“A lot of what we’re trying to create here is about what we call a ‘Culture of Good Times’… We want people to come in, enjoy really good food, have all sorts of different beers, and just enjoy being with their family and friends.”
Good food, good drinking and good times? That’s a proposition that’s pretty hard to resist.
Phat Brew Club is promising all three in spades across its expansive 400-pax Clubroom and beer garden, scheduled to open this week in West Perth.
“We’d been brewing in the garage for about seven years,” co-founder Travis Moore tells us. The “we” includes his wife, Terri, alongside a rag-tag bunch of mates from their local footy club: project manager Steve Booth, chemist Robbie Lockhart, and electrician Alex Hamilton.
“We’d always had the idea of maybe doing something, taking it a bit further and it had never quite eventuated – and then we won the Margaret River Brewhouse Backyard Brewing comp back in 2020 with Phat Porter, and that was sort of the start of everything, really.
It was one of those moments where we sat back and said we either A: continue what we’re doing, which is brewing out of a shed and enjoying that, or B: try and take it to the next level. And we didn’t want to be sitting in our offices in our jobs and wondering what might have been, so we went hell for leather to try and pull this off.”
Since then, Phat has become synonymous with an impressive range of whackier, boundary-pushing styles. Ironically, the opening of their own venue (complete with a gleaming row of brewing tanks and a whopping 16 tapes behind the bar) means they’ll be finally able to explore the more conventional styles.
“We’re very much known for doing all the weird and wonderful stuff – bubblegum sours, toffee apple sours, we’ve got a marshmallow stout, so we do push boundaries in terms of the styles of beers we do. Now that we’ve got our own kit, we’re going to start to play with some of the more traditional styles as well – so we’ll have our own lager, our own pale ale, we’ve got a brilliant new XPA that we’ll release when we open, but we’ll also continue to do a lot of weird and funky stuff. And just to have fun! That’s what our beers are about, and what we’re about.”
You may have noticed there’s been little mention of previous hospitality ventures amongst Phat’s founding crew. As part of the mammoth effort to open the new Clubroom, they’ve recruited a team of guns across the venue:
“We’ve brought in really good people who know what they’re doing. Justin [Scrivener], the head brewer, he’s come from Blasta, was at Core and also Feral before that, so he’s got a lot of experience. Then we’ve got Becca who’s come from Fat Boyz in West Perth, she’s just a front of house jet.”
“Our people are really important to us, and making sure that they’re here having a good time. They’re spending 30 or 40 hours here a week, so we’re very much trying to create a culture where they’re enjoying the workplace, enjoying what they’re doing, and having an opportunity to learn and grow.”
In the kitchen, chef Ian Mcintosh is fresh from a stint on the pans at Long Chim.
“When we moved from London to Perth I said to my wife, ‘I either want to quit cooking or do something different’.
I went for a meal at Long Chim and was just like, ‘This is exactly what I want to do’.”
A year later, he’ll be using some of that year of inspiration to fire up some Asian-leaning and street-food inspired share plates. Think skewers over charcoal, plenty of tamarind, lemongrass and ginger, and even a huge tomahawk steak perfect for sharing.
“Our beers are known for being quite different and funky and pushing boundaries a bit, so we wanted to make sure that the food we’re doing complements that. We’ve already started talking about doing some cool beers that’ll match some of Ian’s food directly, and doing some nice beer club nights where we pair up food with beers.”
Little ones will also be looked after, with a kid’s menu “that’ll be a bit different to the old chicken nuggets and chips.”
“Obviously with Scitech next door, it lends itself to people going to both venues and incorporating that as a nice day out, we have tried to design the venue to be family and kid friendly – we’ve got lots of long table seating, we do have this massive sandpit area that’s fully shaded, lots of toys and things that the kids will be able to get into and enjoy.
The idea is that no matter what you’re coming for, whether you’re coming for a drink with a friend or your whole family, there’s an option for you here.”
In the mornings, West Perth locals will also be able to get caffeinated thanks to Fornever. After a short-lived Subiaco pop up, they’ll be setting up shop at the Clubroom via a nifty coffee window due to open in early March, serving toasties, croissants and brews (the non-beer kind).
Scheduled to open this week, you can check out the Phat Brew Club instagram for updates.
Phat Brew Club’s Clubroom will be located at City West, 102 Railway Street, West Perth.