Chances are if you have frequented Brewery’s around Australia there are common themes of Beers n’ Bums. What we mean is that Breweries serve great beers, but the fit out, well, lets just say our bums have sat on every kind of creative ‘seat’ from beer barrels, crates, wooden pallets and more. It’s creative but rarely luxurious.
So when WA brewery Gage Roads started looking for their first ever site outside of their state, it was with a view to do something different. They’ve achieved it. Its big, it’s boldly owning premium frontage on Regent street and it’s uniquely beautiful. Our favourite things come together under one designer roof; beer and great Thai food.
Lets start with the fit out. Open the door and it’s hard not to be open your jaw and mouth the words ‘wow’. Its enormous. To the right are window seats with translucent yellow plastic flags hanging from the ceiling like an art installation in the MCA. Pride of place are the huge, oh so shiny stainless tanks looking like gems in a jewellery store. The long lime green bar has descriptions of the brews available sitting pride of place above the bar. Concrete floors and industrial ceilings are softened with modular furniture which includes blue low slung cushion seats with creative arm rests which means you can create new friends and seating combos! Banquet seating along the walls are perfect with big groups. Dark green tiled walls are illuminated by sexy red stairs leading upwards to a riot of fire engine red and black upstairs which includes the open plan kitchen and bright red toilets!! Sunnies optional?
Let’s now talk beers. Gage Roads is famed for its hoppy style, but we have to say compared to the trend over the winter for super hoppy, bitter styles – these beers have a finese, balance and complexity which is superior to the slam bam, whack-you-round the face schooners we have had of late.
Led by Head Brewer, Nick Ivey, all three of Atomic Beer Project’s core range of ‘Relative Constants’ are brewed on site; the classic, American style Atomic Pale Ale (4.7% ABV), Atomic IPA (5.6% ABV) and the malty, fruity Atomic XPA (4.2% ABV) which was our favourite of the day. A tasting paddle is the way to go for your first visit if you want to experiment with ‘Beer Lab’ offerings. Definitely try their special Cryo Red Alet (6.4% ABV) its rich malty flavour is thanks to Centennial Cryo hops with a bit of a citrus kick. Saison lovers will enjoy the creamy ‘Cashmere’ with soft pear fruits (4.5%). The porter is a dark and moody beer and easily drinkable (5.0%). These boys n’ girls are serious about their beers, but its great to have session beers which are not alcohol laden beasts.
Let’s talk food. If Head Chef, Jordan McLeod’s Thai food has you thinking how much it reminds you of Longrain, that’s because he worked there. It’s so much fun to look at a menu and not know what to expect. We start with small plates of green pea croquettes which arrive on little sticks like a golden gaytime. The crunchy coating gives way to a sweet green puree its a divine blend of sansho pepper and yuzu mayo. Skewers of grilled prawns have just a hint of green curry butter lifting them out of the ordinary.
Larger plates continue the Pan Asian adventure; a perfectly grilled fillet of ocean trout sits on a bed of green mango salad and a lightly spiced nam jim dressing. Yellow curry cauliflower is perhaps the most recognisable thing on the menu but the flavours are clean and authentic. The use of traditional thai eggplant and snake beans brings it all together. A golden pool of mustard coloured curry sauce is topped with a tangle of egg noodles, slices of chicken and chilli jam. It’s a cracking noodle dish which stays in the memory. Even a simple side like ‘tomato and avocado’ is executed with prouduce that sings beautifully thanks to a chorus of nori sesame and shoyu dressing .
With areas set up for co-working with power and USB ports we could pack a bag and never leave given that they are open from 7am for breakfast too.
They say bad things happen in threes. Well great things are happening in threes: Beer, Thai food and happy bums! Atomic Beer Project has set the standard for others to follow…just in case you were wondering, they have an outstanding local wine list, so there really is no reason to stay home this weekend.
Atomic Beer Project
158 Regent Street, Redfern
Hours: Breakfast, lunch & dinner 7am to late