I love craft beer and going to venues who share my passion, pubs likes The Sail & Anchor and Clancy’s Fish Pub and bottle shops like the International Beer Shop are WA institutions for great craft beer. It’s what they love, it’s what they know, it’s what they do.
But just because you’re not a “craft beer venue” doesn’t mean you can’t have a kick ass beer list. I’m delighted to find more restaurants, small bars, local bottle shops and pubs whose fridges were previously filled with European lagers have been invaded by a few local and international craft beers.
It puts a big smile on my face to see venues paying equal attention to their beer list as they do their food, wine and cocktails. Those who don’t, those who have settled on a beer list that features Cascade Light, Crown Lager and Stella, are well and truly behind the eight ball. It’s kinda like getting all dressed up for an elegant night out, putting all that thought into your hair, dress, make up and jewelry and then wearing your muddy sneakers. Crown Lager is a muddy sneaker.
It’s time to put the spotlight on these great places …
The first venue I wrote on this particular topic was The Precinct in East Victoria Park, a bar/cafe/restaurant boasting a impressive beer list of both single serve and large format, ideal for sharing, beers.
Next up, Muster Bar and Grill – the venue formerly known as Must Margaret River.
A recent name change hopes to define the well known wine bar from it’s even more well known sister venue Must Wine Bar in Perth. Must Wine Bar, located on Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley, is an institution so it caused quite the excitment when Must Margaret River opened its doors. A few years later and Must has been given an “E” and an “R” and presents a more casual and friendly proposition that fits into every day Margaret River, a venue not just for uber-special occasions.
Here’s a few words from Muster manager Mark (that’s a mouth-full!) about the venue and the beers …
Tell us a bit about Muster Bar and Grill ...
Wow Muster, it’s funny how you have to change your name to get people’s attention. We have been evolving Must to Muster over the last year with small renovations and a huge push on local produce with our new head chef Sean Carter. Offering quality service, great food and wine at an affordable price and appearing a little less formal to when Must first opened its doors back in 2009.
What's your inspiration for your beer list?
Craft beer whether it is local or international, there are so many micro breweries opening around the world and all producing so many great beers. I was only speaking with someone this morning about pairing beer and cheese. Sensational! Beer has come a long way and is going to carry on doing so.
What do you hope the beer list says about Muster?
I hope it says we are out to give everyone a good time drinking a variety of beers.
How, if at all, do you think beer drinking habits have changed since you started at Must two years ago?
They haven’t really changed and Australians don’t really drink seasonally like a they would in Europe. But everyone is open to trying new beers if you suggest it, recently I bought in some Rogue Chipotle Ale [brewed with roasted chipolte peppers] thinking it would sit there for a while but everyone kept hearing me talking about them and I sold out in a week.
How many beers are currently on your menu and how often will you update the beer list?
24 beers on our list, you can have a stubby, a schooner or a 1.3ltr jug, we even serve some of our beers in wine glasses as we feel they should be appreciated like a glass of wine. I update our list every month or sometimes fortnightly.
What is your favourite beer on the list and what Muster dish would you pair with it?
I have two “go-to” beers at the moment – North Coast Old No .38 Stout and it pairs so well with our 500g Rib Eye! I also love the Brooklyn East India Pale Ale as a staffie or with our Duck Breast and Risotto.
What I love about the beers at Muster …
♥ Two new beers taps! Installed just a couple of weeks ago, they’re pouring $7 schooners of Eagle Bay Pale Ale and Sapporo
♥ Bottle list is varied deliciousness – you can go for something brewed within 20km or something a little further over the ocean
♥ Unafraid to go big and bold with the likes of Rogue Chipolte Ale and Sierra Nevada Torpedo both currently on the list