Ok folks, turn away now if you’re irritated by trumpet blowing, gloating and oh how great is this type posts… in equal measures this may be it. To the rest of you, check this out it’s great. I’ve written here qute a bit about the journey I’ve taken over the past 4 or 5 years. I started writing as a way to flex my brain in more than corporate thoughts. It worked, as all these years later I’m writing for a living and beyond that working with great people to produce things like the Perth series I’ve been posting over the last week or so. This one you may have guessed is quite close to my heart… it’s about BEER!
Hope it made you thirsty, or craving a trip to W.A. If it did and you love craft beer, do me a favour and share this one… you know it makes sense.
I’ve been locked in a battle that is as old as humans stabbing water with a spear… the battle of Man v. Fish.
I’m not a fisherman by any stretch but give me a bucket of bait and put a rod in my hand and a hardwired need to catch it, kill it, eat it, takes over.
Fishing from the jetty and boat both day and night have seen me catch nothing more than an undersized bream, thrown back to grow an extra few centimetres that will see it stay in the bucket when we next meet.
My first fishing trip had caused a stir amongst the in-laws. My Huck Finn, dangle the rod in the water approach had seen the only proper catches of the day, much to the surprise of the assembled Australians. This time it seemed the fish had smartened up as they tug the bait from my line. I seem to spend my time rebaiting my hook after feeding another. Can fish laugh? I’m sure I heard some gurgled riverbed cackling. Maybe that was just too much sun.
Switching to crab nets saw no more success. As we dropped and raised the nets time after time it was like fishing for plastic ducks at the fair as I’d hook the buoy from the boat, hauling up an empty net, the bait untouched. Nice try, but no prize this time.
You may think that this all a demoralising fishy rout but trying to outwit the little creatures, dolphins darting through the water at a distance, black swans gliding in from above and pulling a cold Little Creatures Pale Ale from the esky isn’t a bad way to spend your time and there’s always tomorrow.
From the delirium of my mid transit Singapore blog post I’m coming to you at 3am, awake, as everyone else is sound asleep.
I’m sat on an observation deck, looking out across the blackness, the Southern Ocean in the distance, above me the Southern Cross and a chalky haze, smudged across the sky. Our host A, casually told me earlier that it was the Milky Way; as I looked up open mouthed in awe. I feel that I should be writing about the meaning of life rather than beer.
Having arrived on Sunday I seemed to have slipped into the Perth way of doing things seamlessly. Barbecues and meat pie have been consumed with the promise of more to come and with 5 days “down South” the obligatory visit to the bottleshop. A case of Little Creatures Pale Ale is a given. It’s easily in my top 5. If there is a beer that takes me back to good times it’s this.
Looking at the fridges we also go for some Gage Roads Atomic. Another Perth brewer, based in Palmyra, I’ve had their Wahoo and Sleeping Giant the day before at a welcome lunch and I’m eager to try more of their offering. This American style Pale Ale sits well between the Kolsch (Wahoo) and the IPA (Sleeping Giant) on their roster and stands up well to the Little Creatures. I would do more of a considered comparison but the 6 pack got polished off hours ago. As we stood around the chopping block eating bread, olives and dukka it gets the seal of approval from the soon to be inlaws. I have a small sense of accomplishment that I’ve introduced J & A to something distinctly Perth in origin. Granted it’s not quite the Milky Way but one small step for this pomme.
A visit to Perth without venturing to Fremantle and Little Creatures would, could or should be grounds for deportation. Their citrus packed Pale Ale became my go to beer throughout my time in WA and the chance to visit the mothership was one that I wasn’t going to miss. Established on the site of an old Crocodile farm the brewery has gone from strength to strength. Yes, I said Crocodile farm. Lou, Col and Elise told me of the Crocodile farm they once visited on the site as children. Only a week later they told me of the “Drop Bears”. A marsupial that drops from low hanging trees, biting and and scratching the unlucky sod below. They exist purely in fiction, to torment tourists and in particular Poms. I looked up into the trees for a matter of seconds, but that’s a minute long enough for its still to be brought up. I’m pretty sure that the Freo Crocs did exist unless that’s all an elaborate conspiracy as well. It’s quoted on the Little Creatures site so I thinks it’s a safe bet that they did exist. Anyway, what is left is a great experience for the beer lover and foodie alike. For the Beer Geek in us all you have the breweries inner working around you and plenty of space to enjoy the finished product, great food and in the heat of WA.
On a weekday afternoon it was busy with a mix of locals, and tourists alike. Service initially was slow but the promise of a cold Pale Ale, a light sea breeze and Lou’s favourite White Rabbit and that can be easily forgiven. I am reminded of a Sunday afternoon at the Brooklyn Brewery with English, which I always thought would take some topping. As the food is served I think it has. It would be easy to have the great setting and beer and fail on the food but the food ranks up there with the beer. The Chilli Squid I could eat all afternoon and writing this from a cold London my mouth is watering with the thought. If there is a perfect chip it’s at Little Creatures and then there is the wood fired Lamb pizza… I should stop before I drool too much!
- Croc Free Sand Pit
Little Creatures, 40 Mews Road, Fremantle WA 6160