The vision for Shelter, which opened on the Busselton foreshore in November last year, could be to think big from the outset. Licensed for 650 people, the venue occupies 1,078 square metres on an even larger patch of prime ocean-side real estate.
Architect Paul Burnham – also behind the design of the likes of Little Creatures, Balthazar and Il Lido – has created a self-contained microbrewery capable of producing a million litres of beer per year. Yew. Where some brewery operations need time to bed in before consistency and quality are seen in the glass, Shelter has that in hand from the get-go with a core range encompassing extra pale ale, a red ale, an IPA, a lager, a summer sour and cider. The hospitality side of the venue also supports a selection of South West wineries; one of the local fourth-generation families backing Shelter is the Credaro clan, who first planted vines in the region back in 1922.
Where some brewery operations need time to bed in before consistency and quality are seen in the glass, Shelter has that in hand from the get-go with a core range.
The venue catches the early crowd from 7am with coffee and bagels, with the taps pouring from 10am to 10pm. And whether you’re inside looking to Geographe Bay framed by floor-to-ceiling windows or outside on the long verandahs, thoughts turn to more than beer. In the kitchen, Julian Bergerhoff has an eye on well-made brewery staples: think burgers, pizza and grilled meat. And is there a more appropriate dish for such a setting than salt and pepper squid? Here, it easily passes muster: crisp with nice bite, and the heat isn’t off the charts. While the menu isn’t brimming with cheffy takes, the market fish – a blue-eye trevalla perhaps – is well handled and presented with garden greens and burnt butter.
Chalk it up as evidence of good all-round skills, then mark it down as another destination for your next South West brewery crawl.