At Mash Brewery in the Swan Valley it is all about the beer. A great range of beers are produced and are the showcase of the place. The food turned out is basic pub style – filling, substantial portions, tasty – but no gourmet delights. The small wine list, mostly of local Valley wines, seems almost an afterthought.
Walking in you are struck firstly by the brewing equipment to the right, and the tasting area – off to the left is a dining hall, with attached outdoor deck to catch the air and sun.
We went out recently and took up a spot to eat, looked over the menu – and settled on a beef pie, and a serve of vegetarian risotto.
Along with that we grabbed a bottle of Lancaster’s rosé – one of the more fruit driven sweeter styles from the Valley – but very light and easy drinking – in fact perhaps too easy, as can be seen by the amount we seem to buy from the winery and consume!
Mash doesn’t do the paddle of beers that many of the other breweries around do – I always think this makes it a tad easier to try more of the range – they do pour 200ml glasses, but 5 of those is a litre after all – to me a smaller serve would be the go to allow a better taste of a number of the brews.
Anyway we did try a couple – Freo Doctor and Copycat IPA. The first is a very light, refreshing beer, perfect for quaffing on a nice warm day – sort of like the doctor bringing relief and a lift in spirits.
The Copycat on the other hand is a more complex drop – very pronounced hops, lots of resin and pine elements – it brings to mind Sierra Nevada IPA – a lovely beer, especially with food, and quite a bit more alcoholic than others on offer.
Our food came quickly – the pie in a bowl with a lid of puff pastry, a small salad of green leaves, tomato, cucumber and onion, and another bowl of fairly limp chips – they looked to have sat around a little too long.
The pie was full of meaty beef chunks, cooked well, tender, and in a well seasoned gravy. It was a generous serve, and defeated Lady FWO.
My risotto contained many slices of mushroom, spinach turned through it, and sufficient truffle to provide a heady aroma and flavour of this special fungus. Some wilted sweet potato crisps and a few lumps in the rice didn’t overly detract from the dish: it was tasty but not a classic risotto. It was substantial – a rib sticker of a meal – good for a cold day.
Mash is a popular spot – we were there on a Tuesday after lunch and a number of small groups were leaving as we drove in; there were still a lot of drinkers and diners inside. At times, especially on weekends, it is hard to get a spot inside – their beers have rightly a very good reputation.
A good place to go to try some different beers, and if you are looking for hearty, simple, fare.