4 Pines Brewing Company

What do Margaret River and Manly have in common? Well, they both have popular surfing spots and craft breweries or, at least, they do now. The Mitchell family had seen the burgeoning Margaret River microbrewing scene evolve in their hometown region before moving across east. ‘Why isn’t there a microbrewery in Manly?’ Steve Mitchell asked his son Jaron over coffee in the beachside suburb one day. When they couldn’t come up with a good reason, they decided to start their own. The Mitchells installed a 5-hectolitre Chinese-manufactured microbrewery into a first-floor site near the Manly ferry terminal, with their first beer flowing in June 2008. Meanwhile, another West Australian, Nick d’Espeissis, was recruited as brewer and a partner in the 4 Pines Brewing Company. ‘It’s the smallest brewery I’ve worked on,’ he explains, ‘but we do have the luxury of good storage capacity.’ The upstairs location presents certain challenges in getting grain in and out of the brewery. ‘With difficulty,’ d’Espeissis explains about the logistics of having to lug sacks of grain into a goods lift in the basement and bring them up to the brewhouse, and then reverse the process with a wheelie bin heavily loaded full of spent grain. There are four regular house brews – a kolsch, a pale ale, an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) and a hefeweizen; seasonals have so far included a saison and a summer ale. Having grown up near the Margaret River area, both Jaron Mitchell and d’Espeissis are keen surfers and tend to choose brew days when the wind is onshore and there’s no surf.

House Style

The early brews were clean and drinkable but a degree of added complexity and flavour has emerged with later batches.

Signature Beer

4 Pines Pale Ale

Behind the Label

Norfolk pines line the main Manly foreshore area and 4 Pines Brewing Company takes its name from a plaque found there that commemorates four trees that were removed during World War II to install machinegun emplacements. The plaque reads: ‘This and three other pines were removed for defence purposes in December 1941 when these shores were threatened with invasion.’ It’s a poignant reminder of another era and a neat link with the area’s past.

Contact Information

29/43–45 East Esplanade, Manly 2095 Bar; restaurant


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