Boston Brewing Co

It was sometime around New Year's Eve 2014 that The Crafty Pint first called in to Boston Brewing Co at the home it shares with a winery in the Great Southern region of WA. There, we discovered much that was consistent with other breweries found in the tourist regions south of Perth.

There was a kids play area that would put most suburban parks to shame, enough space to host hundreds and a bar long enough, staff numerous enough and a kitchen large enough to serve them (just as well, given it was holiday season), as well as a stage set amid the sprawling lawns ready to entertain the visiting hordes.

Given a winery had been operating before beer moved in (initially West Cape Howe Wines before the family behind Willoughby Park took over), there was the added visual bonus of vines stretching into the distance – not to mention the chance to add a tasting of shiraz, cab sauv, riesling and chardonnay to your visit. Then, of course, there was the beer.

And here Boston seemed to deviate a little from many of the other breweries you'd find while wending your way to the south coast via the Margaret River region, with a 600 litre brewhouse putting it on the smaller side. Yet size isn’t everything and the family behind the twin businesses had been keen to showcase their love of both wine and beer from the start, as well as creating a more casual feel than that found at most wineries with restaurants and cellar doors.

As they put it: "We wanted a business that would drive tourism into Denmark but also be a great place for locals to enjoy year round."

Assisting them in their mission was the handy fact that the Boston beers were good. An American brewer, Tyson Addy, had taken up the reins earlier in the year, delivering polished takes on the sort of beers you'd find in the wider region: a clean wheat beer; a balanced mid-strength; as well as the standout – a rye pale ale that was new to the lineup at the time. He also spoke of future plans: the owners were keen to expand and a much larger setup was coming within the year.

Fast forward to a return visit in the middle of 2018 and it's fair to say those plans had been acted on and then some. Sure, the fruits of the Fowler family's 39,000 vines lining two vineyards still play a key role (the IronRock Chardonnay is a Crafty favourite), the stage still hosts bands, the kids play area is even bigger. But the brewery – based around an 18 hectolitre brewhouse – has taken over multiple warehouses, filling them with tanks (the original fermenters now look like remnants from Lilliput), an impressive canning line, depalletiser and towers of cans.

And what's filling those cans – that rye pale ale (now called Boondie), a delicious and sizeable hoppy red, a ginger beer, stout, a gose and more besides – is garnering the brewery attention well beyond those hitting the tourist trail. The beers are found in hundreds of venues across WA and, as of winter 2018, across the border in SA; a growing number of them come with trophies too.

Some of those trophies have been awarded for Boston's packaging; a few years ago, such things might have been dismissed as rather trivial in the grand scheme of things but, as the industry matures and becomes more competitive, they're increasingly important. And here the brewery's decision to overcome the potentially confusing combination of its name – the maiden name of the owner’s grandmother but also that of the largest independent brewery in the US – and location in Denmark – both their hometown and a European country – by embracing both and setting out to "own" the Great Southern is paying off.

Enveloping the brewery’s blue wren logo, inspired by their hometown mascot, are colourful, cartoon like illustrations that namecheck icons of the region, whether the local slang term "boondie" for a beach sand rock or Tingletop Ginger Beer for the Tingle trees at the nearby Valley of the Giants forest walk. They're all quite different yet it doesn't take long in the company of the brand to know when a Boston can has caught your eye from a bottleshop fridge, even if you've not seen that particular one before.

But, while you can now get your hands on Boston beers rather more easily than in the early days, what if you do head to the brewery itself?

Well, for one, you'll be able to try far more of them. The two banks of taps lining the bar – beyond which you can watch the brewers at work – offer drinkers the core range and a selection of one-offs and seasonals, some of which make it into cans too. You'll be able to enjoy them alongside food of a level above typical brewery fare (even if it's the deliciously moreish Dutch chips slathered in Satay sauce and aioli that have most guests raving) served by a small army of smiling staff. And, if you've got kids in tow, you'll be able to do this undisturbed as they'll find plenty of room in which to burn off their energy.

It's a setup and a story that feels reflective of the wider Australian beer industry over the period since Boston poured its first beers: a story that has matured, evolved, improved, refined its purpose and, as a result, is helping take the country's beer scene to a better place.

