Bush Shack Brewery

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791 Ferguson Road, Ferguson
Ph: (08) 9728 3553

Out of the Shack – Into the Valley

Since opening in the late 1990s, Bush Shack Brewery has gained a reputation for quirky and flavoursome beers and spirit-based soft drinks, as well as a unique circular pool table. Having outgrown their brewing facilities in Yallingup, Bush Shack relocated to the Ferguson Valley in October 2018 by taking over the Moody Cow Brewery’s premises.

Due to the original brewery’s limited kitchen facilities, guests were encouraged to use the BBQ or to bring a picnic. Now, Bush Shack has a fully-equipped kitchen with the brewhouse right next to the front bar – their iconic round pool table has also made the move.

BeefHLeading the kitchen is Head Chef Briony Crowder, who has worked all over the world including at a UK Michelin-starred restaurant and as the personal chef to two Australian ambassadors in the Netherlands. Before relocating to Western Australia, Briony lead kitchen teams at resorts in Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Asian influences are found in the compact, yet diverse menu complemented by two to three specials running per week.

Bush Shack’s co-owner Danial Wind selected the beer pairings for our lunch, all of which were a success, each for different reasons.

We started with crispy squid strips, green papaya salad and tom yum dressing – one of the several gluten-free options on the menu. This cracking dish was like summer on a plate and came with fresh lotus root, herbs, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. It was paired with the Chilli Beer – a dry Pilsner-style lager that possesses a similar level of capsaicin heat as the sweet, sour and salty tom yum dressing.

Next up was a Cajun pork scotch fillet slow cooked for 24 hours and served with Louisiana-style baked beans and slaw. The pork was fork tender and richly flavoured, havingDSC_3131 been gently cooked in a 58-degree sous vide for the past day. The baked beans were sensational; flavoured with the Cajun ‘holy trinity’ of celery, onion and capsicum as well as bacon and smoked paprika. The subtle sweetness and smokiness of the beans went beautifully with the caramel malts in the Yallingup Old – a dark amber ale with toffee aromas.

The special of the day was a generous serve of beef ribs, chips and slaw. The gelatinous ribs were coated in a glossy barbecue glaze flavoured with sesame and soy; their richness and stickiness worked in harmony with the Chocolate Beer. Despite its name, the beer (a sweet stout) doesn’t contain chocolate but is sweetened with lactose creating a chocolaty flavour when combined with dark roasted malts.

We finished with a warm chocolate and almond brownie – chewy, fudgy and not too sweet – served with chocolate fudge sauce, raspberries and stout ice cream, which was my favourite component of the dish. Chef Briony makes a chocolate beer and maltose reduction to swirl through the vanilla ice cream. It looks and tastes fantastic. The beer in this pairing was the Milky Whale – a pale, lactose-sweetened ale with hints of caramel and vanilla.

Bush Shack Brewery is open from Thursday to Monday, making it an ideal for a long weekend lunch. The kitchen is open from 11am to 4pm and the snack menu is available until 30 minutes before closing time. Bookings are essential, particularly on weekends where people have been turned away during the 12- 3pm peak period.
I’m not surprised – Bush Shack’s beer was already good, but at the new venue and with a talented team in the kitchen, they’re now delivering equally impressive food.
by Jeremy Sambrooks
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