On Halloween 2014, Jack Cameron, Jared "Red" Proudfoot and some of the early Pirate Life team drove more than 2,500 kilometres across the Nullabor from their homes in WA to build a brewery in Adelaide. A lot has happened in the five years since, with more lying ahead: they've announced they're returning home to build a brewpub in Perth’s CBD.
In collaboration with the award-winning Sneakers & Jeans hospitality group, Pirate Life will open a 1000-capacity venue and brewery inside the old Sony building in the city's East End. The Dubai-based Marcos Cain (Stickman Tribe) designed venue will feature a private dining room, rooftop beer garden, restaurant, three bars and an open plan kitchen, spread across three floors.
Design work is currently underway and is set to be completed in 2020, with Red describing the Pirate Life Perth concept as “sharp and slick”.
The beer offering will be supported by the two Pirate Life breweries in SA; however, the onsite brewery will allow for a range of Perth-only releases.
“We’ll have the permanent core range plus four beers only available in Perth," Red told The Crafty Pint, "supported by four rotating one-off beers to let the brewers go mad.
“We’re looking at small 12 hec brewhouse and eight single brew fermenters; pairing it right back. Super simple. There’s also building constraints with packaging in the brewpub site which limits scale.
“We’ll have a house lager that will tie up two of the tanks, which will leave five or six fermenters for Perth one-offs.”
The Pirate Life Perth brewing position is yet to be advertised, however Red says the successful person will be “the face of Pirate Life in WA” – hosting events, brewing beer and more.
Guest taps may be available depending on the design as well as the WA Liquor Licensing process.
“In general, our philosophy is to have guest taps but we need to see what comes through on licensing," Red says. "Personally, I like seeing other people’s beer on tap next to ours but I’m not sure at this stage.”
As for local collaborations, Red says the brewery that's set to become part of Asahi's growing global operation in early 2020, typically focused on opportunities outside the beer world or with suppliers, but they haven’t ruled out anything with the new site.
“We’ve pumped out 48 or 50 new beers this year," he says. "The churn of new products has been pretty intense. We want the brewpub to stand reasonably separately, but it still needs to have the Pirate Life signature flavour. I hope that it has its has own thing going on but it will have support from the big brewery from a quality point of view.
“Possibly the best outcome is if one of the Perth beers is a big hit; it won’t take long for it to be brewed in South Australia and put into cans. The beer drinkers in WA know their shit and they’ll let us know. We’ve got the horsepower to make it grow.”
Photo at top (left to right): Pirate Life co-founders Mick and Jack Cameron with Andy Freeman of Sneakers & Jeans.