In 2014, the Northbridge Brewing Co opened its doors to a thirsty Perth public. Building on this success, three years later a sister venue, the Whitfords Brewing Co, opened as part of a $70m redevelopment in one of Perth's largest shopping centres.
With beers flowing at two established venues and periodically throughout other WA venues, it’s time for Beerland Brewing to take centre stage.
Beerland Brewing is the name for the breweries behind the twin venues, on operation that turned heads when it collected the prestigious AIBA Champion Australian Beer trophy in 2018 for the Beerland Wheat.
Operating across both venues, where you'll find steam driven 12 hectolitre brew kits that, as of mid 2018, were producing a combined 300,000 litres of beer a year.
Helmed by master brewer Ken Arrowsmith, a man with nearly 40 years brewing experience, mostly at Swan where he lent (and still does) his image to Emu Bitter cans, at the Northbridge site he's supported by brewer and Certified Cicerone Andrew Dean while, at Whitfords, brewer Thomas Fleay brings experience from a career has taken him around Australia.
This tight team is complemented by a dude, but not just any dude. Sabhan Rizzi is the "Beer Dude" responsible for getting Beerland beer to the rest of WA. With scope for up to 24 limited release beers every year to play with (12 from each brewpub), plus coordinating the "beer challengers" at the venues' monthly Beer Club events, Sabs is quite a busy man, sorry, dude.
The core range of five beers includes the Champion Wheat beer as well as a Lager, Kolsch, Pale Ale and IPA that have all garnered a medal or trophy along the way. These are supported by a monthly limited release schedule that allows the brewers to run free.
And run free they have, with limited releases including everything from an Umeshu Gose and a bourbon barrel aged American brown ale to a number of New England IPAs and the blink-and-you'll-miss-it annual Mango Wheat. These beers allow the brewers to collaborate with the kitchen for monthly Beer Club events, the annual Chilli Week and occasional beer degustations.
Having the two sites 25 kilometres apart also allows the team to design recipes to suit their individual clientele as well as swapping kegs between the venues. Notably, Whitfords' opening ESB beer has proven very popular with the north corridor's expats.
Beerland Brewing beers can be enjoyed at both venues as well as at select locations around Perth. Takeaway CANimals are also available for purchase at each venue along with a range of merchandise.
With awards piling up – including a second Champion Australian Beer in 2022 for their Blueberry Clouds imperial sour, demand increasing and on-trend seasonals appearing with greater frequency, it seems highly likely you'll be seeing more Beerland beers flowing from taps outside the brewpubs where they're created.