About Thorny Devil
Beer isn’t just what you drink when you go out with friends.
Well, it is that, but for some people it’s a passion to which they devote their entire lives.
There aren’t many beverages out there able to captivate people with their storied history and artistry—let alone through their exquisite flavour.
Well, there are, but beer possesses an accessibility and room for opportunity to grow skills and imagine novel tastes that seem to ignite said passion.
The Thorny Devil Story
Nobody is more familiar with beer’s inspiration and passion than Peter McAppion, a proud WA local and zealous beer nut. Frustrated with beers that seemed all head and no body, Pete decided to grab conventional brewing tactics by the thorns. Knowing he could harmonise his broad knowledge base, Pete realised it was time to transform his frustration into inspiration. Out of this dream, Thorny Devil was born.
They say that doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results is a mark of insanity. Pete wasn’t exactly going insane, but he was becoming a bit disenchanted with his existing situation —one who couldn’t quench his obsession with finding new craft beers. Instead of setting off on a hero’s quest to capture a golden brew, he took matters into his own hands, synthesising his skills in chemistry and brewing to produce some unique beers and ciders to ignite the taste buds of discerning drinkers.
Although Pete’s mates served as eager guinea pigs for these initial experiments, word got out that something different was a-brewin’. Positive feedback from thirsty guzzlers propelled him to begin honing his process. This turn of events signalled a sea change for Pete, who incrementally withdrew from the corporate grindstone as he worked to build a professional brewery in Mandurah’s local Cape Bouvard Vineyard. After peddling the aptly named Thorny Devil beers and ciders at local festivals, Pete gained a better understanding of exactly what it was that people loved about these drinks. With some steady refinements, Thorny Devil transformed into a true contender in the craft-beer world, winning numerous awards at the Australian International Beer Awards, Australian Craft Beer awards and Perth Royal Beer Show.
These days, Thorny Devil is in a constant state of moving forward but remembering its roots, striving to unite perceptive beer drinkers with handcrafted brews in irresistible flavours that carry a little bit of Mandurah in every sip. Beer is all about experimenting, having fun, and exploring, which perfectly encapsulate the story of Thorny Devil.
When Pete isn’t drinking, obsessing over, or making beer, you can find him hanging around Mandurah and Fremantle getting in a little surfing, 4WDing, diving, fishing, and camping. Mandurah has so much to offer, so who wouldn’t want to enjoy the iconic WA lifestyle?
To get in touch with Pete to talk beer, the meaning of life, or anything else, summon him via phone, email, or social media here!
Okay, you might know that a thorny devil is a wandering reptilian badass that likes to hang out in the scorching heat. But what does that have to do with beer? Well, it just so happens that this roguish fellow perfectly embodies our collective spirit; he’s feisty and independent when he needs to be, but he’s chill and inquisitive—the essence of Mandurah—because he knows life’s a beach. He also has a bit of a funny walk, something we’ve all experienced after one too many cleansing ales. He’s one of Australia’s most unique icons, a revolutionary (and evolutionary) marvel that represents the enthusiasm of searching for the next great adventure out there.
This rugged critter’s way of life can teach us all a few things, and it has certainly informed our homegrown process. So, what makes him so special, and why do we identify with him?
• He’s a survival-skill virtuoso- The thorny devil can camouflage itself, changing colours to fit into whatever environment it occupies.
• He knows when it’s time to let loose- The thorny devil has a bimodal, seasonal pattern of activity, remaining almost completely inactive during the hottest summer months in January and February (the perfect time for a cold lager) and taking refuge in underground burrows in
June and July when it’s wintry out (and he’s probably grabbing a Dark Ale).
• He’s created by nature with beer in mind- When the thorny devil gets thirsty, it simply steps in water, sucking up the puddle and delivering the water directly to its own mouth via tiny, scaly channels along its back. Sometimes water simply condenses on his skin. Who wouldn’t want to be a walking beer sponge?
