01/03/2005 - 21:00

Microbrewery looks to the big picture

01/03/2005 - 21:00


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Blue Jacs, Mandurah’s new microbrewery cum tapas bar, will soon open a second outlet on the coast, this one on Perth’s northern beaches.

Microbrewery looks to the big picture

Blue Jacs, Mandurah’s new microbrewery cum tapas bar, will soon open a second outlet on the coast, this one on Perth’s northern beaches.

This sleek venture, combining a German-designed microbrewery, pizza oven and live entertainment by the water at Mandurah’s Dolphin Quay is hoping to replicate its success at the Volcanoes site in Sorrento Quay, which will be rebranded Blue Jacs.

Expansion into Hillarys, the popular tourist hub which last year hosted more than 4.5 million visitors, is aimed at creating a dynamic boutique brewery supporting premium South West beer.

Blue Jacs’ Hillarys micro-brewery will showcase a range of different beers crafted on site, but there are plans to offer permanent tap access to bourgeoning South West microbreweries, such as Bug Ocean Brewery, to create a boutique ale house.

The project at Hillarys, to be completed soon after Easter, will be modelled on the community focused Blue Jacs concept.

Beer enthusiast and part-owner Kelly Graham attributes the early success of Blue Jacs to its focus on “doing things a little differently”.

“Hospitality in Western Australia is extremely difficult at the best of times. We don’t have the population to support the same old thing,” Ms Graham told Gusto.

Blue Jacs is one of many new ventures in and around the sprawling new marina project adjacent to the Mandurah Performing Arts Precinct and city centre.

Much of Blue Jacs’ popularity stems from its fully functional, state-of-the-art microbrewery, which produces up to 12 kegs of its popular pale ale each week.

Ms Graham says the microbrewery, which has proved a major drawcard for the venue, almost didn’t happen.

“I thought it was either that or some kind of juice bar.”

Ms Graham likens the Braxonia unit to a “big beer cooking pot” and says there is a deceptive simplicity in its design.

Brewer Aaron Devitt believes one of the unit’s big advantages is its flexibility.

“Beer is very technical,” he says, adding that the unit can easily be adapted from its current application to “individual brewer nights where members of a beer club could choose themselves what recipe to use and what beer to produce”.

The advantage a system like this gives Blue Jacs is the minimal infrastructure needed to sustain the brewery.

“We are a micro not a mini brewery. We brew only for us,” Ms Graham says.

This cuts maintenance and operational costs and allows Blue Jacs to operate under a restaurant licence.

Mr Devitt says the English-style pale ale currently being produced reflects the tastes of Blue Jacs’ main clientele.

But the focus will shift to seasonal beers, likely to include a porter in winter and fruit-driven lighter styles for the summer months.

Following establishment of the Hillarys venture, four to five similar Blue Jacs microbrewery ventures are planned, all trading on the idea of promoting the most ‘in-house’ of house ales.


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