Crafty quaffs

Haidee VandenbergheCountryman

Margaret River brewer Jared Proudfoot claims he was never the kind of youth that downed cans of Emu Export pilfered from a parent's beer fridge. Instead, while his friends were buying cartons of Carlton Cold from the local bottle shop, he was looking for craft or international beers that would challenge his palate.

Now that taste for big and bold flavours is flowing through to the beer he crafts at Margaret River's newest brewing establishment, Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery.

WA has garnered a taste for bespoke beer and Cheeky Monkey is the latest in a string of establishments to meet public demand.

Just a couple of decades ago pubs offered punters a choice of two - maybe three - beers on tap.

But as evidenced by the success of craft breweries such as Feral Brewing Company and enfant terrible of the beer world, Scotland's BrewDog, these days drinkers are demanding something a little different.

It's a trend that's been on the incline over the last decade and as WA's palate becomes more adventurous, young brewers like Jared are able to begin nudging at the boundaries of convention.

After playing around with home brewing, Jared got his big break at BrewDog, famed for pushing the limits when it comes to the beer world.

Not shy to break with convention two years ago, the company released a beer called 'The End of History', a 55 per cent brew that comes packaged in taxidermy.

Priced at £700 ($A1065) a bottle, the Belgian blonde ale sold out in just 30 minutes.

"Their beers are a lot bigger than my beers," Jared said. "It was fun to be able to be there and cut your teeth in the industry with them, because they're very out there. A lot of my influence is from Martin Dickie (BrewDog cofounder and chief brewer)."

But while he might like big flavours, that doesn't mean Jared's beers aren't quaffable.

As well as two ciders, Cheeky Monkey has five beers on tap, one of which is a specials tap featuring a brew for just a couple of months before it is swapped to something new.

The idea, Jared said, was to create big flavours but stick to the philosophy of only brewing what he would be happy to drink.

"I like to have different takes on different beers. I see my beers as a bit of a hybrid between traditional and contemporary, so my pale ale takes inspiration from both sides of the pond," he said. "There's still big hops, still a good amount of flavour, but it is very drinkable and with a good amount of bubble."

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