Single Fin Summer Ale

Gage Roads – a history

In 2004, former Sail & Anchor champion brewers Bill Hoedemaker and Peter Nolan were joined by Bill’s brother John, together launching a brewery named after one of the area’s most iconic locations. Gage Roads isn’t a road it all: it’s the name of the deep sea shipping and anchoring lane that separates the port of Fremantle and Rottnest Island off the coast of WA.

In 2009, Woolworths purchased a 25% share in the business, giving Gage Roads the money needed to upgrade its existing brew house. The deal saw Gage Roads take on a contract brewing role for Woolworths Liquor’s private label brands. Over the years, Gage Roads has opened its doors to a number of small breweries seeking access to high quality brewing and packaging facilities. Matso’s, McLaren Vale, and Two Birds have all at one time been brewed and packaged by the team at Gage Roads.

In November 2014, Gage Roads finished construction on one of Australia’s most technically advanced craft brewing facilities. Today, the consistency and quality of Gage Roads beer continues to set new benchmarks.

Brewing and packaging consistent, high quality, balanced and approachable beer is Gage Roads’ mantra. The brewery’s Atomic Pale Ale and Sleeping Giant IPA are amongst the biggest craft beers in the market, newcomer Single Fin Summer Ale has rocketed into the top 20 craft beers in less than 18 months, and Little Dove continues to wow drinkers across the country.

Big things have been brewing at Gage Roads since it unveiled its slick new look and new beers, culminating in management and staff buying back Woolworth’s 25% share late in 2016. Gage Roads is now one of Australia’s largest independent craft breweries, and having won Champion Australian Beer at the 2016 Australian International Beer Awards, it’s also one of its best.

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Craft Beer scene in WA… from humble beginnings:

The late 1980’s saw the birth of craft beer in Freo, with the Sail & Anchor pub and microbrewery, famously having a huge selection of craft beers on tap.  Matilda Bay brewery quickly rose through the ranks with the famous Redback wheat beer in the early 90’s, and the early 2000’s saw the rise of breweries like Little Creatures, Mad Monk and Gage Roads (all of whom floated on the stock exchange).  After lots of ups and downs since (plenty of ups) the WA scene is highly regarded, and it seems that almost every month there is a new craft brewery opening somewhere in the state, making some new and exciting brew. 

Did you know?

Matso’s, McLaren Vale, and Two Birds have all at one time been brewed and packaged by the team at Gage Roads