Slice of Perth: A south-west newbie serving real food for real people
Location, location, location. Shelter Brewing Co is the latest beach-front dining offering in the south-west and it’s a beauty.
Set back from the ocean with a view of the iconic Busselton jetty, this brewpub is owned by two families who have been in the area for four generations. Among the two sets of brothers is the head brewer Jason Credaro, whose resume speaks for itself – he’s brewed at Little Creatures and Billabong before dipping his toe into craft and then diving right in with Shelter.
From lagers, to ales, to sours and ciders – there’s a brew for everyone. A sessionable pale ale is crisp and refreshing after a swim in the ocean but for those who want more punch – try the IPA. It’s juicy and as strong as an ox. I loved it so much I also bought a pack to take-away.
The menu is standard pub-grub punctuated by flashes of fun and brilliance. Expect to see burgers, woodfired pizzas, ribs, that sort of thing, alongside a chip butty or a bucket of fresh chilled prawns or a choc-top icecream. Kids are also well catered for with a tight menu of pizza, burgers or fish and chips.
A few small plates are a good pick for sharing. Guacamole ($14) needed more lime to spark the flavour but tomato chutney on the side did an ok job of making up for it. The star starter is salt and pepper squid ($16). Thick, tender squid in a gluten-free crunchy crumb with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and fresh cut chilli is good… very very good. These aren’t the usual thin rubber band sized rings, these are delicious monsters that will have you fighting over the last morsel.
Slow cooked beef brisket ($33) is served as a “build-your-own” taco plate. The meat is tender but a touch dry, so could have done with more fat left on it before its 12 hour cook. A crown of tomato salsa is fresh and bright while pickled red onion added tang – both cutting through the heaviness of the meat.
Mild, medium or hot? It’s the question fired back at you when you order a bowl of chilli mussels ($26). If you can handle level 10 heat – go for “hot”. Fresh, plump, open beauties are served with thick cut flame-licked sourdough. The sauce was seasoned to a tee so the taste of the ocean isn’t lost among the spice. I don’t know about anyone else, but my favourite part of eating chilli mussels is using the bread to mop all the saucy goodness left at the end. Yum.
The 90s are having a bit of a revival and while I’m not happy about having to relive the bad fashion choices from my teens… I am beyond happy to see sticky date pudding reappearing on menus. It’s the best thing to come back since Dawson’s Creek re-runs appeared on the tele.
Those that prefer grape to grain haven’t been forgotten. The wines on offer are sophisticated and “south-west” to the core. They’re mainly lesser known labels and by that I mean – these wines aren’t the kind of drops you’d also see on a two-for-one offer at the local bottleshop. If you like beer, you’ll love the orange wine by Blind Corner – earthy and slightly savoury – she’s a beauty.
Those up early for a jetty walk or morning swim in the crystal clear water can stop by for a coffee and cinny scroll or bagel from the front counter. Beans come courtesy of Margaret River Roasting Co and as expected the coffee is ace.
The team runs a tight ship with wait staff who are friendly, fast and fun. Their passion for the food and drink on offer plus the region is infectious.
Sandy feet, salty hair, boardies and bikini tops, kaftans and chinos – all are welcome at Shelter to take a seat in the beer hall style, out the front to watch the sun set or maybe perch at the bar to have a pint off the wood. Even the kids will be entertained with the onsite playground and of course the big shipwreck playground across the grass.
There’s so much choice in the south-west, but if you want a place that ticks all the boxes for price, food, wine and of course beer, Shelter Brewing Co. is it. So take a trip to the jetty and experience the newest local brew with a take home pack to make all your Perth friends jealous.
Shelter Brewing Co
Busselton foreshore – next to the jetty