In early 2022, the bustling regional city of Bunbury welcomed a new player into its already vibrant hospitality arena. This came in the form of Froth Craft Bunbrewery (the boys never waste a punny opportunity), a southwest expansion for the trio that first started slinging beers up the coast in Exmouth.
With their original brewpub home already a success in its own right, much of the Froth Exmouth concept made its way to Bunbury, while allowing the team at venue number two to bring experience garnered to date to bear in the South West – adapting and evolving the concept for a new region of fans. As such, Froth Bunbury is not only a purpose built bigger “from the ground up” venue, but one that has service and experience dialled-in, ready and eager to serve.
As co-founder Pete Firth put it, they couldn’t believe Bunbury, WA’s second biggest city, didn’t already have a commercial brewery, ensuring the team was “frothing to bring one to the centre of town!”
It’s a move that’s also driven by a desire to expand the brand and venture into packaging and distribution, which Pete admits “is exceptionally hard to do somewhere as isolated as Exmouth... We felt that we’ve grown as much as we can in Exmouth, and the opportunities from a bigger venue, with a bigger brewery, in a bigger city, is just too good to not have a solid crack at!”
Their Bunbury home has a similar presence to their Exmouth location: enjoying prime real estate on the main street, the rustic, nautical theme is both strong and quirky, while an open, expansive and sunlit drinking, dining and entertainment space – live music and various entertainment feature on the regular – is entirely accommodating.
Recycled timber, repurposed brick paving and an overhead conservatory-style roof that visually connects the venue with Bunbury’s blue skies, plus Froth’s iconic "F" tower that adorns a pitched rooftop full of solar panels. These cleverly designed elements combine with high ceilings, indoor plants and relics dotting the walls and bar to provide plenty for punters to explore beyond the drinks and food. Then there’s the impressive boat hull acting as a central feature, which cleverly wraps the venue’s bar, itself adorned with some of the finest and most eclectic tap handles in Australia.
“The feature bar is a huge, repurposed wooden boat named Kybra, built just north of Bunbury in 1949,” Pete explains. “It’s definitely a talking point and a highlight for guests. All aboard!”
While Exmouth will remain as their home in the North West, the bulk of brewing now takes place here too. Their 25 hectolitre Spark brew kit is tasked with servicing 20 rotating taps, with a creative variety of styles and unique beer names inspired by Bunbury's history, culture and surrounds. Across the core and seasonal offerings, punters can expect the likes of pale and assorted lagers, a hazy pale ale, amber ale, mid-strength ales, fruited sours, hop forward humdingers, a dark lager, NEIPA, stout and more besides, mostly depending on the season and what drinks well in the climes. Their carefully crafted wine list showcases only South-Western WA wineries.
Overseeing brewing is Froth co-founder Tyler Little, who shares the head brewer role with Aaron Davy, who joined them after working at Gage Roads and Little Creatures, and is also the owner of nearby Preston Valley Hops. They're also hoping to release their first cans by April 2023 so they can push their beers into retail as well as offer thirsty punters the chance to take beers home and in to the wild.
When it comes to dining, you’ll find a simple but entirely effective fusion style seasonal menu available all-day and showcasing global influences while celebrating fresh, local produce. The variety of beers allow for innumerable pairings with popular items such as house-made pizza, chilli caramel pork belly, chilli mussels, spicy curries, steaks and fried chicken wings, and with both large and small plates at the ready for all appetites. Daily specials and weekly discounted gastro-themed nights bolster the wide offering, and experience suggests meals at Froth arrive both quickly and generously portioned.
Opening a second brewery more than 1500 kilometres away from their original home might seem ambitious, yet despite this distance they’ve managed to capture the essence and character of their colourful brand across both venues.
They’ve done so while retaining a community-minded ethos and a keen focus on producing quality craft beer within one of WA’s biggest port cities. As it adds its weight to the growing craft beer scene in Bunbury and WA’s wider South West, Froth is a welcome addition with plenty to offer locals and tourists alike.