When Wild Hop began their journey in WA’s South West in 2019, the brewery enjoyed a rapid and climactic launch that put the ambitious start-up among the cream of the crop of the state’s brewery venues. Their inaugural beers, primarily New World-inspired and hop-driven, caused excitement among punters eager to explore the ever-rotating tap lineup of wittily named and saporous offerings.
The story started out with a sprawling Yallingup property, flanked by towering trees and adjoined by well-grazed pastures. Initially a home for the Scott-Malcolm family, including Wild Hop proprietors Ali and Matt, the expansive property was reconfigured to house a 12 hectolitre brewery, state of the art kitchen, hop yard and lush vegetable garden, all of which combine to create a modern and sustainably-minded take on the brewpub and beer garden model at which the beer lineup comes paired with a tantalising share style menu.
Wild Hop’s food offering is partly inspired by the lengthy list of beers but is also designed in parallel with the changing seasons. The kitchen’s raging wood-grill plays a big part in determining what’s on offer, with everything from meat and fish to bread and vegetables getting a basting of fire and smoke before landing on tables along with condiments, sides and sauces – and that’s before mentioning the deep fried pickles, which warrant praise all of their own!
As for beers, hop-driven and malt-heavy are central to the wordy beer list, although you’re as likely to find everything from fruited sours and imperial stouts to light lagers featuring. The Wild Hop brewers have complete freedom in the brewhouse, which has seen them embark upon an extensive barrel-ageing program, trialing experimental hops, and collaborating with myriad brewers, events, charities, restaurants and local producers.
The MO is balance and drinkability; being a tourist destination in regional Australia means all manner of beer drinkers, from macro-swillers to elitist lambic-sippers, need to be catered for. As such, a constant supply of their popular Short Shorts Czech Pilsner is paramount but more challenging styles encompassing barleywine and the Blood Plum Kettle Sour aren’t likely to find themselves bumped from the tap list anytime soon either.
Like many breweries, the team at Wild Hop want you to try a little bit of everything so offer their beers in pints, middies, on tasting paddles and in specialty glassware for specialty beers; a nice touch for those who have a fondness for beer serving etiquette.
Talking of nice touches, if there’s a brewery venue in the country where they’ve thought through the design ethos to a finer detail, we’d love to see it. Natural light floods two aspects, the fireplace roars in winter, while the extensive deck area overlooking the farm dam is shaded in summer by mature trees. And let's also not forget the children's playground and lawn, both of which are ripe with laughter from open to close.
The marvellous Wild Hop logo – equal parts eye-catching and cheeky (and worn by a great many beer lovers) – is found throughout the stunning venue, first catching your eye from ground level as you make your way from the car park and adorning everything from merch to tasting paddles.
Ali, Matt and the Wild Hop team strive to do it all on the hospo front, and have a reputation that’s grown steadily since they opened, with visitors appreciating fresh beer, creative cooking, expeditious service and a setting that’s both easy on the eye and family (and dog) friendly.
It can be a hard task finding the right balance in oscillating tourist-driven regions, but it’s one achieved within a short space of time at their cleverly designed brewery and restaurant in idyllic Yallingup. Come for the Short Shorts Pils, stay for the beer-battered pickles and playground.