There are many well-known breweries in WA these days but if you look hard enough there are still a few gems which fly below the radar. Jarrah Jacks Brewery is one such example. It has been open for longer than many of the flashy establishments to pop up in the past few years and truly offers some fantastics beer, wine and food in a pretty special surrounding but, due to its isolation, is left off most south west brewery tour forays.
Coming in from Manjimup, the turnoff for Jarrah Jacks is just before you reach town so is pretty easy to miss of you're not looking. After traveling down a farm, valley and tree lined road you get to Jarrah Jack's driveway which gives you an impressive view over the vibrant green vineyard and rustic homestead style building.
Now lets not beat around the bush, the best thing about Jarrah Jacks Brewery is the hill. The big patch of green grass sits between the brewery and grape vines, and the staff are only too happy to provide cardboard for kids (and adults) to slide down it. This is the best thing mankind can do, and to be able to do it at a microbrewery is just swell.
The microbrewery is also dog friendly and has a playground if the children get tired of sliding down the hill, which they definitely wont, because the hill is great. While we were there the kids also found delight in running between the vines and down to the dam at the base of the hill. So clearly this is a place that children with non-controlling parents will love.
Sliding down the hill at Jarrah Jacks. Dogs are also welcome.
For those looking for something else other than a hill to slide down, Jarrah Jacks also brews boutique beer and has quite a lovely setting to sit and relax, which overlooks the hill of course. They are quite pricey at around $13 a pint but the range is decent, the service is friendly and quality is far improved from a few years back.
The food here, in particular the chips, really stand out. Hand cut, perfectly salted, crispy potatoes are the perfect thing to eat after sliding down a grassy hill and the rest of the menu features local ingredients in gourmet pizzas, meat plates, seafood baskets and pub favourites. No one needs to be lectured on how excellent local Southern Forests ingredients are.
So if you think you have tasted all of Western Australia's best beers, or have a friend who thinks they know WA beer like the back of their hand, bring up Jarrah Jacks - a great brewery in nice surrounds which has been around for a while but very few have every heard of. Now you know, and now you should go!