the societal progression of Flappers (also known as the Flaming Youth) and Cake-Eaters, essentially the hipsters of the 1920s. While Flaming Youth Gose doesn’t have the… Read more
Style
Passionfruit Gose
Strength
4.2%
Stockists

Bootleg Brewery

Good WA beer outlets

Bootleg Brewery Pants Down IIPA

Tapped April 3rd, 2017
Autumnal nether region nudism may seem an unusual connection for a beer; however, concerns about dignity are likely to evaporate under the boozy warmth given off by Bootleg’s Pants Down IIPA. Once freed from the constraints of clothing – or at least the bottle – a fruit bowl of bright citrus and light peach aromas come at you, anchored by a piney character that packs a punch atop the beer's sweet malt base that’s noticeable lighter than last year's debut for the beer. The Bootleg team’s… Read more
Style
American IIPA
Strength
8.2%

Bootlegged Arrogant Bastard

Tapped March 5th, 2016
Delivering liquid arrogance on the road has seen San Diego legends Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard arrive nonchalantly at Bootleg Brewery, Margaret River. Previous sightings of a Bastard that began its assertive life in 1997 have included the esteemed Maine Beer Company, Great Divide Brewing Co, BrewDog and Maui Brewing Co. Launched on March 4, 2016, this Australian version of the Arrogant Bastard is a one time only appearance with part of the proceeds of sales going to the Foster Care to Success… Read more
Style
American Strong Ale
Strength
7.2%
Bitterness
90 IBU
Stockists

Only available at Bootleg Brewery until it's sold out

Bootleg Brewery Moo Chai

Tapped May 30th, 2015
While sending kegs eastwards for attendees at the Melbourne and Sydney GABS festivals to sample, Bootleg held enough back to fill 50 cartons worth of bottles for its local market in WA. Said beer is one with GABS beer written all over it: one which starts out as a pretty straightforward affair before being souped up into something else. The clue is in the name, with Moo referencing the fact it started out as a milk stout with heaps of lactose and the Chai referencing what happened after. Brewer Ryan… Read more
Style
Spiced Sweet Stout
Stockists

Bootleg Brewery

Good beer stockists in WA

Bootleg Brewery Coconut Hefeweizen

Tapped February 13th, 2014
As they start to gear up for the third South West Craft Beer Festival, the brewers at Bootleg have been having some fun in the brewery. Never ones to shy away from getting playful when it comes to their seasonal releases, which might feature fruit or spends time the note, this time around the inspiration seems to have come from Germany via the Caribbean. It's a Coconut Hefeweizen that does exactly what you would expect from the title. The beer started out as a traditional German style wheat beer,… Read more
Style
Coconut Hefeweizen
Stockists

Bootleg Brewery

Bootleg Black Market IPA

Tapped February 8th, 2015
Of all the seasonals that have made their way out of Margaret River's original microbrewery, there a few that arouse quite such excitement as the Black Market. It's the brewery's Black IPA and was first debuted a couple of years back to much acclaim. It's become an annual release since first appearing, frequently changing its spots with each new release. In 2013, it was used to showcase a then new American hop we don't believe had been used in Oz before after head brewer Brookesy managed to secure… Read more
Style
Black IPA
Strength
5.5%
Stockists

Bootleg Brewery

And good beer venues around WA

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