When I first saw the words “submariner pop up craft beer bar” my brain immediately conjured up wonderful images of an old submarine emerging from the ocean and bursting with IPAs, stouts, pilsners, sours and all other magical beery wonders. After speaking to co-founder Jackson Gwynne it turns out that my imagination isn’t too far from the truth, minus the endless ocean and uniformed men.
You may already know Jackson, he’s one of the knowledgeable and passionate guys behind the counter at Mane Liquor and now he will be applying his keen beer skills to Perth’s newest pop up bar.
On January 17th “The Submariner” will make her maiden voyage at Bossman Coffee in Mt Lawley and there are plans for monthly appearances at a variety of venues around Perth and Fremantle, showing craft beer love to both sides of the Swan. She will be serving craft beers from all over the globe including the United States, Italy, Denmark and the UK.
[Jackson pictured RIGHT with Submariner co-founder Daniel Mano, photo courtesy of The Submariner]
What is it about craft beer that you love?
Ah, where do I start? The travel, the diversity and culture each country represents. It’s always so unique and every brewery/bar/city has a different atmosphere to offer. The people I’ve met, both local and abroad, have always been so hospitable and generous. And of course the long warm nights on the beach, nursing a briefcase of All Day IPA (business time), alongside poorly cooked pork sausages and great company. I love what craft beer encompasses and the people it attracts; it’s a cool hobby.
Why a pop up bar?
A pop up bar alleviates some of the heavier responsibilities of running a permanent venue, but still allows us to provide great beer without the scary prices. We really wanted to bring some serious craft beer into a social dimension for Perth, rather than people topping up at the bottle shop and sitting quietly in the living room Lone Ranger mode (we’ve all been there). There’s definitely nothing wrong a quiet beer at home, but we want to provide a medium for anyone who wants to socially enjoy craft with fellow craft heads or just mates looking to get into beer. It also generates a bit more of a spontaneous vibe and allows us to track down some hard to find stuff just for one evening at a time, which will hopefully make each night feel unique.
What is the story behind the name “the submariner”?
We kicked around a few ideas for a while, but I admittedly was always a bit biased towards something maritime-esque. There were plenty of average names before we got close. We’d been bickering for a good week before we could settle on anything, then ‘The Submariner’ was suggested. There was something relevant about Perth as a coastal city, submarines/periscopes and being short term or pop-up. Not to mention that sort of romantic, Cold War, espionage kind of feel. I think the ocean will always offer a cool opportunity, especially for creativity and atmosphere too. We didn’t want to do anything overly cliché but in the end we were both digging the ‘Submariner’ idea so we stuck with it.
The logo is fantastic, how did it come about? What was the inspiration?
Thanks. Haha, with lots of help from a good friend of Dan’s. Neither of us are remotely good drawers (understatement of 2015, calling it), so we submitted a bunch of ideas to a friend Dan lived with in Copenhagen. After a bit of email ping pong, a few different graphics came up, but then the current logo came up and we were both stoked. Captain Hops-For-Eyes! (Thanks Anna!)
How do you see “The Submariner” fitting into the existing bar scene?
Hopefully seamlessly. We’re trying not to step on anyone’s toes; I mean we’re pouring some pretty serious international craft beers that we haven’t seen around. We also respect other groups like Bar Pop, a good bunch of guys and we think they’re great for the local craft scene. I suppose we’re trying to be the bridge between a good beer store and a bar.
What sort of beers will you be serving? Tap or packaged?
We will pouring about 6-7 different bottled beers, and running a tap. We will also rotate something else local for the non-beer drinkers!
How did you come to team up with Bossman Coffee?
A lot of groggy mornings that led to really great friendships with the crew behind the bar. Tom, the owner, has been extremely generous. If you want to see the most well utilised small space in Perth alongside some great coffee, check out Bossman in Mt Lawley. I can’t say enough good things about that place and the people involved.
“If one person rocks up and has a beer, that’d be great”
Any sneak peeks into what beers will be at the launch?
Without giving away too much, expect to see some beers from England, an IPA from sunny South California, Copenhagen, New Zealand, the ultimate summer sharing beer from Italy and good ol’ Western Australia! And lastly a special beer from two particular breweries in Vermont and Anchorage.
What are your favourite bars to have a beer at?
I just got back from a couple at the Norfolk, would definitely have to recommend there and The Oddfellow downstairs. 399 Bar in Northbridge always has a good bottle list and conversation, try and leave there with a straight face. Mention to Varnish, Five Bar and Old Faithful for running great bars too. There’s so many good ones in Perth now.
In a matter of days The Submariner Facebook page has already gathered over 360 likes and Jackson has received dozens of message of support which he says has been humbling and encouraging in the lead up to the launch event. Plans are well under way for the next appearances by “The Submariner” and there is also talk of teaming up with some Perth locals to offer food. Jackson would like the focus to be local produce and local operators.
“It’s about getting craft beer to the people,” he says simply. Amen to that.
Thank you to Jackson for giving me his time for this interview which he finishes with some “thank you’s” of his own … I would just like to say a big thanks to Tom and the crew at Bossman, Mane Liquor, Old Bridge Cellars, all the local breweries and bottleshops that have helped the Perth craft beer scene, Jimmy and the crew at Whipper Snapper and everyone who have supported us along the way. Thank you! And see you on the 17th!