In the spirit of Strictly Ballroom, in anticipation of my Paul Mecurio ‘Cooking with Beer’ book arriving any day now, it is fair to say that craft beer love appears to be everywhere here in the South West. It isn’t surprising given the growing number of breweries setting up here and exposing (in a good way, not an arrestable way) more people to wonderful beer. And it isn’t just breweries who are making noise about craft beer, it’s bars and restaurants joining in on the fun too.
Since moving down here I’ve enjoyed Bootleg Brewery’s Raging Bull at Must Wine Bar, Feral Brewing’s White at 3 Oceans Winery, Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black at The Pourhouse and Mountain Goat Steam Ale at Clancy’s Fish Pub in Dunborough. This is only a few beers in a handful of beer loving venues and now I can add the Laundry Cafe in Busselton to that list of wonderful bars.
The Laundry opened in May 2012 and, as the name suggests it used to be a laundromat. A large canvas image of two rows of dryers hangs on a back wall in a way that makes you do a double take and check you’re not actually at the laundromat; it’d be kind of embarrassing if you were trying to order and drink. There are a couple of washboards and wooden pegs on the walls, all these little touches are enough to add subtle atmosphere without it feeling like a is being forced down your throat.
My boyfriend and I went to check it out on a random Saturday night and despite only four beers on tap, it was delightful to find that half of these had local favourite Eagle Bay Brewing pouring from them. There is a strong emphasis on using local produce in the South West, restaurants and cafes food menu are bursting with locally grown beef and veg and now it’s creeping on to beer lists too! We enjoyed tall glasses of Eagle Bay Vienna Lager whilst sitting at the bar, always our preferred place to sit though not many bars in the South West seem to encourage it, and felt right at home. Who’d have thought – me, feeling comfortable at the bar … who’d have guessed. I’m looking forward to getting back to enjoy the food soon!