1301 Wildwood Road, Yallingup
Ph: 0488 990 154
A hop, skip and a brew
The opening of Wild Hop Brewery in February added yet another great watering hole and dining venue to the Margaret River Region. Rustic and welcoming, Wild Hop embraces the environment with a large, sleek alfresco space leading into a spacious open dining area with panoramic views of the brew house and hop yards in the distance. All the seasons are covered with café blinds and heaters outside and a beautiful wood fire inside for the cooler months.
Living on this picturesque 50-acre property and with a growing young family, owners Ali and Matthew Scott-Malcolm faced the decision of how to set up a sustainable lifestyle that would also be family friendly. With a passion for good food and beer, and already business savvy, the concept of running a family business was born. While it was a brave move, they’ve been busy since opening and haven’t looked back.
Like the beers, the menu is dynamic and regularly changes to keep it fresh but some favourites remain like the Beer Battered Pickles, which according to the staff everyone loves. One of my favourite dishes is the Golden Beetroot Salad, combining beetroot with goat feta, almond, alfalfa, mustard leaf and rhubarb dressing. It’s full of flavour with a nice crunch. These dishes, like the wood charred vegetables and gnocchi are healthy, while being fun and interesting.
The wood fired meats and tasty bar snacks are ideal for sharing, especially for groups, and the staff are happy to help you decide on dish combinations. House specialties like the Free Range Barbeque Rotisserie Chicken and the flame-grilled steak are popular choices, while smaller meals are also available.
Head chef Joshua de Caen explained that the free range chicken is brined for 48 hours before being cooked on the rotisserie – so tender and full of flavour. Josh said that cooking is a real pleasure at Wild Hop using state of the art Moffat cooking equipment with items from Blue Seal Evolution heavy duty cooking equipment, Turbofan hot holding and convection ovens and Washtech warewashing ensuring all the dishes are washed and sanitized. “It’s reliable, easy to use and ensures products are cooked to perfection every time.”
Brewers Matthew Scott-Malcolm and Andrew Caldwell, who met while studying together at the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago, are both passionate about flavours and brewing techniques, and continue to create new and interesting craft beers. They said, “The flavours might be different each time you visit but they will be damn tasty and interesting.”
Ali and Matthew plan to grow produce for the kitchen and what they can’t grow themselves, will be sourced locally. I have noticed in the South West that growers, producers and retailers really support one another. Ali said while ‘sustainable,’ ‘fresh,’ ‘seasonal’ and ‘local’ might be buzz words, they’re key to their philosophy on so many levels.
Wild Hop is very much a multi-generational venue ideal for families, which Ali and Matthew intended. With a young son and older parents, all tastes have been taken into consideration. There’s a kids’ menu and an awesome playground in full view so Mum and Dad can also have a great time while keeping an eye on the kids, and even the dog.
by Ingrid Rickersey