5 minutes with Tom from Clancy’s Fish Pubs

Long before Petition Beer Corner, Caboose and Dutch Trading Co, long before tap takeovers were a weekly occurrence, Clancy’s Fish Pub in Fremantle was pouring local craft beer. Tom Fisher from Clancy’s chats about memorable moments and how craft has changed over the years.

Long before Petition Beer Corner, Caboose and Dutch Trading Co, long before tap takeovers were a weekly occurrence, Clancy’s Fish Pub in Fremantle was pouring local craft beer.

When I worked for Little Creatures, the story goes that Clancy’s Fremantle was the first place outside of the brewery to pour Little Creatures Pale Ale. Delivered on the back of Elsie, the Little Creatures truck (geddit? Elsie/LC) who now has a beer named after her, the kegs were driven from the Fremantle brewery and delivered to Clancy’s Freo to be tapped fresh.

The Fisher family opened Clancy’s Fremantle in 1996 and today there are three more Clancy’s Fish Pubs – Canning Bridge, City Beach and Dunsborough. Every Clancy’s continues in the footsteps of Fremantle, supporting local and independent craft beer in a huge way.

Tom Fisher works with all the Clancy’s venues, looking after entertainment, promotions and the overall brand communications. He’s also a musician and a super nice guy.

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Right now Tom is promoting the launch of Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough Cape to Cape Tap List, that will see twelve of their 20-odd taps dedicated to south west breweries and cideries so drinkers can explore the beers and ciders of the south west under one roof.

“We can’t wait to show off the amazing beer from the region. The branding concept ties in with the legendary light-house to light-house hiking trail of the south.”

Tom Fisher, Clancy’s Fish Pub 

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On the other nine taps you’ll find even more craft beer from the rest of WA and, sometimes, further afar.

The Cape to Cape Tap List is less of a promotion and more of a commitment Clancy’s Dunsborough are making to drinkers that you’ll find these twelve breweries and cideries showcasing their stuff at the venue all the time.

29 June : Cape to Cape Tap List Launch at Clancy’s Dunsborough

To celebrate the Cape to Cape Tap List, I caught up with Tom for this edition of 5 minutes with …

What has been your most memorable day at Clancy’s Dunsborough so far?

Being involved with music side I’ve loved some of the concerts down there I’ve put on, like Fat Freddy’s Drop and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and one in particular, a Soul man from the USA called Lee Fields. No one really knew much about him but he just blew their minds. I watched side stage with an Eagle Bay Cacao Stout and was a very happy man.

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Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Clancy’s Dunsborough in 2013

What was the last beer you bought?

Ha ha, between being a musician and working for pubs I don’t buy many I must admit but did take home a delicious Canimal of Feral’s Finn Diesel and Eagle Bay Autumn Brown from Clancy’s Freo. (Waiting for you to hook me up a bottle of Clout Stout too ha ha) [girl+beer – maybe … one day Tom!]

Read more about Clancy’s Fremantle canimals here: 5 minutes with Ryan from Clancy’s Fremantle

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What beer style do you think is really under-rated?

I’ve been happy to see winter beers become more widely accepted in WA. The range of stouts and reds are some of my faves. So great to see these so prominent in WA pubs now.

What’s the most exciting thing about WA craft beer right now?

The number and choice is incredible. 12 years ago you’d be lucky to see three reps a week, now it’s more like three a day and quality is super consistent, particularly the WA brews. I think we are leading the way and it’s why Clancy’s has been dedicated to serving WA craft beers since the late 90’s.

Finish this sentence – The WA beer scene needs more …

Hmm…. MORE BEER TAPS! Would love to be pouring and supporting as many as humanly possible. Just love to see punters sipping a craft beer and pouring money back locally and throwing the Coronas in the bin.

Hear hear! Thanks heaps Tom for your time and can’t wait to get down to Clancy’s Dunsborough again soon!

 

5 minutes with Ryan from Clancy’s Fremantle

This edition of ‘5 minutes with’ is with Ryan McLeod, venue manager at Clancy’s Fish Pub 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! 

WA Beer Week – South West Style

For my fellow south west-ians who won’t find themselves in Perth during the “week” I’ve listed together the events in our backyard. I’ll be getting along to as many as I can and I hope to see you there!

If you’re in Perth and thinking about going booze-free for a while I strongly suggest you don’t pick dates from 8 – 17th November because that is WA Beer Week.

Like many other beer weeks across the country WA Beer Week goes for ten days … love it.

There are over 40 events throughout Perth, Fremantle and the south west. From beer and food matching to home brewing and new beer launches there’s an event for the uber-beer-nerd and the beer-curious alike.

