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.
Leading 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, having 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.
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.
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
Let us know what you think about this venue by leaving a comment on our Facebook page!