Coconut ice cider and cherry apple cider – when I heard Ironbark Brewery in the Swan Valley had these on the menu, I just had to go give them a taste!
Mr. Spittoon and I use to live within stumbling distance from Ironbark, so I have to admit we have frequented this spot quite often. However it has been awhile since we last visited, so after chatting with Ironbark on twitter I thought it was about time we stopped by.
Ironbark is in Caversham, which is about a 5 minute drive from Guildford. It would definitely be classed as the closest of the Swan Valley breweries to the city. Plus across the road you have Pinelli Wines & Fillaudeau’s Cafe so you could quite easily spend an afternoon just in this area and then pick up some fresh seafood from the seafood truck on the corner of Benara and West Swan Road on your way home!
There is nothing fancy about Ironbark, it literally is a shed with a beer garden. It’s laid back and unpretentious to sum it up nicely. You’ll find the owner and chief brewer, Graeme White wandering round the place whether he is serving up beer or manning the wood-fired pizza oven you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of the Jeremy Clarkson lookalike!
Graeme’s dream of owning a brewery became a reality in 1998 when he began Ironbark with his wife and 3 children. He does most of the brewing himself and he loves to experiment with different flavours & styles which you’ll see when you take a look at the diverse beer & cider menu! He also likes to source local ingredients for the Ironbark fruit beers and ciders which is great.
Some of the interesting concoctions are the Desert-Lime Lager, Mango Chic Beer, Cherry Ale and the new Coconut Ice Cider and Cherry Apple Cider. We decided to get a middy of both the ciders to try on this particular occasion. A middy is $6 and pints are $10 which are pretty standard prices for Perth. Soooo what were the ciders like??? To be honest neither of us were fans of the coconut ice cider, however saying that neither of us are big fans of coconut. If you enjoy things like Malibu rum, then this will be right up your alley. The cherry apple cider was my cup of tea! It was more sour than sweet which is my style of cider. I really could have sat there all afternoon drinking it, so thirst quenching and just so easy to drink. Take my advice, don’t order a middy, you’ll definitely want a pint of it!
In terms of beer, I would have to admit that the brews at Ironbark are some of my favourite local beers. From the alcoholic ginger beer to the 2 wheat beers and the pilsner, there is something for every beer drinker! I would say they have around 20 different beers and ciders to choose from! On this visit Mr. Spittoon couldn’t get enough of the Brumby Ale – a mexican style beer.
You’ll find a lot of the Swan Valley tours do stop in to Ironbark so timing your visit is a must. On this particular day we did rock up when there were about 2 tour buses there, it was pretty hectic to begin with but they hung around about half an hour and then left. On the weekends you’ll also have live music, so it really is a fantastic spot for an afternoon session!
What I also thought was pretty fantastic service, is that we were asked to move tables due to a large group arriving, both Mr. Spittoon and I were more than happy too however the lovely waitress decided to bring us each a middy for the trouble. I can’t complain about that!
The food menu at the brewery is very enticing! There are a lot of delicious sounding items on the menu from the triple-decker scotch fillet steak sandwich to the kangaroo pattie Boundary Rider Burger! We wanted something to share so we decided to go for the meatlovers large wood fired pizza for $23.50. The pizza came out quickly, it was pretty standard really but it went down with our brews nicely. The base was definitely my favourite – it just melted in your mouth! We were both pretty full after it too. I’m definitely looking forward to trying out more of the menu in the months to come as I go back for my cherry apple cider fix!