The Gage Roads Fremantle brewpub, nicknamed Gage Roads Freo, celebrated its second birthday on Friday January 19, and held a two-day party that weekend to mark the milestone.

At the birthday party on 20 January, Gage Roads Freo debuted a limited-edition riff on the award-winning Gage Roads Single Fin, the Twin Fin Birthday Ale. The new beer contains double the amount of hops as Single Fin, and comes with an ABV of 5.5 per cent. Tasting notes for the beer describe “a tropical fruit bowl hop character, smooth malt flavours, and medium bitterness”. Gage Roads Freo Head Brewer Simone Clements said it was an exciting project to work on.

“We have never done a second take on Single Fin, so we were pretty stoked to have a crack at this brew. We added a mid-ferment dry hop as well as the standard dry hop and it absolutely landed. I’m really happy with how Twin Fin has turned out,” she said.

Over the last 12 months, the venue has welcomed half a million visitors, and released 20 ‘A Shed Series’ exclusive beers, including Pav Actually Pavlova Sour, Midnight Swell Black IPA and Pealer Aussie Wheat Ale. In addition, there have been  several collaborations, including the Free Style Sea Grape Gose made with Port to Pub, and the Cross Roads Strata XPA which was made with both WA Good Food Guide and King Road Brew Co.

Clements spoke to Beer & Brewer about being part of the venue’s opening two years ago.

“When we opened Gage Roads Freo, it was my first time being involved in a venue opening, so I learned a lot of new things. Whenever you start a new job, there is a learning curve. It can be a real challenge, but at the same time it can be really exciting,” she said.

The new role also meant Clements had to adjust to brewing in a different environment, as she explained: “I come from a background of brewing on a bigger commercial kit. For me, it was the first-time brewing on a smaller kit and working out of this brewpub environment, being surrounded by customers and being mindful that they’re there while you’re working, as opposed to working in a commercial factory setting.

“Since we’ve opened we’ve just learned a bit more about how to run this particular venue efficiently. When we first opened we needed more staff the do the same job that we do now. We’ve learned to be more efficient and work smarter,” Clements said.

The venue has stayed true to its Fremantle roots, even with Gage Roads’ growing national popularity.

“You can see and hear the brewhouse working, you can see all the serving tanks. We’ve got 10 serving tanks which direct straight to the bar, so the customers can see the beer that’s being poured at the bar is coming 10 meters away from the tank. We’re trying to put an emphasis on locally sourced products in the menu. It’s all got a very local feel to it,” Clements said.

Clements is looking forward to another year of providing for the local Fremantle community.

“We’re going to continue in the vein that we’ve been going on. A lot of local bands, local DJs, a quiz night we started last winter. We’re planning lots of fun little activations and will just keep the good times rolling,” she said.

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