Matilda Bay Brewing Company
Where the Ducks Bark and the Beez have Neez
What does the Sail and Anchor have in common with a Brass Monkey and Queens? Aside from being three of the most iconic pubs in Perth, they all provide their customers with the opportunity to enjoy the speciality hand-crafted brews from WA’s Matilda Bay Brewing Company.
The Matilda Bay Brewing Company began in 1984, and was the first brewery opened in Australia since World War II. The brewers are dedicated to providing a unique drinking experience through their range of hand-crafted beers and they encourage their customers to try new things and experiment with new tastes.
The brewery was originally based at the Sail and Anchor pub in Fremantle, but due to it's immediate popularity it relocated to a more spacious location in Nedlands.
In 1989, the brewery once again relocated, to the old Ford Motor factory on the Stirling Highway in North Fremantle. Originally built in 1930, the building oozes old world charm, made complete by a traditional copper brew-house. It is here that Matilda Bay’s extensive range of speciality hand-crafted brews are still produced.
In 1986 Matilda Bay released a seasonal beer called Summer Wheat. It was so popular that in 1987 it was renamed Redback and released nationwide. The beer was created in the style of Weizen beers from Southern Germany.
Served with a thick frothy head and a slice of lemon to heighten the flavour, Redback is a refreshing beer, perfect for the Australian summer. It became grand champion at the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) in 1993, and according to Amy Wild from the Australian Bartender Magazine, “has been the benchmark for Australian wheat beers for 20 years.”
The Matilda Bay Brewers Reserve range, enables brewers to experiment with international beer flavours and styles. The original addition to the Brewers Reserve family was Dogbolter, first released in 1987. It is a special dark larger with a rich taste created by the roasted grains.
The other member of the reserve family is Alpha Pale Ale. Alpha is based on the style of a North West American ale and in 2003 won more medals than any other beer at the AIBA.
One of the gems of the Matilda Bay family is Beez Neez, which combines the refreshing flavour of a wheat beer with light amber honey. Originally produced on a small scale as a speciality crafted wheat beer, Beez Neez is a unique brew distinguished by its soft honey aroma and taste. It is now one of Matilda Bay's most popular and renowned beers.
True to their experimental nature, Matilda Bay also release a speciality range of “Out-There” brews. The current star of this range is the Barking Duck. Modelled on a Belgian brew, the beer is light and cloudy in colour similar to Hoegaarden. Barking Duck is an unfiltered beer containing live yeast, which combined with hopps creates a bitter and complex flavour.
The most popular beers from the Matilda Bay range are available at many pubs around the country and even overseas, however to experience the full range of beers available from Matilda Bay one must seek out a location which encourages a unique drinking experience. Three iconic pubs which cater to this are The Sail and Anchor, The Brass Monkey and The Queens.
The original home of Matilda Bay Beers, The Sail and Anchor, in Fremantle, is one of Australia’s first pub breweries. Renovations to the building in 2001 saw the brewery, within the pub, become completely enclosed in glass allowing customers to see and smell, as well as taste the brewer's creations. The brewer's courtyard encourages beer matching and provides suggestions of what to drink with what meal on their extensive menu.
Originally The Great Western Hotel, The Brass Monkey is the most photographed hotel in WA. With a number of bars to choose from the Brass has an atmosphere to suit everybody’s taste. The main bar with its brass fittings and carved wooden bar has a classic charm, which provides the perfect environment to indulge in the speciality beers from Matilda Bay.
When it comes to cuisine there are three different menus at The Brass to choose from so there is a dish to compliment anybody’s choice of drink. Chef Brenton Phelps spoke about the range of meals provided at the Brass Monkey saying, “The Brass has a variety of menus for different situations. We cater for individual needs, quality and the adventure of new flavours for the customer.”
The Queens in Highgate also provides a similar atmosphere and drinking experience to the Sail and the Brass. Located in an old coach house, built in 1899, the building went through extensive renovations which made it one of the most controversial and imaginative bars in Perth. Often bustling with activity, the Queens provides a friendly and informal environment for its customers to taste the wide selection of speciality beers available.