On Saturday the 14th of April I visited The Colonial Brewing Company in Margaret River, Western Australia. This was the third craft brewery to open in this region way back in 2004. They have an aim of making beers to suit the craft beer drinkers as well as producing some very approachable beers that are easily consumed by mainstream beer drinkers.
This brewery started here but have expanded to now have another venue in Melbourne. At the Margaret River brewery they produce about 700000 litres per year at present, but there are plans for an upgrade to add more fermentation tanks to increase their capacity. They also run their own canning line.
The venue is very family friendly with a large beer garden with a children’s playground and toys/sports equipment for the kids to have fun with while their parents enjoy a good brew. They also have a great restaurant that makes the kind of food that goes well with beer. The brewery has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere that suits the region well.
The beers that I sampled were:
1. Draught, 4.8% abv, this Kolsch style beer has a light straw colour and a lemon citrus and herb aroma. It has a gentle fruitiness on a light, crisp, clean, dry finish. Very approachable.
2. Small Ale, 3.5% abv, this has a golden colour and a tangerine citrus aroma. It has a great citrus flavour on a sweet malt palate. Very sessionable, designed to be big on flavour at a responsible alcohol level.
3. Pale Ale, 4.4% abv, this has a golden straw colour and a tropical fruit aroma. It has a flavour of sweet passionfruit and tropical fruit on a mild bitter crisp finish.
4. IPA Australia, 6.5% abv, this has a golden colour and a tropical fruit aroma. The flavour is of tropical fruit blended with resinous pine, before a good, lingering hop bitterness. A nice hop driven IPA.
5. Bertie Cider, 4.8% abv, this has a clear appearance and a green apple aroma. It has a sweet apple taste with a dry, crisp finish.
6. South West Sour, 4.6% abv, this has a hazy golden colour and a fruity citrus and tropical fruit aroma. It has a nice citrus taste with a gentle sour lime finish. Crisp, clean and refreshing.
7. Project Beer, Crosby, Stills and Mash, 7.5% abv, this is named for Crosby hop suppliers who provide the Idaho 7 hop variety used, Stills for the ‘bathtub’ gin that is used in it and Mash for the brewing component. It is a gin infused double IPA with a hazy golden colour and an unusual floral gin aroma. It has a strong fruity, hoppy IPA flavour with a gin like taste on the finish.
The brewery produces seasonal and project brews to regularly add to their core range of beers. In cooler months they will have their Porter available that suits the cold climate of the region, the tag line for this beer is “drink yourself a jacket”. They will be canning this one this year for the first time.
I really enjoyed the beer and atmosphere of Colonial Brewing Company and would like to thank Neil and Margaret for their time and hospitality when I visited. Give them a try if you get the chance.