Congratulations are in order as today marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of Little Creatures. On the morning of November 10, 2000, the doors of the Freo brewery were opened to the public for the first time. Well, sort of…
“We were going to open at 10, then pushed it back to 11 and then onto 12, as tends to happen in hospitality” says Miles Hull, part of the Little Creatures team since day one. “But there was an article in the West Australian that said we were opening at 10 so we had keen beer enthusiasts looking in the window. There was a side door semi-ajar that people spotted and started coming through, so we ended up serving before it had really opened.”
But while they might have stumbled over the start line, the subsequent years have seen the WA brewers moving forward at a sprint. Little Creatures Pale Ale (called Live at the start) is recognised as the iconic Australian US style Pale Ale and has spawned countless imitators, while their beers are enjoyed across Australia and, more recently, overseas. The Pale was one of three beers available at the launch, along with one called Bright (forefather of the current Bright Ale) and Fine, a lager.
Today, they’re experimenting with single batch releases, such as an Oatmeal Stout and the recent Hop Lord IPA. The Little Creatures Dining Hall has become a Melbourne staple since opening (and has a little of the Hop Lord left if you’ve yet to try it), while the original open fermentation Freo brewery, which had been brought over from Canada, is now installed at White Rabbit, in the Yarra Valley. Back in WA, the resplendent stainless steel meets huge walls of glass Creatures empire now dominates the Freo waterfront in spectacular style and is a true beer destination.
“Looking back, we’re completely enthused by the way the Freo community and the wider beer loving community in general has embraced the site for great fresh beer and got to know the Little Creatures story,” says Miles. “We had grand hopes but we’re certainly really chuffed.
“Thanks goes to the supporters, particularly in the trade, who have realised that the craft brewing industry is something that’s on its way. There were only a few of us back then, but look at where we are now.”