For my fellow south west-ians who won’t find themselves in Perth during the “week” I’ve listed together the events in our backyard. I’ll be getting along to as many as I can and I hope to see you there!

All Week Long

Where: Eagle Bay Brewing | Eagle Bay

When: 11am – 5pm Daily

What’s Happening: Hear Hear for Fresh Beer! $15 Growler Refills all week long, treat every day like it’s a Friday and grab yourself a growler using either your Eagle Bay, Mane Liquor or Pourhouse growler.

Wednesday 13th November

Where: The Pourhouse | Dunsborough

When: 7pm

What’s Happening: Eagle v Goat … no, not an actual eagle fighting an actual goat though if it was surely you’d have to bet on the eagle yeah? Anyway, it’s a beer, burger and brewer bonanza with beers from both Eagle Bay and Melbourne’s Mountain Goat on tap and paired with tasty Pourhouse burgers. Brewers from both breweries will be on hand to chat to and even touch*

*touching may require permission, please check with the brewers first

Pourhouse and Burgers

Thursday 14th November

Where: Clancy’s Fish Pub | Dunsborough

When: 6.30pm

What’s Happening: Beer Fact Hunt. Say it fast aloud … did you get it right or say something naughty? Anyway, this annual event is back and well worth coming down for a tasty beer and to put your beery knowledge to the test!

DJ Chet Leonard Hosts Beer Fact Hunt at Clancy's Dunsborough

Friday 15th November

Where: Colonial Brewing | Margaret River

When: 11am – 8.30pm

What’s Happening: Car Park Brew – South West Edition. Pack up your home brew kits / chemical sets / plastic tubs and get them to Colonial for their first ever car park brew! Brewer Justin Fox will be on site for tips and chat whilst doing his own brew day too.

Colonial Brewery

Clancy’s + Nail

There are a few venues that have dishes that I cannot resist, when I’m there I have to have them. I approach some beers in the same way too. Variety is fantastic but sometimes there’s beer that are almost tradition to order or just downright irresistible …

(edit: bear with me here folks, what’s about to follow is a rambling introduction but it involves a lot of tasty food so hopefully you’ll read on!)

There are certain dishes you just can’t go past when you’re in a particular venue. For instance, when I was assistant manager at Five Bar in Perth we served up slow roasted field mushrooms in sherry vinegar on toasted baguette. I think if we had removed this item from the menu we would have been subject to much swearing and slapping. People loved this dish, people told their friends about it and people ordered it time and time again.

Slow Roasted Field Mushrooms in Sherry Vinegar
Who would have thought mushroom, cheese and bread would cause such love!?

For me it’s the crab spaghettini with tomato sugo and spinach at The Boulevard (Perth). This dish just does weird things to me. There’s a sensational photo by the equally sensational David Gardiner, PR and Events guru, here on Urbanspoon.

The duck liver parfait at Must Wine Bar (Perth) is another compulsory order dish. Simply put, if you don’t have this whilst at Must then you are doing it wrong.

On to the battered side of food life I always have to have the fried mice – jalapenos stuffed with feta and deep fried when at any of the four Clancy’s Fish Pub venues. Whilst each venue might put a twist on the dish, City Beach crumb their jalapenos in panko bread crumbs, the principle remains delicious.

Fried Mice ... two ways!

So that was a really long winded way of saying that I was recently at Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough with my partner and yes, we got a serve of the fried mice.

And just like I have compulsory dishes to order when at particular venues, there are also beers I just have to have. Of course I love variety, don’t get me wrong, but how could you ever visit Feral Brewing (Swan Valley) and not have a Hop Hog or Bootleg Brewery (Margaret River) and not have a Raging Bull. It can’t be done. For me, Clancy’s and Nail Ale go hand in hand, or should that be “pint in hand”?

Nail Ale and Clancy's ... they go together like a horse and carriage

Nail Brewing (Bassendean) have been supporting Clancy’s, and visa versa, for as long as I can remember, ignoring the fact that my memory isn’t what it used to be and just accept the analogy. So if you’ve always had a Nail when you’ve been at Clancy’s then the tradition must continue.

Nine times out of ten, the Nail Ale beer on tap is the classic, the one and only, Nail Pale Ale. An Australian Pale Ale full of fresh fruity, piney hops and crisp citrus.

However, this last visit to Clancy’s was different because they were not pouring the Pale Ale, instead it was Nail Dunn Brown Ale. It’s named after Hugh Dunn in honour of his contribution to the brewing community through Edith Cowan University. It’s a limited release English style brown ale that is currently being prepared to hit shelves in your favourite beery bottleshop, you can check out the label design here.

This is worth putting on your “beer shopping list”; you all have one of those, right?! Aromas are nutty, biscuity and bready with great toasty, earthy (so many y’s) and a little fruit. Basically it’s fabulous.

