Margaret River is the fastest growing micro brewery region in Australia with about 13 in the region. Breweries are popping up everywhere, and we think it can only be a good thing. Who doesn’t love a cold beer on a hot day? Or after work? Or any time really! Here’s our pick of where to have a coldie and a bite to eat – Margaret River’s best breweries for lunch.
Best Breweries in Margaret River for lunch
In alphabetical order:
A great big converted barn makes a great space for a brewery. Perched at the top of a natural hilly slope, the geniuses at The Beer Farm have left ample space for the kids to run and play, including a massive slip and slide down the hill that operates in summer, leaving beer-loving parents peace to taste their way through The Beer Farm’s brews. The beer is good, the atmosphere is casual, lively and fun, and up until recently the food was supplied by a roster of food trucks. The Beer Farm has opened their kitchen in time for this summer’s peak period. The food is casual and designed to appeal to the masses. There’s a fire place which would make it cosy in winter (that said, it wasn’t lit on the wintery day we visited).
The Beer Farm, 177 Gale Road, Metricup, WA. 08 9755 7177
There’s little doubt that the setting is absolutely stunning, classed-up. The Indonesian fusion menu has been the talk of the town. I don’t want to get your hopes up, it’s not going to win any award, but our chicken wings were a tasty if sticky mess, the chips were good, the slow cooked rib was tasty and the calamari was well cooked. It’s a huge venue, so if you’re meeting friends, to meet them at the entrance or spend 10 minutes walking inside, outside, around the side and along the large undercover deck looking for them. Really popular with large groups of friends.
Black Brewery, 3517 Caves Road, Wilyabrup WA 6280. 08 9755 6500
The oldest brewery in the region that started operating in 1994, the beer – ales and lagers – are great and the setting is picturesque – think rolling green pastures and a huge lake. There’s a plenty of space for the kids to run around, picnic tables ad umbrellas out on the grass and casual food on offer. There’s a heap more competition in the brewery space these days. A few years ago, you’d never get a table at Bootleg without booking. Times have changed.
Bootleg Brewery, Puzey Rd, Wilyabrup WA 6280. 08 9755 6300
This is my pick for where to eat, drink and hang out in the southern part of the region close Margaret River. The Brewhouse make beer to my liking (ok, I’ll admit it, I like lager), the food is excellent and the vibe is casual but cool in an unpretentious ‘down south’ way. In winter the pot belly stove keeps the place toasty warm, and there’s a huge deck outside under the wrap around verandah (with heaters), and there’s tall eucalypts and picnic tables with umbrellas scattered on the lawn area. A sand pit and playground keep both kids and parents happy. There’s usually live music on Sundays too. I’ve eaten here more than 10 times and never had a bad meal. The burgers are worthy.
Brewhouse Margaret River, 35 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285. 08 9757 2614
This is another brewery that’s really easy to like. The beer is to my liking – they make a great lager. Best chips I’ve had in ages, tasty pizza and lots of other casual food options It’s a nice setting inside with an open fire, and outside the green pasture has a big playground and sand pit for the kids and the vibe here is relaxed and easy. It’s not hard to spend an afternoon here and you might want to take a case of cans home with you when you go.
Colonial Brewery, 56 Osmington Rd, Margaret River WA 6285. 08 9758 8177
With a huge playground visible from Caves Road, it’s little wonder why this place is heaving. The beer has won a stack of awards and will appeal to craft beer connoisseurs, but when we visited, it wasn’t to my palate (remember I like lager). It’s hugely popular with families, and the venue is big, in fact, it’s huge. And it can be noisy, so for of those reasons, we didn’t stay to eat so I can’t tell you about the food. Have you eaten there? What was it like? There is also a Cheeky Monkey warehouse that’s opened in the Vasse industrial area – it’s a big brewery warehouse with a bar, pool table and wood pallet furniture. The Caves Rd edition is a better experience.
Cheeky Monkey, 4259 Caves Rd, Wilyabrup WA 6280. 08 9755 5555
Surrounded by farms, lush pastures and forests in the pretty Treeton sub-region, Cowaramup Brewery is designed to appeal to the masses. The food menu includes favourite small plates like beer-battered chips, popcorn chicken and chorizo and occy, four different pizzas with GF base available, and large plates like pilsner battered fish and chips, chicken with quinoa and roast veg, and pumpkin and leek salad. Kids are catered for on and off the menu. In the summer months they hold outdoor movie screenings and treasure hunts for the kids. I’ve not eaten here, so I can’t comment on the quality of food but I can say that others like it.
