Gage Roads set to open its first venue
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Gage Roads Brew Co is set to throw the doors open to good times, fresh froths and locally inspired eats at its first ever venue and new spiritual home, overlooking the strip of ocean that first inspired the brewery.
Located on the Walyalup Waterfront, Gage Roads Freo will bring new life to Fremantle’s port, transforming the area’s iconic “A Shed” into a brewery, restaurant, bar and family-friendly venue.
Built in 1926, the 100-metre-long former cargo shed’s heritage has been retained throughout the build, whilst writing a new chapter in the site’s history.
Gage Roads Brew Co’s Aaron Heary says the team is honoured to help shape the next phase of Freo’s development.
“Fremantle is a place that Gage Roads Brew Co has always been closely connected to. I’ve been with Gage Roads since day one, when two brothers and a few mates had an idea and passion to start a truly West Australian brewery. Our name and identity was inspired by the stretch of ocean that separates Rottnest and Freo. It’s a special place to all of us, where we’ve spent countless good times.
“It was always an ambitious project converting an old heritage dockside shed into a fully operational brewery, bar and restaurant. But we’ve always loved a challenge. We’ve created a fun, unpretentious venue with fresh beer and epic food that’s all about good times! Gage Roads has been around for more than 15 years, but we’ve never had a place to show people what we’re all about. That’s what’s so exciting about Gage Roads Freo. We’re pumped to throw the doors open, get the good times flowing and bring our spiritual home to life to show everyone who we truly are. And one thing I can guarantee, it’s going to be the freshest beer in town!” says Aaron.
Gage Roads Freo is truly a place for everyone. Friends and families. Locals and tourists. Casual catch ups and epic good times. Before you walk in, you can’t miss the distinct artwork from illustrator and long-time collaborator Andy Murphy on the outdoor silo. If you’ve ever held a Gage Roads beer, you’ve seen Andy’s artwork across the stubby or tin. The “front-yard” is decked out with high tables and space for outdoor hangs accompanied by the Freo Doctor, while taking in one of WA’s best waterside views.
Walking inside you’ll see our brewers working on the 25-hectolitre, 16 tank brew-kit, crafting the full range of Gage Roads beers that you’ll see on tap. Every Gage Roads beer you drink at the venue will be brewed onsite, with beers pouring direct from tank to tap. Along with the full core range of Gage faves including Single Fin Summer Ale, Pipe Dreams Coastal Lager and Side Track All Day XPA, beer lovers will also enjoy a rotating list of brewery-only exclusive brews.
Gage Roads Freo Head Brewer Simone Clements is kicking off with two brewery exclusives, including Hazy As Tropical Hazy Pale Ale and Off the Wharf Red IIPA, with a third brew, Tropic Wonder Pineapple Mango Sour being tapped in early February.
“I’m really excited to be the inaugural head brewer here at Gage Roads Freo. While I love the challenge of brewing our core-range beers on site, I’m really stoked to be able to flex some creative muscle with a rotating roster of brewery-only special releases. The first three limited releases are beers I truly love. And they’re tasting great! Craft beer lovers will be excited to try something new that’s only available for a limited time, while Gage fans will be able to lean into their adventurous side and give something new a crack,” says Simone.
Housed near the brew-kit is the original heritage listed clerk’s office. Originally used over the decades by the manifest clerk to tally the goods and cargo that arrived at port, it’s now known as “The Green Room.” Inside, brewers will hold tastings, while the room will also host special events and private functions.
Making your way through the building, you’ll notice a spot that’s sure to be popular, the main bar.
Built with local Donnybrook sandstone, the bar top has been crafted with recycled jarrah that was reclaimed from the venue. Much of it was sourced after works reinforcing the wharf. In fact, half of the “A Shed” stands over water, and the other half sits over land. The main bar runs 17.5 metres long and stands in front of massive floor-to-ceiling windows that frame an impressive view of the Freo harbour and port.
There’s nothing like ordering a beer, while watching the container ships roll on by in the background.
While serious about beer, Gage Roads Freo’s menu perfectly complements the experience, and is focused on championing WA produce. Executive Chef Danny Sanchez (ex Attica in Melbourne, Hadiqa and more) serves up bites and share plates inspired by the sea and local West Australian ingredients. From party starters including snapper ceviche with coconut, coriander and pickled shallots, to a trio of tacos (Kingfish with pineapple salsa and chipotle cream; Linley Valley pork belly, sweet corn salsa and chicharron; Crispy vegan pork, white cabbage, green chilli and dill yogurt), and larger plates such as Rottnest Island swordfish schnitzel with caviar bearnaise, watercress salad and lemon, there’s a focus on quality, taste and variety. The woodfired pizza oven will get a workout too.
You can tell a lot about someone by what they hang on their walls, and the same goes here.
Epic murals, local art and historical shots are found throughout the venue, with the restored original timber walls providing balance. Walking through the main entry, you’ll be greeted by the Andy Murphy illustrated “Gage Roads” mural – featuring a tribute to some of Freo’s most loved spots. It’s a tip of the hat to the place we love. Toward the backyard, local artist Chris Nixon’s “Cheers to Freo” mural reflects the site itself and was inspired by his regular bike rides to his Freo studio. With colours and patterns echoing Freo’s port of stacked containers, docking ships and nautical signal flags, it’s another nod to our home. Environmental artist Vee Casey is also featured, with her piece “Time for Change” created with marine debris including plastic and rope that she’s found on local Perth beaches. It creates a colourful display that raises awareness to ocean pollution.
We built Gage Roads Freo for everyone, and a big part of that is family. The backyard will have the little kids as entertained as the big ones. A retired crayboat has found a second life and sits next to a hollowed out 1960’s Land Cruiser. Both have been reworked into play equipment that will have imaginations firing. Kids will be embarking on adventures across the high seas and open roads, while mum and dad sit by enjoying a beer and bite. Nearby, a climbing wall has been created for those who want to get a higher view.
Gage Roads Freo was designed to complement and highlight the site’s heritage and iconic location. While there are several alfresco areas looking out across the water, the wharf side alfresco area is lined with share tables and stand-up areas, with no better view of the Freo Port and Gage Roads itself. If you look down the building’s line, you’ll notice its unique curve that follows the wharf. It’ll be a place to sit back, enjoy a beer and bite, while watch the container ships cruise into the working port. The stacked shapes and colours, gliding across the port and into the arms of red cranes shows the area’s past and present in real time. With a double-sided bar servicing inside and out, you can order without having to walk back in.
After more than 17 years, Gage Roads is finally home. We can’t wait to have you over.
Gage Roads Freo opens Thursday, January 20.