(apologies for my rotten photo that really doesn’t do this beer justice)

An unflattering photo of Nail Dunn Brown

Add it to your list or just start one now …

Oh Boris!

Boris is rich, dark and oh-so-smooth. You should totally go and hook up with Boris.

Boris isn’t a very sexy name. It doesn’t conjure up images of an oiled, big muscle man or even a well dressed gentlemen who’ll open the door for you. However I’ll happily say that Boris is smooth, definitely sexy and just downright tasty.

I’m clearly talking about beer and you’ve probably figured out that it’s Feral Brewing’s Russian Imperial Stout “Boris”. Normally only available on tap at their Swan Valley brewery it is the latest beer to receive the bottling treatment as part of their Brewpub Series. A limited release of kegs also ventured into the outside world. I have been lucky enough to have both in my own backyard … well, within an hours drive anyway.

Feral Russian Imperial Stout Boris

Bottle

I snatched up a bottle from Cape Cellars in Busselton, the only liquor store in town when I’ve found good craft beer. They have super nice staff too so if you’ve not been in you really need to change that.

Tap

Good ol’ Clancy’s Fish Pub in Dunsborough. I don’t just say that because I used to work there but because, like all the Clancy’s, their tap beers are craft-beer-tastic. Right now they are pouring Boris but be careful, at % abv Boris won’t be nice to you if you are the designated driver. As a fellow customer at the bar said to me, “Boris is a bad man”. You bet your ass he is!

I didn’t detect any difference between tap and bottle Boris, both tasting super fresh. I stuck my nose in, had a big whiff and got chocolate cake and a little caramel. Boris tastes roasty, that’s a strange way to start a sentence, with some licorice and a malty dry finish. Boris is rich, dark and oh-so-smooth. You should totally go and hook up with Boris.

Nail + Clancy’s

What’s not to love about the Clancy’s Fish Pubs? Casual pubs with good food and they’ve always been a haven for craft beer lovers, in fact their Fremantle venue was Little Creatures first customer. It has to be said however that Clancy’s City Beach has the bragging rights to the best views with the gorgeous City Beach practically under the seats.

Clancy's City Beach
Clancy’s City Beach
195 Challenger Parade, City Beach
(08) 9385 7555
No Bookings Required
Open 12noon Daily

What’s not to love about the Clancy’s Fish Pubs? Casual pubs with good food and they’ve always been a haven for craft beer lovers, in fact their Fremantle venue was Little Creatures first customer.

It has to  be said however that Clancy’s City Beach has the bragging rights to the best views with the gorgeous City Beach practically under the seats.

Clancy's City Beach Menu Grid

By my count the beer list boasts more than 70 beers featuring local Aussie rock stars like Temple, Red Duck, 4 Pines, Boneyard, Feral, Two Birds and Moon Dog and international beasts like Anchor, Sierra Nevada, Brewdog, Heretic and Green Flash. The term “spoilt for choice” barely covers it.

It’s rare for me to go into a Clancy’s venue without having a Nail Ale so in keeping with tradition that’s what we ordered. It also saved me from the embarrassment of drooling on a beer list. Fruity hops and clean refreshing bitterness, it’s a classic and a firm favourite on my god-i-love-that- beer list (a list that grows longer by the week).

What makes Nail Ale so special? It tastes amazing and it’s brewed by ONE guy who has been dedicated to this for over 15 years. The best way to understand the Nail Ale story is to read it – here it is.

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Ordering food was another tough decision and resulted in ordering way too much food but it was all delicious.

The Prawns with fresh kiwi fruit and coriander were a stand out, massive prawns cooked perfectly and the zing from the kiwi fruit added a delicious extra dimension. It was impossible to resist the urge to order chilli mussels, just one of those dishes I find hard to pass up, and whilst they weren’t very hot on the fire alarm scale, they were very tasty. Then there’s the Fried Mice, another impossible dish to pass by and a signature dish in all Clancy’s venues however these have a unique City Beach twist. The Fried Mice, jalapenoes stuffed with cheese and deep fried, are done with panko bread crumbs and served with tomato salsa. Panko Bread Crumbs are used mostly in Japanese cooking, which I already knew but what I didn’t know or even think to ask was what makes the bread different? The dough is baked by passing an electric current through it, thus baking bread without crust and making it crisper and airier. Wiki told me so. The result is a lovely crisp but light batter with great texture and a nice change to the usual regular batter. The careful food presentation was greatly appreciated, showing a lot of care from start to finish in the kitchen.

Now I’m making mental notes to try the Clancy’s Cafe, next door to the pub, as I hear they’re food and coffee are tops too!

