Craft beer on the menu
Picture: Hilary Heyden

It might sound like a new attraction at Perth Zoo but the Grazing Garden, brought to you by Cheeky Monkey with Leaping Lizard wines, is a feature at this year's show.

It's likely to be the hot new place for visitors to chill out and plan the next item on their agenda - the place to enjoy a craft beer and snack from some of Perth's best food trucks.

Although it only opened in 2012, Cheeky Monkey micro-brewery has already collected two AHA awards as the State's best boutique brewery. For owner Murray Burton, an accountant, Cheeky Monkey is his second foray into the drinks business.

He started Ferngrove Wines in 1998, the Frankland River- based winery which bought the Killerby label 10 years later. Looking for a cellar door location in Margaret River, he bought a greenfields site on Caves Road. To make it work financially, he decided to build a brewery which now produces four mainstream beers, two ciders and two other seasonal beers.

"The idea of a brewery was an afterthought in many respects to make the project more viable," Mr Burton said. "I've always liked the idea of a brewery so we put together the idea of a brewery, restaurant and cellar door on the one site."

There's also a vineyard that grows grapes for some of the Killerby wines.

Today, son Brent is the manager of Cheeky Monkey, where the brewer, Alex Poulsen, aims to produce beers liked across the board.

"We want to produce the best possible beer but they have to be beers suitable to the buying public's taste," Mr Burton said.

"It's not much good producing a really dark ale with high alcohol or that the brewer thinks is a fantastic beer but no one buys it, because you won't survive that way."

Cheeky Monkey products are now on sale in about 50 outlets in Perth - quality hotels, small bars and a couple of beer specialist bottle shops. Mr Burton says he's just started introducing kegs into Perth, too. A range of Leaping Lizard wines as well as Cheeky Monkey beers and ciders will also be available at Grazing Garden.

The West Australian

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