It’s not a winery, but it was one of the places on our ‘Must See Great Southern’ list. I definitely like the odd cider or two but this particular cidery made the list because some friends of ours a few weeks before our trip south had kindly given us some of the cider to try (thanks K & M!). While sipping on the tasty brews in our adult paddling pool in our backyard we couldn’t get enough of the higher than normal alcohol fuelled cider (all the ciders are 6.5% and the scrumpy is 8%). Continue reading
Coconut ice cider and cherry apple cider – when I heard Ironbark Brewery in the Swan Valley had these on the menu, I just had to go give them a taste!
Mr. Spittoon and I use to live within stumbling distance from Ironbark, so I have to admit we have frequented this spot quite often. However it has been awhile since we last visited, so after chatting with Ironbark on twitter I thought it was about time we stopped by.
Ironbark is in Caversham, which is about a 5 minute drive from Guildford. It would definitely be classed as the closest of the Swan Valley breweries to the city. Plus across the road you have Pinelli Wines & Fillaudeau’s Cafe so you could quite easily spend an afternoon just in this area and then pick up some fresh seafood from the seafood truck on the corner of Benara and West Swan Road on your way home!
There is nothing fancy about Ironbark, it literally is a shed with a beer garden. It’s laid back and unpretentious to sum it up nicely. You’ll find the owner and chief brewer, Graeme White wandering round the place whether he is serving up beer or manning the wood-fired pizza oven you’ll be sure to catch a glimpse of the Jeremy Clarkson lookalike!
Graeme’s dream of owning a brewery became a reality in 1998 when he began Ironbark with his wife and 3 children. He does most of the brewing himself and he loves to experiment with different flavours & styles which you’ll see when you take a look at the diverse beer & cider menu! He also likes to source local ingredients for the Ironbark fruit beers and ciders which is great.
Some of the interesting concoctions are the Desert-Lime Lager, Mango Chic Beer, Cherry Ale and the new Coconut Ice Cider and Cherry Apple Cider. We decided to get a middy of both the ciders to try on this particular occasion. A middy is $6 and pints are $10 which are pretty standard prices for Perth. Soooo what were the ciders like??? To be honest neither of us were fans of the coconut ice cider, however saying that neither of us are big fans of coconut. If you enjoy things like Malibu rum, then this will be right up your alley. The cherry apple cider was my cup of tea! It was more sour than sweet which is my style of cider. I really could have sat there all afternoon drinking it, so thirst quenching and just so easy to drink. Take my advice, don’t order a middy, you’ll definitely want a pint of it!
In terms of beer, I would have to admit that the brews at Ironbark are some of my favourite local beers. From the alcoholic ginger beer to the 2 wheat beers and the pilsner, there is something for every beer drinker! I would say they have around 20 different beers and ciders to choose from! On this visit Mr. Spittoon couldn’t get enough of the Brumby Ale – a mexican style beer.
You’ll find a lot of the Swan Valley tours do stop in to Ironbark so timing your visit is a must. On this particular day we did rock up when there were about 2 tour buses there, it was pretty hectic to begin with but they hung around about half an hour and then left. On the weekends you’ll also have live music, so it really is a fantastic spot for an afternoon session!
What I also thought was pretty fantastic service, is that we were asked to move tables due to a large group arriving, both Mr. Spittoon and I were more than happy too however the lovely waitress decided to bring us each a middy for the trouble. I can’t complain about that!
The food menu at the brewery is very enticing! There are a lot of delicious sounding items on the menu from the triple-decker scotch fillet steak sandwich to the kangaroo pattie Boundary Rider Burger! We wanted something to share so we decided to go for the meatlovers large wood fired pizza for $23.50. The pizza came out quickly, it was pretty standard really but it went down with our brews nicely. The base was definitely my favourite – it just melted in your mouth! We were both pretty full after it too. I’m definitely looking forward to trying out more of the menu in the months to come as I go back for my cherry apple cider fix!
I needed a break from wine. I bet you never thought you would read those words from me. You may have read my post about my parents visit a few weeks ago when we went on a massive tasting journey throughout the Swan Valley and Perth Hills. After 16 wineries we decided to mix it up a bit which led us to Core Cider House in the Perth Hills.
I had heard a lot about this wee spot however I tend to find a lot of cider far too sweet for my liking so I always get distracted by visiting the wineries instead. Since my Mum is a fan of cider and well the boys are up for anything you can gulp down I decided brunch at Core was to be done!
This out of the way spot in the Perth Hills is only a 30-minute drive from Perth city, you will instantly feel like you are on holiday. Those rolling hills covered in sweeping orchards and cherry blossoms are just the perfect spot for a wee cider or two. It truly is idyllic and every time I go up into the Perth Hills I am ever so slowly building my dream home in my mind somewhere up there.
It was long weekend when we visited Core and thankfully we showed up just as they opened and an hour or so before the lunch rush which they were completely booked out for (I would suggest making a reservation!). We sat on the lovely veranda overlooking the orchards, 10:30am seems accepted for cider tasting doesn’t it? It was a touch chilly, as Perth was protesting against Spring with all the rain however thank-fully our lovely server set up a heater and offered us blankets to keep cosy.
There is plenty of outdoor downstairs seating, so I could image Core absolutely goes off during the summer months. Perfect spot for a Sunday session.
Naturally we all had to go for the tasting plate which included a very generous sample of 5 ciders; Sparkling Lemon – ’PITH’D’ (4.5% a/v) Sparkling Pear – Peace CORE (3.5% a/v) Sparkling Apple – CORE Meltdown (5% a/v) Traditional Apple & Pear – CORE Reactor (6.5% a/v) Traditional Apple – Hard CORE (7.4% a/v).
The consensus from our group was that overall they were all very good and not horribly sweet bottle shop ciders at all. The sparkling’s were definitely preferred over the tradition ciders and the unanimous winning brew was the Pith’d Sparkling Lemon – absolutely divine, I could definitely put back a few of those on a summers day.
The menu consists of meals as well as shared plates which is what we went for. I love this style of eating as you get to try a bit of everything! We decided to keep it light and easy and went for the below between 4 people:
- Warm Brie: Thyme & garlic infused brie served warm with CORE Cab/Sauv sultanas, Candied walnuts & Turkish bread for $20
- Ciderman’s Taster: Ciderman John’s favourite: Cave Aged cheddar, caper & and green peppercorn salsa, half semi dried tomato’s, WA air dried Brescola, shaved champagne ham, mild salami slices, pickled cucumber ,warmed parmesan flat bread, croutons for $32.50
We were 110% happy with the food. It tasted absolutely palate-blowing and the presentation was just beautiful. That creamy warm brie and the candied walnuts were a taste memory that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. And the tomato’s filled with the caper and green peppercorn salsa with the flat bread… YUM! For a light brunch for 4 people it was exactly the right amount.
You know a place is good when everyone cannot stop talking about it when you get back into the car. I am really looking forward to going back to Core sometime soon and tasting through more of the tasty morsels on offers as well as giving the Quince Sparkling Wine a go!
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