Chilli Mussels Coconut Crumbed Prawns Fried Mice

girl + the big 3-oh

It’s my 30th birthday and I’ll drink beer if I want to … that was my motto last weekend and here are the main attractions …

It’s my 30th birthday and I’ll drink beer if I want to … that was my motto last weekend and here are the main attractions:

Friday 

Coopers Pale Ale

An Australian classic, consistently good, very tasty and a great starting point for delving into craft beers and very beery weekends!

Coopers Pale Ale
4.5% abv | 375ml bottles
Australian Pale Ale
Coopers Brewing | South Australia

Temple Midnight IPA

Soft, dark and down right lovely; a black IPA with great fresh hop characteristics and rich bitter roasty notes. It’s made from roasted “midnight” (hence the name) American wheat and Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe hops.

I picked it from the fridge to go with dinner which was Deep Fried Chilli Prawns with Hoi Sin Sauce & Garlic Prawn & Chorizo Pizza. I must admit I picked it without registering it was Black IPA so it wasn’t a food match win but it was still damn enjoyable!

It is the first Temple beer I have ever had, having heard nothing but rave reviews so when it came back into stock at The International Beer Shop I just had to have some.

Temple Midnight IPA
7% abv | 500ml
Black IPA
Temple Brewing Company | Melbourne, Australia
Friday Dinner
Deep Fried Chilli Prawns with Hoi Sin Sauce
Garlic Prawn and Chorizo Pizza

Saturday 

White Rabbit Dark Ale

As I was working at Little Creatures during the time White Rabbit was coming to life I was lucky enough to get a glimpse into the brewery before opening day and watch both the White Rabbit Dark Ale and White Ale hit the shelves. Like it’s sister brewery, Little Creatures, it’s making craft beer accessible in both price and taste.

The sun was out on Saturday but it has still been a chilly few days lately so I was looking for something dark but not heavy and White Rabbit Dark Ale fitted nicely. A good amount of hops in some subtle dark malts and not too much bitterness. It went very nicely with a couple of games of giant dominoes too!

Giant Dominoes + Beer

Colonial Keutebier – Limited Edition

An angry 5.6 % abv wheat beer; but angry in a really good way … feisty banana tones, spicy and and refreshing. A cloudy rich honeyed colour, it just begs to be consumed! I can’t wait to check out the next limited edition, a Baltic Porter, that is due for release in the coming weeks – luckily for me I got to  see the first batch being brewed!

Colonial Keutebier
5.6% abv | on tap at Clancy’s Fish Pub Dunsborough
Keutebier (wheat ale)

Sunday

Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator – Special Release

I’ve not had that much experience with brown ales but there’s plenty of time for me to fix that however the Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator may have set my standards rather high. Beautifully hoppy with rich caramel sweetness, hints of stone fruit and spice and since it was made to celebrate 20 years of AIBA (Australian International Beer Awards) it seemed a fitting beer to celebrate my own little milestone – a mention of girl+beer in The Sunday Times STM!

The Collaborator takes its hat off to the AIBAs and the Australian brewing industry as a whole by using nothing but all Australian ingredients. Galaxy, Stella and Summer hops are used along with Pale, Crystal and Australian Oats. Read more about the Collaborator at Australian Brew News. Only 16 hectolitres were brewed for the AIBA awards and Melbourne’s self proclaimed beer-obsessed venue, Beer Deluxe, so getting my hands on two bottles from The International Beer Shop was quite the feat! I wonder how long until we open the second bottle!?

Feral / 2 Brothers Collaborator
5.5% abv | 330ml bottle
Feral Brewing (WA) + 2 Brothers Brewery (VIC)
Australian Brown Ale

Two Birds Sunset Ale

The two birds themselves, Jayne and Danielle, brew their beer at Southern Bay in Victoria and grew up right here in Perth. Sunset Ale is their second beer, following the summery fruity Golden Ale, and I thought it was going to be best enjoyed on the beach. We opened two bottles and sat down in the sun, on the sand and enjoyed the beach that was almost completely absent of people. It was an oh-so-lovely way to end a weekend!

Great rich stone fruit and biscuit characteristics, the Sunset Ale is brewed with US Citra and Australian Cascade hops with Pale, Wheat and crystal malts. This was another find from The International Beer Shop though you can find the Two Birds Golden Ale on tap at The Queens, Mt Lawley.

Two Birds Sunset Ale | Best Enjoyed on the Beach
4.6% abv | 330ml bottle
American Style Red Ale
Two Birds Brewing (VIC)
Loving Life with Two Birds Sunset Ales

So that was my great beery 30th birthday weekend – what more could a beer-loving girl ask for than her amazing boyfriend, beautiful craft beers, a nice pub and way too much food?! Brilliant!