There is only one thing that can turn me off the citrus-y and floral pale ales of Little Creatures Brewery and that is the music of Collette Roberts. Her ode to campanology was blaring across the industrial Viking beer hall that brewery Little Creatures have infested in Fitzroy in Melbourne as I entered.
When did 1987 become cool? Am I getting that old? Or is this just a musical taste of Perth-ness from across the Nullabor?
I had never wondered what had happened to Collette after her career of impersonating Kylie Minogue came to an abrupt end. If you’re keen to find out, you can hire her from modeling agency Real Faces and ask her in person whether it is in Western Australia alone that her music never died.
Along with poor choices of soundtrack, Little Creatures make sublime American pale ales in their brewery in Western Australia; the sort of beers that feel like the hops monster has burrowed into your sinuses and deposited its fragrant and addictive spawn. Their immaculate waterfront brewery is the only valid reason to go to Fremantle, but now that a piece of that has been transported to inner Melbourne, what’s the point of Fremantle altogether?
Their space in Fitzroy bears a remarkable similarity to their converted boatshed in WA: a cavernous open warehouse serving up good value pub food along with their ales. The only thing missing is their stainless brewing tanks and ready access to the sea. I’d swear that the menu and wine list is the same but with the addition of pies. I might be wrong.
So I had a pie, just in case.
Chunky meat pie, peas, mashed potato glue substitute, super-salty coleslaw. Thin gravy.
As for the beer, their pale ale, amber ale, pilsener and bright ale come from the tap as freshly as it does straight from the brewery door. There is no trace of oxidation, the hops are as bright and clean as if the beer was being poured straight from the tank. They come in three sizes: pony ($3), pot ($4) and weirdo-not-quite-a-pint-but-larger-than-schooner ($6.50). There is probably a Western Australian term for this beer size.
I’m going to call it the Collette.
Little Creatures Dining Hall
Address: 222 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Melbourne.