Mine is a house divided.
Ned Kelly is all about beer. He will occasionally have a glass of wine, but beer will always be his first love (sometimes I think even ahead of me and the kids…).
I am all about wine. In all seriousness I would drink the contents of a spittoon or even WATER before I’d drink beer.
So when it comes time to go out, we always fight about where we are going to go. A brewery or a winery? But I’ve recently learned there is a new player in town where you can get the benefits of both – the brewery slash winery. Here are some places that may save your relationship. Now all you need to argue about is who’s going to be the designated driver.
Black Brewing Co and Ground to Cloud Wines
Known as Caves Road Collective, Black Brewing Co and Ground to Cloud Wines are on the site of the old Duckstein Brewery about 20mins out of Margaret River. The wine list is perhaps not as long as some of the other cellar doors but I was pretty taken with their reds. The foods were also good and they have a bar menu you can order off so you don’t have to sit in the dining area if the kids are losing their shit. I recommend getting some things to nibble on and then sitting back with a glass of red to look at the dam. There’s a big grassy area just to the side of the cellar door for playing soccer/hide and seek/generally getting the kids to piss off for a while so you can relax. (PS they also have a distillery on site, so if you’re into Gin – and lets face it, who doesn’t love Gin – have a tipple of this too).
Caves Road Collective, 3517 Caves Road, Wilyabrup, Western Australia
Cellar Door open 11am – 5pm Monday – Sunday
P: 08 9755 6500 W: https://cavesroadcollective.com.au
Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Killerby Wines
Killerby Estate was purchased by Ferngrove Wines in 2008, so you can taste wines by both labels at the cellar door. They also have a top notch range of local produce for sale in the cellar store, and some great books to have a browse through. The Cheeky Monkey site is an absolute ripper with heaps of outdoor seating and an awesome kids playground. If you have kids aim to get there early to snag a seat by the playground as it can be hard to see what the little eye gougers are up to otherwise. If you don’t have kids aim to get there early so you can sit as far away from the playground as possible…
Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery
4259 Caves Road, Wilyabrup, Western Australia
Cellar Door: So I’ve just found out the Killeryby cellar door has CLOSED indefinitely!! But Cheeky Monkey is still open, is still serving Killerby and Ferngroves Wines by the glass/bottle, and still has a killer playground (hopefully not literally). So go and check it out anyhow.
Cheeky Monkey open 10am – 6pm Monday – Sunday
P: 08 9755 5555 W: http://cheekymonkeybrewery.com.au/
Eagle Bay Brewing Co
It’s always a delight to go to Eagle Bay Brewing Co, it tends to be one of our staples every time we head down south. It’s a casual place to go and have a quality meal with views looking out over a working farm and in the distance see the Indian Ocean, while the kids play in the clever jetty themed sand pit. There’s a good range of wines available for tasting and purchase on site, perfect to sit back with a glass and relax. They also have a kitchen garden which I like to take the kids for a walk through to talk about where food comes from as I am like a vegetable-growing nincompoop.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Eagle Bay Road, Eagle Bay Western Australia
Cellar Door open 11am to 5pm Monday – Sunday
P: 08 9755 3554 W: https://eaglebaybrewing.com.au/
Oakover Winery and Heroes and Villains Brewing
The first grapes were planted at Oakover in the 1850s so they’ve had some time to think about wine. There is a casual sort of vibe around this place, no problems to take the kids here for lunch – a lot of the seating is on the verandah so the kids can sort of come and go without pissing off too many other people. Outdoor games (anyone for a game of giant Connect Four?), a lake to wander around and point at the ducks, plus Heroes and Villians set up shop on the grounds earlier this year and started making some brewskis. If all of that hasn’t totally rocked your world yet, Fiori Coffee also roasts at the Oakover site so you can also get a totally kickarse coffee while you’re there.
Oakover Grounds, 14 Yukich Close, Middle Swan Western Australia
Open Wednesday to Sunday, breakfast from 8am, lunch from 11:30am
P: 08 9374 8000 W: https://oakovergrounds.com.au/
Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery
If you haven’t been to Mandoon yet – DO. YOURSELF. A. FAVOUR. This place is absolutely killer. The wines are amazing (Mandoon has been rated as one of the top ten best value wineries in Australia by wine legend James Halliday. Hello – cheap(ish) AND quality wine. Start the car). There are a few different parts to Mandoon, but our favourite is the Llawn – there are tables on a big deck area available on a first in first served basis or bring a rug and sit on the grass. You can order wine and beer from the nearby bar, as well as a range of pizzas and picnic-y foods. Also has a great kids playground and big grassy area for running around on. No ball games though, the last time I was there I watched a woman catch a cricket ball with her face and it was not pretty so I am fully on board with that rule now. It’s a popular spot and can get a bit manic, so get there early to find some shade. Make sure you try the sparkling!
Mandoon Estate, 10 Harris Road, Caversham Western Australia
Llawn open 11am – 5pm on weekends, and weekdays during school holidays
P: 6279 0500 W: https://mandoonestate.com.au/
Boston Brewing Co and Willoughby Park Wines
Obvs a bit far from Perth for a day trip, but if you find yourself in the Denmark area make sure you check out Boston Brewing Co and Willoughby Park. A full range of totally smashable wines, a massive brewery and a theme-park sized playground. You and your family can seriously lose a whole day at this place without any trouble at all. I am watching what I have been led to believe is a Perth-based Boston Brewery be built not to far from my house and I have everything crossed that they they replicate all of the greatness from Denmark up here.
Boston Brewing Co and Willoughby Park, 678 South Coast Highway, Denmark, Western Australia
Cellar Door open 11am – 5 pm 7 days a week
P: 08 9848 2577 W: http://bostonbrewing.com.au/
I have no fucking idea about beer so am unable to comment on type, quality, taste etc – but I can confirm the presence of beer at all of these places. And this is all obviously a shameless ploy to try to encourage more wineries, breweries and playground companies to join forces for the benefit of my family… has it worked?
*I have been waiting to write about ‘slashies’ since I first saw Zoolander 17 years ago. Don’t know what I’m on about? Click here.