Cowaramup Brewery, 229 North Treeton Road, Cowaramup, WA 6285. (08) 9755 5822
Eagle Bay brewery boasts natural beer with no preservatives (like the sound of that) and a kitchen that produces wholesome food. There’s also a winery on site, so if you are with beer and wine lovers, you could tick both off in one stop. Eagle Bay Brewing Co pours six handcrafted beers that are naturally brewed: Kolsch, Pale Ale, Lager, India Pale Lager, Cacao Stout and Amber Ale mid strength. The food menu is based around seasonal local produce designed for sharing including a ploughman’s board, bacon, beer and cheese dip, wood fired pizza, salads such as drunken chicken, Fattoush as well as quinoa falafel salad and beer battered fish and chips. There’s a sandpit for kids and a big grassy area for the little darlings to run around. The venue is huge and modern and best of all, there’s ocean views. It’s popular, so be sure to book.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Eagle Bay Rd, Eagle Bay. WA 6281. 08 9755 3554
While it’s a little unexpected to have a brewery in the heart of Dunsborough, Occy’s definitely feels like more of a pub and the food is a mix of good pub grub and fresh delights like Thai inspired salads. It’s in a great spot and the outside tables get the afternoon sun which is glorious on a mild spring or autumn day. Outside tables are dog friendly too. I’d go back.
Occy’s Dunsborough, 12/34 Dunn Bay Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281. 08 9756 7777
Shelter Brewing Co
Shelter (a client of Pronto PR‘s) is one of the region’s newest breweries possibly in the best location that Busselton has to offer and designed to maximise the iconic views of Busselton Jetty and Geographe Bay. It takes centre stage on the Busselton Foreshore and is huge, with a capacity for 650. The impressive two-level structure features an open brewery, function rooms, lounge area, viewing gallery, café and a kids playground complete with a custom built wooden retro caravan. Open from 7am for coffee, house-baked cinnamon scrolls (so good) and bagels, and from 10am for the brewery. The beer doesn’t come any fresher, straight from the tank to the tap with the core range of beers being Extra Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Lager and Summer Sour which includes seawater from Geographe Bay just opposite. Brewery tours are available that include a tasting straight from the tank. The food menu is designed to appeal to the masses with dishes that just work well with beer, and cater for all sort of dietary requirements – meat or veg burgers, plump chilli mussels, slow-cooked ribs, hand cut chips and woodfired pizzas – definitely do not leave without trying the GF sweet corn poppers. Owned by two fourth-generation local families, Shelter is born and brewed in Busselton, just like it says on the tin.
Shelter Brewing Co, 11 Foreshore Parade, Busselton WA 6280
Taphouse at Aravina Estate
The new Taphouse at Aravina Estate is pouring it’s own label, 8 Waves Brewing Co Pilsner, IPA, Draught, Stout and Hazy Pale Ale from five rotating taps in the new The Taphouse, situated underneath the restaurant. The brewery name ties in nicely to the WA Surf Gallery which is upstairs and worth a wander. The Taphouse offers a tasting paddle, tap cider, cocktails and a casual dining menu featuring seafood baskets, duck spring rolls and a range of stone-baked pizzas.
Taphouse at Aravina Estate, 61 Thornton Rd, Yallingup, WA 6282. 08 9750 1111
Wild Hop Brewing Company
This is a top pick and worth going for the beer battered deep fried pickle alone. It’s quite possibly one of the beer snacks I’ve ever had. The rest of the menu is great but don’t expect pizza, burgers and fish and chips. The thoughtful menu differentiates itself by creating almost all their dishes in the big wood fired oven. And the food is really great – mostly share plates like sliced Wagyu steak, roast chicken, duck fat potatoes, salads and more. There’s pretty views over a dam and onto vineyards beyond and the expansive alfresco area is dotted with umbrellas and tables under shady Cottonwood trees. It’s a summer favourite, and with a fire inside, a cosy winter option too. The family run Wild Hop Brewing Company does things a little differently. There’s no core range of beers, there’s ten taps of batch-brewed beer that are continuously changing, the only constant being the Short Shorts Czech Pilsner. There’s a decent playground for kids too. Wild Hop Brewing gets packed, so be sure to book.
Wild Hop Brewery Company, 1301 Wildwood Rd, Yallingup WA. 0488 990 154
Don’t drive – take a tour
Let Julian Lelah from Margaret River Brewery Tours take you and your friends around to the region’s small batch breweries where you’ll get to taste different concoctions as well as get behind the scenes access. No one has to drive and it’ll be a fun day out. Jules and his team also run dedicated cider tours. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jules 0458 450 120.
Have I missed any? What’s on your list of best breweries in Margaret River?
Other places to eat
Check out my post on best wineries for lunch in Margaret River – read it here
Here’s a list of my top five best burgers in Margaret River