Whitelakes Brewing

Take an easy 40-minute drive south from the Perth CBD and you’ll find Whitelakes Brewing, created via a substantial makeover to the Old Barnyard function centre in Baldivis and launched in July 2016. As with most brewery stories, what seems obvious and fully formed now has roots that stretch back many years.

The brewery is headed by Sean Symons, whose 20 years-plus brewing career kicked off in the mid-90s after the young brewer asked Chuck Hahn eight times whether he had any work going. A part-time gig on the Malt Shovel packaging line followed, opening up a path that led to Sean working around Australia for Tooheys, XXXX, Swan and – last stop before Whitelakes – Louisiane, a brewpub on Vietnam’s Nha Trang coast.

When approached to found a brewery in Perth, the search for the right location took some time; however, when it came to brewery design, his experience ensured this took place rather quicker – and led to one of the most considered setups in Australia. Whitelakes’ unique 25 hectolitre HGM brew kit is anchored by a hexagonal brew deck designed so a single brewer can easily deal with multiple vessels at once – all while having space to enjoy a coffee – as well as providing ample room for growth.

From this platform, the brewery creates seven core range beers that are matter of fact when it comes to style and intent, free of hubris in name and execution. Indeed, four of the seven are lagers, something that reinforces the brewery’s approachability model, with the strongest barely scraping above 5 percent ABV.

Sean describes the mantra behind his beer design as the “second beer theory”, in that Whitelakes’ drinkers are ready to have a second beer without feeling they’ve been hit with a hammer by the first. It’s an idea he eloquently sums up as being “part of the Australian fabric of sessionability”.

With multiple tertiary degrees, brewing qualifications and years spent as chief judge for the Perth Royal Beer Awards, as well as judging at other competitions, it’s perhaps little surprise the lineup has amassed quite the haul of silverware in its short life. Whitelakes Summer collected a 2019 Australian International Beer Awards gold, with its siblings winning accolades both locally and nationally.

The Whitelakes range also services a group of local hospitality venues, including Whistling Kite, Port Kennedy Tavern, The Chase and Vernon Arms, as well as appearing further afield at Western Australia's rotating tap venues.

Located on a vast corner block, the building's modern glass, steel and wood stylings hold a small bar area within the brewhouse. The alfresco deck looks across a large lawn – typically filled with families on the weekends – to Lake Walyungup, the inspiration for the brewery’s name and artwork.

Despite the saline appearance of the protected wetlands, the "white lakes" are actually fresh water, with the illusion the result of a limestone cap beginning at the lakes and running south more than 200 kilometres to Yallingup (so there goes any thoughts of a hyper-local gose…). It’s a vista that provides a unique backdrop – often complete with stunning sunsets – for sipping on fresh Whitelakes beers before filling a growler to take home. If you’re after a feed too, options run from classic English pub meals to modern Australian-influenced fare.

The Whitelakes brewhouse is open Friday evenings and all-day Saturdays and Sundays, although you can see what the product of more than two decades of brewing experience tastes like any day of the week at Vernon Arms, the on-site tavern next door.

Guy Southern

Name
Whitelakes Brewing
Address

1441 Mandurah Road
Baldivis
WA 6171

Phone
(08) 95242012
Open Hours

Friday: 4pm to 10pm
Sat & Sun: 11am to 10pm
At other times, you can visit the Vernon Arms across the road

This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

Whitelakes Brewing Regulars

Whitelakes Brewing Draught

A pub favourite that celebrates keeping things simple. Designed in the German pilsner style, Draught is a clean and classically-minded beer with a bright white head. Touches of lemon appear, as does light pine through the finish, while carbonation aids bitterness and the sort of crisp refreshment that’s perfect for knock-off drinks. Guy Southern… Read more
Style
German Pilsner
ABV
4.8%

Whitelakes Brewing Wit

“Wit is a form of intelligent humour, the ability to say or write things that are clever and usually funny.” Amid Whitelakes' lager-leaning lineup, Wit shows a cheeky but approachable personality as the brewery's expression of the once prevalent style. Eschewing banana-like phenolics in favour of clove and white pepper, the yeast-driven beer scores high on drinkability. Coriander seeds and dried tangelo peel drive the traditional citrus elements towards a dry finish. So, maybe subtly funny. Guy… Read more
Style
Witbier
ABV
4.6%

Whitelakes Brewing Standard

When considering the shape a Whitelakes mid-strength beer might take, Sean Symons needed only to look across the carpark for inspiration: a light English style to suit the Vernon Arms' charms. The ordinary bitter style name downplays what's a very enjoyable mid-strength beer, flush with copper malt notes and a slight backend creaminess. The name Standard not only riffs on the ordinary of the style but also on the one standard drink per middy you hold in your hand. Guy Southern… Read more
Style
Mid-Strength English Bitter
ABV
3.5%

Whitelakes Brewing Pilsener

The ongoing road to brewing perfection affects all Whitelakes beers; however, the Pilsener received special attention. In essence, this is a craft lager that has become brewer Sean Symon’s passion. A little more rounded than its Germanic Draught sibling, Whitelakes Czech-inspired Pilsener presents a golden straw colour from which a contemporary flourish of New Zealand hops provides a subtle passionfruit finish alongside a stylistically appropriate bitterness. Each batch represents a step closer… Read more
Style
Bohemian Pilsner
ABV
5.0%

Whitelakes Brewing Dark

As the sole noir offering of the Whitelakes core range, Dark keeps things sessionable as a true to style Schwarzbier. Aromas of coffee and chocolate lead from the off-white head and continue through the clean, ruby-tinged body. A welcome creaminess arrives in the final third of the palate, countering the approachable bitterness before things wrap up nice and dry. Guy Southern Guy Southern… Read more
Style
Schwarzbier
ABV
4.8%

Whitelakes Brewing Summer

The 2019 AIBA gold medal-winning Summer also happens to be a crowd favourite among Baldivis locals. And, indeed, it’s hard not to imagine enjoying a few pints of this while watching the sun curve towards the White Lakes horizon from the brewery balcony, accolades or others. Summer’s approachable sweet malt base provides just the right launchpad from which the beer's subtly fruity, citrusy hop characters can shine within a tightly wound, balanced package. Guy Southern… Read more
Style
English Summer Ale
ABV
4.6%

Whitelakes Brewing Pale

The most contemporary-minded of Whitelakes' core septuplet, Pale arrives with a quick piney flash which soon dissolves into tropical and stonefruit characters courtesy of Mosaic and El Dorado hops. The Pale's fruity side is balanced by a compact bitterness that leaves the 5 percent ABV beer very much in sessionable territory. Guy Southern… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
ABV
5.0%

Whitelakes Brewing Specials

Whitelakes Brewing Cascadian Dark 2019

One of brewer Sean Symons oldest friends in the beer world is Doug Donelan, who these days heads up NZ Hops and, thus, could be viewed as a friend with benefits. Or, in this case, one with handy tips. Sean had gained early access via Hopco to experimental hop variety HORT4337 from the 2018/19 New Zealand harvest and wasn't happy with what it was doing in this beer. Doug assured him to hold on and everything would be OK. And he did and ended up with this Cascadian Dark (another name for beers of the… Read more
Style
Cascadian Dark Ale
ABV
6.2%
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