By Triana O'Keefe, editor Australian Hotelier

Beer is often a good place to start. For Colonial Leisure Group – which formed with the purchase of Colonial Brewing Co. in 2008 – purchasing a craft brewery in Margaret River was the perfect launch pad for a hospitality business.

CLG has grown from a love of quality ale, and a desire to do things a bit differently – always experimenting and reinventing along the way.

Colonial Brewing Co. sits in the lush landscape of Margaret River. Small batches of hand-crafted, top quality ales are brewed on site by a league of mostly bearded gentlemen. The Brewery has a family friendly and community minded vibe – this is pretty natural in a small place like Margaret River. 

It houses a laid back brasserie restaurant surrounded by a large lawn for music and festivities and a big play area and lawn for the ankle-biters to run around on. It’s a popular spot for locals and day trippers, with a family-friendly, outdoorsy vibe. The brewery’s backyard hosts Sunday BBQ’s in the summer, public holiday parties and mini-festivals, and is a favoured meeting place for the community, be it weekend cyclists or local bush fire volunteers.

Early on, Colonial Brewing Co. was awarded some of the most recognised accolades the brewing industry has to offer including Champion Australian Small Brewery and Champion International Small Brewery.

Recently, Colonial Brewing Co. has been proving to be innovative with not just their beer, but what surrounds it. The commissioning of their brand new can line in 2014 brought the launch of Colonial Draught in a can at Margaret River’s Gourmet Escape.

The can, with its distinctive red and white design, just took home a Gold Medal for Packaging at the 2015 Australia International Beer Awards (AIBA) as well as scoring a Bronze Medal in the Best European style Ale category. Colonial has also launched their Small Ale in cans at ‘anti-conference’ – Emergence Creative Festival in Margaret River this March, its skin emblazoned with an artistic collaboration from creatives Dune Haggar and Ian Mutch. The Small Ale can also happens to feature Australia’s first 360 degree lid – a nifty innovation that essentially turns the can into an open-topped drinking vessel.

Colonial beers can be found throughout the group’s own venues and in selected venues and outlets in Western Australia and Victoria. To cope with demand and increase the logistical efficiency of operations, CLG is also commissioning a new brewing facility at Cape Schanck, Victoria.

The Cape Schanck Farm will ultimately house a boutique brewery, farm, and a unique dining and function space. The east coast brewery will have plenty of parallels to the Margaret River outpost, operating in a similar farmland setting near stunning rural coastline, with matching enthusiasm from a small passionate brewing team.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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