adventures in craft beer in Perth and beyond

5 minutes with Ryan from Clancy’s Fremantle

This edition of ‘5 minutes with’ is with Ryan McLeod, Clancy Freo’s venue manager and all round nice guy. Not only is he great at posing for cheesy photos but he, unsurprisingly, loves craft beer so has found a good home at the helm of this great pub.

Clancy’s Fish Pub Fremantle have been supporting craft beer for a really long time. Recently they have been getting into the brew house themselves by collaborating with local breweries to create fun, once-off beers with the likes of Mash Brewing, Mountain Goat and Innate Brewers to name a few.

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Clancy’s Freo is also the only pub in Perth to have a CANimal machine behind the bar, offering one litre cans of delicious beer for take away. The bar has twenty taps to choose from and many of these are in constant rotation so if you don’t like wide variety and new things then you’re in trouble.

Thursdays are a particularly good day to get a CANimal because every Thursday a mere $15 will get you a CANimal of something from either Young Henry’s, Colonial, Nail or Feral Brewing. If you want to know what’s pouring before you get there they guys are pretty great at updating their tap list on Facebook and Instagram.

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What is the most exciting thing about craft beer in WA?

The speed that the craft beer industry is expanding in WA is nothing short of amazing as is the quality of choice. Around 10yrs ago you’d go to a bottle-o and see VB, TEDs, Crownies etc and maybe if you went to the right one you’d find a lonesome carton of Little Creatures kicking about. These days I can go to a bottle shop knowing I’ll be spoilt for choice with some epic WA craft brews. The hardest part is choosing which one. To think of where the scene will be in another 10 years is pretty exciting too.

What Australian breweries should people watch this year?

Personally I’m really impressed with the beers coming out of a couple southwest breweries Black Brewing Co and The Beer Farm so I’m keeping my eye on those two. On the bigger end of the scale I’d be watching the Colonial Brewing Co as they’re only getting bigger and it looks like they’re preparing for world domination. Any brewery that can make a beer (The Reuben) taste like a delicious sandwich has the skills.

What does the term “craft beer” mean to you and do you think it’s still relevant?

In my opinion the meaning of craft beer is found in the name. As well as a movement, it’s a beer that is crafted by hand that goes through a journey full of mistakes both bad and good to become the end result that its brewer puts out for us the lucky consumer to drink. 

I definitely think it’s still relevant. Especially when you have big corporations passing off their mass produced brews as craft beer and confusing the consumer into thinking they’re drinking something made by hand I think the term ‘craft beer’ becomes even more relevant. It’s not that I’m against any mass produced beer, I love ALL beer in general as I think it’s the greatest gift the human race has ever bestowed upon itself but I think there is decent sized chunk of the public that do need to know the difference and know whether they are buying from an international corporation of button pushed and produced beer or their friendly, local hands on craft brewery.

What three beers would you recommend to non-beer drinkers and why?

Eagle Bay Cacao Stout. Why not shock the system and throw them in the deep end with this heavenly beast of a beer! Most non-beeries only think of horrible black stuff when you say stout but unbeknownst to most of them there is a whole flavoursome world of robust deliciousness lurking out there waiting. All you really need to say is chocolate and most people are sold. 

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Eagle Bay Cacao Stout in CANimal form

Feral Brewing Watermelon Warhead. Rather than easing them out into the beer universe, it’s more fun to just rocket them straight through it. This sour is one of the most refreshing and well crafted summer beers getting around plus the ABV sits at about 2.7% so it’s basically a health drink…

Colonial Brewing Wheat. If the non beer drinker is flat out scared of beer in general this brew can usually turn them. A Belgian style unfiltered easy drinking with a touch of spice. I find that most cider drinkers can jump straight on to this brew without batting an eyelid. 

You finish a long shift at work and when you get home, what beer do you reach for and what food do you have with it?

This is a hard one because I don’t generally stick to any particular style or brand and my taste changes with the seasons but at the moment with the winter upon us I’m reaching for a stubby of Nail Stout and knocking it back with a hearty beef stew! 

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