FOUND. LAB brings veteran craft brewers and big eats to Byford

FOUND Lab Byford Brewery
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What happens when five veteran brewers and hospitality figures join forces? Big plans, it turns out.

FOUND. emerged in 2022 with a bang – announcing their role in one of the most-talked about projects of the last few years, an ambitious brewery at East Perth’s Girls School redevelopment that aimed to bring the regional experience to the inner city.

Alas, as is often the case: timelines stretch, projects are put on pause.

“After our development application was approved for East Perth in 2022, the building industry and cost of materials sky rocketed,” FOUND.’s Steve Finney explains.

(Alongside Steve, FOUND.’s team includes head brewer Will Irving, Scott Player, James Pedlow and Nat Moeahu-Pehi – a crew with an impressive combined CV that includes Feral Brewing, Otherside Brewing Co., Little Creatures, Matilda Bay Brewing, Gage Roads, Matso’s, Whitfords Brewing Company and Northbridge Brewing Company.)

“It’s a rather massive project: building a dedicated production brewery site, carved into the hill, out the front of a heritage listed building where the current car park will be transformed into native parklands and 1000-pax hospitality weaving inside and out different zones and areas.”

“We were handed news from our partners and owners of the Perth Girls School that the project was going to put on a short term hold until a time that the industry started correcting itself. Fast forward a few weeks to August 2022, we decided that we needed to open a small brewpub somewhere to start building the brand and seeding into the market. We started looking at areas surrounding Perth that are under-serviced in hospitality, that’s when we stumbled upon the now home for FOUND. LAB in Byford. We settled on the lease and moved into fit-out in February, we opened early May.”

“Our plan for East Perth is to bring a regional brewpub and winery experience into the middle of the CBD – it only felt fitting to flip that for Byford, and bring a little bit of the city’s hospitality and service offering to a semi-regional location.”

FOUND Lab Byford Brewery
FOUND Lab Byford Brewery

Overlooking the water in Byford’s The Glades, the brewery’s 600L system will allow head brewer Will – the man behind Feral’s Hop Hog and Biggie Juice – plenty of room to experiment alongside the year-round range of craft classics.

Outside of beer, the wine and cocktail list has been curated with the help of Si Paradiso and El Grotto’s Emma Crisp, while the menu has been heavily influenced by a recent trip along the West Coast – not of WA, but USA.

“We discovered a bunch of restaurants and late night sandwich bars doing what they called French dip rolls.”

“Originating in the early 1900s at a sandwich bar called Philippe’s in LA, which still stands today. The French dip roll is a roast meat roll, served with crispy French onions and a jus or dip on the side. We focus on the three variants, ‘The Classic’ with three-day reduction jus; Korean fried chicken with plum dip; and a smoked portobello mushroom with porcini broth.”

“Outside of that we have a selection of share dishes, with a couple of classics thrown in. We have a focus on supporting local farmers, growers and graziers, a pizza menu with house made 72-hour ferment sourdough, and we cut all of our own chips onsite.”

FOUND Lab Byford Brewery
FOUND Lab Byford Brewery

Even on a wintery afternoon, FOUND. LAB is bringing the sunshine – not just in the form of golden pints of beer – but in good vibes.

“We are determined to bring a community of like-minded people together to build a culture of sustainable success through empowerment, respect, transparency, and balance of life that values family and loved ones above all else.”

“We bonded over our love of great beer and hospitality experiences where beer is king. We have been fortunate enough to learn from industry icons and have now evolved into our own skins, with a burning desire to carve our own way in an industry we love.”

FOUND. LAB is located at 1 Olsen Gardens, Byford.

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