Name
Boston Brewing Co
Address

678 South Coast Highway
Denmark
WA 6333

Phone
(08) 9848 1555
Website
Hours

Fri & Sat: 11am to 10pm
Sun to Thurs: 11am to 9pm

Boston Brewing Co Regulars

Boston Brewing Boondie Rye Pale Ale

Of the beers that make up Boston's permanent canned offering, only one survives from the beers pouring on The Crafty Pint's first visit to the Denmark brewery. Back then, there was a rye pale ale, or Rye P.A., pouring; today, that beer has become Boondie, a beer decorated with elephants and named after a slang term for sand rocks. It's a beer that's won favour with judges in the past, from the 2016 South West Craft Beer Festival to the 2018 Royal Adelaide Beer Awards, and which does by rather straightforward… Read more
Style
Rye Pale Ale
ABV
5.0%
Bitterness
32 IBU

Boston Brewing Devilslide Red IPA

Such is the frequency with which new beers arrive at Crafty Towers, or new breweries open with beers that need tasting, it's rare to approach a glass without the need to make notes for future reference. Moments when beer is being supped almost absent-mindedly are few and far between, but there was a period at BrewCon 2018, between conference sessions and interviews, when the Crafty contingent was just wandering and chatting. Spying some Boston cans on one of the exhibitor stands, I pointed at the… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
7.4%
Bitterness
70 IBU

Boston Brewing Tingletop Ginger Beer

Boston's ginger beer may take its name from the Red Tingle trees through which countless visitors to the region wander every year via the nearby Valley Of The Giants treetop walk. But, just as importantly, it tingles aplenty on the palate. As with many such beers, it has that hazy, very pale appearance you could suggest was reminiscent of either a Belgian witbier or dishwater, depending on your mood. But if dishwater tasted like this, sink trap manufacturers would be out of business in a heartbeat.… Read more
Style
Ginger Beer
ABV
3.5%

Boston Brewing Shark Eye Stout

The last of the Boston beers to join their year round can lineup (at least at time of writing) is the Shark Eye Stout, another beer that, like The Right, hints at peril on the ocean; in this case, a sea the colour of fire in which an empty fishing boat is circled by a shark. And the stout within packs a similar bite. Its deeply black colour, with a blood orange tinge, hints at what's to come, as do the strong Italian espresso aromas. There's plenty of dark chocolate to get stuck into, a not inconsiderable… Read more
Style
Stout
ABV
5.6%

Boston Brewing The Right Nut Brown Ale

The first of back-to-back packaging trophies for Boston Brewing Co at the annual Perth Royal Beer Awards went to The Right, a nut brown ale featuring the local Denmark surf break after which it's named. It's a dramatic illustration, given the ratio of teeny surfer to huge wave yet what's inside is of a rather more genteel nature. Sure, this is a brown ale that's close to 6 percent ABV and is tagged an American style brown ale, yet, rather than the big hitting hop aromatics you might expect of such… Read more
Style
Brown Ale
ABV
5.7%
Bitterness
28 IBU
Awards

Best Dark Ale – Perth Royal Beer Awards 2018

Boston Brewing Co Specials

Boston Brewing & Beerland Strawberry Shortpants

Tapped December 17th, 2018
On arrival at the 2018 Fremantle BeerFest, I asked a knowledgeable brewer to name his standout beer from the first day – it’s hard to cover everything so sometimes it’s good to have some on the ground knowledge. Barely pausing for breath, the empathic reply was that I should immediately head to Boston Brewing’s stand to try the "beer of the festival" swiftly followed by the suggestion it should probably be enjoyed with a bowl of muesli. Curiosity piqued, similar feedback was garnered… Read more
Style
Cream Strawberry Sour
ABV
5.5%
Stockists

And select WA venues

Boston & Clare Valley Russian Imperial Stout & Guava Berliner Weisse

Tapped July 13th, 2018
Before the 2018 winter beer festival season kicked off in Adelaide, Clare Valley teamed up with WA’s Boston Brewing on a two-way deal. On the first leg, the Clare team flew west to brew a Guava Berliner Weisse, a 4.2 percent ABV drop featuring a generous amount of guava pulp atop a simple and light malt bill designed to let the fruit shine through. The return trip saw Boston's brewers head to the Clare Valley to create a 7.7 percent ABV stout. The Russian Imperial Stout pours an intense shade of… Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout & Berliner Weisse
ABV
7.7% & 4.2%

Boston Brewing Afterglose

Drinkers seem to especially enjoy their sour beers in the west. Whenever we cast the net far and wide to put together our Best Of lists, you can be pretty sure a few beers with a tang and a pucker will be in the WA selection. For our Best Of 2018 – So Far list, that was the case once again, with Boston's Afterglose one of the beers highly fancied by panelists. Pouring a deep pink that borders on red, this raspberry gose serves up aromas that are equal parts sour berry and salt, with some fruity… Read more
Style
Raspberry Gose
ABV
4.5%
Bitterness
8 IBU
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