On Fremantle’s outskirts Gage Roads has become one of WA’s brewing trailblazers. The name is rooted in the west, referencing the stretch of water between Fremantle and Rottnest Island. “I think we’ve got a nice parochial following,” says Head Brewer, Ross Brown. “We grew in an environment without one of the big multinational brewers here after the Swan Brewery shut down. We’ve been able to grow into that space with craft beer.”
In almost a decade at Gage Roads, Ross has seen much change. “We didn’t have our beers on tap anywhere, and we’ve gone from that to getting the contract for Optus Stadium, and a growing presence over east.”
“Our flagship,” says Ross of Single Fin Summer Ale, is a beer with “tropical vibes” that’s easy drinking, balanced, and smooth. Key hops, Galaxy and Enigma, are grown in Tasmania and Victoria. A beer, says Ross, that “reflects our laidback coastal, beachy lifestyle.”
Mid-strength Side Track All Day XPA delivers on flavour, with a crisp bitterness that doesn’t build up on the palate over time, says Ross. “Citrusy tropical, it uses US hops and just some pale malt, oats and wheat on the malt side. It’s one of those beers that you can have a few of at a barbecue and not feel ripped off on flavour, but on the other side if you’re settling in for a day on the boat or watching the cricket there’s enough flavour there.”
Crisp and refreshing, Pipe Dreams Lager can take people through a craft beer journey, says Ross. “Approachable for those who have traditionally drunk Aussie lager or a Euro style lager, it’s got a little bit more going on the hop aroma.” Using a trio of hops, Pipe Dreams displays lemongrass characters, a little spice, and floral notes. “It’s really clean, and uncomplicated,” he says.
Coming in at 6.2% ABV the Little Dove New World Pale Ale is anything but little, and one for the IPA lovers. Rich and ripe in aroma, with big notes of guava nectar, Ross says it’s got malt complexity, delivering a well-rounded yet complex beer with big, bold flavours.
Launched at the start of 2022, Yeah Buoy XPA has been a non-alcoholic success story for Gage Roads. Using American hops to deliver a clean hop character, the team have achieved rounded flavour without falling foul of other non-alcoholic offerings that can be watery and overly sweet. “We’ve struck a really good balance there,” says Ross. “Open a can of it and you get this big, pungent tropical stone fruit aroma that just pops out at you.”
Also new for 2022 was the opening of Gage Roads Freo in the iconic portside A-Shed. “We didn’t really have that bricks and mortar place that people could go to and have our beers,” says Ross. “It was probably the missing piece for us.”
Products featured are available from 01/02/23 to 07/03/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.