Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
Published February 14th 2013
Chilli beer, chocolate beer or even a Mango Madness
Ever since I discovered that Bush Shack Brewery makes chocolate beer they've been on my must-visit list whenever I travel to the southwest. Chocolate beer? Yes, along with chilli, strawberry and other flavours, these all-natural drops are brewed and served in a relaxed country setting.
Relax among the gum trees
Bush Shack is a family business that began as Wicked Ale in the late 1990's. All their beers are unfiltered and brewed without artificial flavours or preservatives.
They also make apple and pear cider and a range of flavoured wine-based drinks.
My favourite is actually a rich English-style brown ale that's reminiscent of chocolate, however my husband prefers the bitter-based chilli beer that has a real bite to it.
One of the nicest things about the brewery is the location. The rustic building is made of recycled materials and is set in a spacious beer garden amongst tall gum trees. There's a playground for the kids, games for the adults (pool table, chess and more) and live music on the weekends. Picnics are welcome and BBQ facilities are available, or you can order from a snack menu.
On our recent visit I had a Mexican baked potato which went really well with my chocolate beer. It was a holiday weekend and there were quite a few groups relaxing at the picnic tables and sharing nachos or enjoying burgers.
Buy a snack or bring a picnic
A "tasting tray" of six sample-size beers is available and was by far the most popular choice, with the lighter strawberry and lemon pale ales especially favoured by the ladies, even those who don't normally like beer.
Take some home
Many of the brews are available in bottles for takeaway. If they don't have your favourite on the day, you can place an order to be filled when the next batch is brewed. Online ordering is also available and shipping costs are very reasonable.
I keep meaning to try some of the other products - the thought of a cold "creamy alcoholic soda with caramel and vanilla flavours" on a hot day is enticing - but it will have to wait till my next visit.