Brewing up a storm in WA
Meet the brewers flying the flag for WA craft beer!
Perth’s beer brewers are back doing what they do best! Gage Roads have re-entered the independent market in full force and are giving local beer lovers big things to talk about. After reclaiming their company shares off Woolworths, the Perth-owned brewery are taking their craft to a whole new level and brewing up a storm in WA’s local beer scene.
The faces behind the beer
Fifteen years ago in a small corner of Fremantle, Perth beer lovers Peter Nolin and Bill Hoedemaker were busy making history at the local Sail and Anchor hotel, the first craft beer venue in Australia. Driven by a dream to share a cold one with the rest of WA, they decided the time was right in 2002 to hang up their beer brewing aprons at the Sail and Anchor and start a bigger brewing adventure...
Together with Hoedemaker’s brother, John, the duo set up a local brewery just down the road from Freo, soon to become home to Perth's first Gage Roads beer. Following a chance encounter at San Diego’s Craft Brewers Conference, Nolin enlisted the help of Aaron Heary, a fellow Perth-born beer enthusiast with a background in brewing and a passion for craft. Thirteen years on and it’s clear that the team at Gage Roads are still just as passionate about their beer as they were when they started back in the 2000’s.
One thing’s for sure - craft beer is in everyone’s blood at Gage Roads. With such a shared and infectious passion, it’s obvious that the brewers were destined to return to the independent craft market. Unsurprisingly, our local brewery is back in Perth hands, and the Gage Roads brewers are more focused than ever on sharing their passion for craft with fellow beer lovers across WA.
Flying the flag for WA
If craft beer has the hearts of the brewers at Gage Roads, it’s followed in close second by their love for WA. Like so many of the team at Gage Roads, Heary sees himself as a true West Australian, born and bred with a love of the ocean and coastal lifestyle. “It’s that lifestyle that West Australian’s really enjoy”, he tells us, “you don’t get that in many other places around the world”.
The team love their local lifestyle so much they decided to bring it to their beer at every chance they could get. That’s why they named their brewery after the strip of ocean between Rottnest Island and Freo. In fact, everything down to the designs on their stubbies draws inspiration from the WA that we know and love. From Little Dove, named after the Dutch ship docked at Fremantle harbour, to Atomic, a pale ale paying homage to Freo’s WW2 submarine base, each and every beer has its own little link to our local history and heritage.
And that’s not all that’s WA about Gage Roads. The brewers like to source their ingredients locally too. Luckily for them, we have some of the best farming conditions for barley growing in the world, so they don’t need to look very far…
Heary: ‘we’re passionate about supporting our local economy and farming community’
One for every WA occasion
When it came to refreshing their range, Gage Roads kept local beer drinkers in mind. Taking inspiration from their love of the local lifestyle, the brewers created craft beers that Aussies could enjoy at every moment of the day. They followed a simple philosophy - let’s craft a beer that WE would want to drink in WA.
As expert beer drinkers, the Gage Roads brewers knew beer wasn’t just about quenching thirst - it was about mood, moment and moorish-ness. Drawing on the moods and moments they experienced themselves, they set about brewing beers with beautiful balance to suit every WA occasion. That’s how Heary got the inspiration for Single Fin - he wanted to brew a summer ale that he could drink on the back of a boat at Rottnest. And just like that, a beer was born.
Keepin’ it fresh
Even science is telling us that local beer is something we should shout about…According to Heary, it’s a pretty well known fact in the industry that a beer always tastes its freshest at the brewery - that’s when the florally, fruity, aromatic goodness in a beer is at its best. If you want to drink fresh, he says, you have to drink local. With locally sourced ingredients, a West Australian brewing team, and a Perth-based brewery, you can’t really get more local than Gage Roads.
With a new-found appreciation for craft amongst popular beer venues across Perth, locals are looking more and more towards craft beers to quench their thirst. Having already won awards for their recent efforts with Little Dove, it looks like Gage Roads will be moving even further into our city’s craft beer scene. They'll be bringing their much-loved beer to this year’s fringe festival, and we can’t wait to see what’s coming next from our local brewers….