It's not uncommon in the beer world for prospective brewery owners to experience delays. In fact, when someone tells you they're planning to open a brewery in six months it pays to add on another six. At least. Yet, for all the delays faced by breweries across the land, few - if any - can have experienced as many as the Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery.
By the time they poured their first beer, the brewery's owners had been locked in court battles with the owner of a neighbouring winery for nearly two years. She had argued that the yeasts used in brewing could potentially contaminate the indigenous yeasts at her biodynamic winery, but in April 2012 final approval was granted and Cheeky Monkey opened its doors.
The doors opened onto a venue befitting its location in Caves Road in the heart of the world famous Margaret River region. Designed as a family-friendly destination - complete with a seriously impressive kids play area - it combines a 450-capacity brewery bar and restaurant with a cellar door for Killerby and Ferngrove Wines.
If there was a plus side to the long delay in opening, it's that local boy Jared "Red" Proudfoot, who has since gone on to become one of the founders and head brewers at Pirate Life, had time to spend 18 months brewing at Scottish craft beer giants BrewDog before returning home to head up the brewing side of the business.
After Red moved on, the head brewer mantle passed to Alex Poulsen and then Ross Terlick, who had learnt the ropes at nearby brewery Cowaramup. Under his watch, the brewery became one of the first WA brewers to start putting beers into cans, gradually releasing more and more seasonals and then, in winter 2017, unveiling a new core range – all in colourfully designed cans.
For the most part, you'll have to travel to WA to get your hands on them, or, better still, head to the brewery's home in Margs and try them at source. Be warned that in peak season it gets darn busy, so much so the brewers can watch their most popular beers draining from the tanks before their eyes.