Welcome ZigaZag travellers to Part 3 of the Beaches and Breweries series.
If you love a good beach, a cooling beer and a bite to eat then you’ve come to the right place because you’re going to be transported to some of the finest in the region.
Eagle Bay Brewery
Today we’re off to the fantabulous Eagle Bay Brewing Co, and on the way we’ll be stopping at some of the best beaches in the Cape Naturaliste area, around Dunsborough. The coastline from a scenic flight below, is spectacular.
If you’d like to read Part 1 of the series that featured Duckstein Brewery, or Part 2 that featured the very gorgeous Empire Retreat, then click on the links to pop over and have a read of them too.
We’re off and the day promises adventure of the ‘beery’ kind
An easterly is blowing as we leave Empire Retreat for a little sortie prior to breakfast. It’s only 7.30am the day is as yet bleached of colour.
But Dunsborough beach front even without its normal turquoise sea and dense colours is as lovely as ever, and we know from past experience that it’s a gorgeous place to come and spend a few hours on a hot summer’s day.
Top beaches in south west Australia, Cape Naturaliste region.
The Margaret River and Cape Naturaliste region is renowned for wonderful beaches. Often lonely, some without another footprint in sight, some hard to get to, but always spectacular. Some like Meelup are popular in the school holidays around Christmas, and it’s a prime beach for weddings too, but generally you’ll always find a parking spot somewhere.
Around Dunsborough, and beautifully close to Eagle Bay Brewing Co are our top 5 favourites; Eagle Bay, Point Picquet, Meelup, Castle Rock and Bunker Bay, stunning beaches with little bays or wide sandy stretches perfect for long walks.
Whale Season June to November
It’s whale season, so we are particularly on the look out and delighted when we’re rewarded with a splash and a sighting at Castle Rock.
With sand between our toes and a healthy appetite for lunch we head along Eagle Bay Road and turn off to to Eagle Bay Brewing Co. It’s situated down a windy lane between fields on a working farm.
Here we sit in the large airy restaurant, under cover but with the sides unzipped so that we are right next to the lawn and farmland. Gazing over the farmland to a dam, you get the feeling that you are right in the heart of the countryside.
In the distance is the sea, and we can just see tip of Cape Naturaliste lighthouse, a famous local landmark.
We have to agree it’s a beautiful setting, and perfect for weddings.
“It is a popular wedding venue,” Bree Higgins, the restaurant manager tells me. “We began doing weddings in November 2011 and since then we have seen our functions department grow at a rapid rate. We’re extremely popular and like to think that we provide our customers with a personal experience. We currently recommend that clients book no less than a year in advance.”
While we’re waiting for our food we walk across the lawns to the thriving kitchen garden which our waitress tells us is the source of most of the leaves used in the meals. To the other side of the lawn is a shaded children’s playground where kids are having a whale of a time.
I can’t wait for the WA Christmas trees to start blooming in their full neon yellow, and if you visit Eagle Bay after Christmas you’ll likely see this one, above on the bottom hand right side.
Our lunch consists of The Mezza, a tasting plate to share which we agree is wonderful. Lentil fritters with raita, roast capsicum sofrito with almon picada; feta and walnut filo pie, marinated olives, garlic and thyme goats chees with chickpeas, preserved lemon and olive salad, za’atarbreads. The roast capsicum sofrito with almond picada is one of our favourite dishes, but the goats cheese rates a close second. (Disclaimer: lunch and beer tasting were complimentary)
Umm, I’m not sure if I should mention the banoffee and almond meringue with simmo’s vanilla ice cream!
Eagle Bay Brewing Co, Fast Facts
- Beers are made with fresh rainwater, malted barley, hopes and yeast … only. No preservatives are added.
- Beers are clear not cloudy, and are served cold, straight from the brewery tanks.
- A beer tasting could include; Kolsch, Vienna Lager, Mild Ale, Pale Ale, Single Batch IPA, Extra Special Bitter. A tasting comes with a full description of each beer.
- The small shop sells some delightful Eagle Bay wine and produce .
- Eagle Bay Brewing Co has been open since December 8th 2010
- In winter 200 people can be accommodated, and in summer the number rises to 500
- The menu changes with the seasons. “We like to source products that are locally grown and in season so we change our menus 4 times a year to reflect those changes,” Bree tells me.
- Eagle Bay Brewing Co recently had solar panels installed and management are aiming to generate enough energy to power the brewery and produce carbon neutral beer by summer.
- I asked Bree if there was anything that made Eagle Bay Brewing Co unique. “It’s unique to the region not only because it’s the only micro-brewery in the Cape Naturaliste area but it’s also located on the family farm which has been in the d’Espeissis family since 1950. The working sheep and cattle property that surrounds the restaurant forms the foreground to the stunning views which make the location a popular attraction with both tourists and locals,” Bree said.
“A big part of our appeal is that we offer full table service and a wide range of products that appeal to a broad demographic. We are affordable, family friendly and don’t mind if you duck in after a swim at the beach!”
Visit more breweries
Of course if you want to visit the other breweries in the region and you don’t want to drink and drive then there are several small tour companies offering fantastic tours to both breweries and wineries. For something a little different you could try “Rolling in Character” – we spotted them on a sunset jaunt to Smith’s Beach, below.
Don’t forget to visit Duckstein Brewery while you’re in the area too, and for a list of all the breweries in the region, pop over to Part 1 of this series in Beaches and Breweries – Click Here and see where else you can go for a great ale or pop over to Part 2 of Beaches and Breweries – Click Here to read all about the luxurious Empire Retreat.
I’m connecting with Travel Photo Thursday today – do pop over for some awesome travel tales from around the world.
Do you have a favourite beach or brewery? Why not share yours with us in the comment section.
Until next time,