• He’s charming and chill, witty and wise- The thorny devil has a funny walk. Its unusual gait entails walking slowly, stopping often, and rocking back and forth—like being tipsy from a few beers, perhaps?
• He never forgets where he came from- It’s independent, courageous, hilarious, and more than a little feisty when the need arises. It might look intimidating, but the lizard’s sprightly spirit and penchant for chilling out keep him grounded. The thorny devil is a true Aussie, through and through.
The Essence of Thorny Devil
Beer isn’t some high school crush around these parts; it’s more like our soulmate, and there’s no chance it’ll become “the one that got away.” To put it succinctly: beer is our true love. But it’s not just the liquid gold we’re fanatics about; we love everything that beer has the potential to represent.
Inherent in the process of making beer are so many opportunities. We get to create new flavours, learn about different techniques, and, most of all, we get to share it with people and spread the word about just how exceptional craft brews can be. We get to explore and connect and learn, uniting those who value meticulously curated brews—and know the difference between marketing fluff and something truly handcrafted—with our simple, homespun blends.
So, raise a glass to Thorny Devil; here’s to innovation, slowed down and smoothed out!
Thorny Devil broadens people’s horizons, showing them the amazing results that are achieved through the chance to slow things down, provide ultimate care and exacting detail to every step of the process, and lovingly pour our hearts and souls into each glass. Pete and Señor Throm personally oversee the fermentation and brewing of every batch, after all. This level of mindfulness is what differentiates Thorny Devil craft beers from those mass-produced cans lining store shelves, and it’s what our beers are all about.
Thorny Devil starts with thrombolites, sun, sand, and suds. Wait. Throb… Thromb? What?
Say it with us: throm-bo-lite. They might look like average round rocks just chilling on the beach, but they’re layered with more than 3.5 billion years of history. Formed from sedimentary deposits and skeletal structures of metazoan organisms (code words for really early, really old lifeforms), thrombolites are living fossils found in only a few places around the globe.
We think the fact that they’re nearby only adds to Mandurah’s allure, which is why we we place Señor Throm (a piece of thrombolite rock) into every brewing vat. He blesses each batch we create with billions of years of history and his own unique geological touch. Life practically began in these rocks, and that’s what they impart into the beer—an added lifeforce and an homage to the local wonders of Mandurah.
“Small batch” is one of those buzzphrases you hear a lot these days. You see it around so frequently, in fact, that its meaning seems to have all but disappeared behind the shadow of marketing campaigns and large-scale operations that seem to defy “small batch” at its heart. In a time when everything seems mass-marketed and impersonal, Thorny Devil reclaims the notion that craft beers really benefit from being handcrafted, local, and—who’d have guessed?—small.
Our values are pretty simple, which is just the way we like them. Good beer doesn’t overcomplicate things, and neither do we. Keeping things small allows us to ensure each batch is positively perfect. Do you want to chug some watery swill produced by some faceless grey suit who lets machines do all the work? Or would you rather be able to walk down the road, check out what’s brewing, and get to know the people making your favourite drink? We know our answer to that, and we know you’ll appreciate the care and dedication that go into every bottle we produce.
The greatest strength of a craft brewery is its process; after all, this is what differentiates home-grown brews from every other run-of-the-mill beer lurking on the shelves out there. Our unique brewing process incorporates rainwater along with time-honoured German techniques utilising custom home-made equipment, and every small, handcrafted batch blends the highest quality, freshest ingredients we source from around the globe.
Although we strive to bring the world a little closer together with our inclusion of quality global ingredients, we can’t tell a lie. Mandurah isn’t just where our brewery is; it’s where our hearts are, too. This is why we make the conscious choice to support our region through the use of locally-sourced ingredients. Our ambition for authenticity informs our mission to educate all the thirsty guys and gals around us about how flavoursome real beer can be through unique, quality experiences. Our vision and eventual goal is to become one of the most respected and preferred craft breweries in Australia.
By selling the freshest, tastiest beer straight from our brewery to your glass. It only takes one sip.