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Camel on the menuMatso’s by the bay

Named after a local Japanese pearling family, Matso’s Café and Brewery has a distinctive Broome flavour with its bayside location and traditionally brewed beer.

By Kandy Curran

With its polished floorboards and deep verandahs, originally housed Broome’s Union Bank. That the building is still standing – after a fire in the 1940s all but destroyed the Chinatown lane where it was then located – adds to its character. It is thought that the fire was intentionally lit, either by a disgruntled customer, or in response to the war in the Pacific.
The building has also survived several cyclones and two relocations. Its first move was to serve as Streeter and Male’s

Camel on the menuNumber 2 Store. It was during this period that the Matsumoto family assumed the lease and renamed it Matso’s Store. Then, in the 1970s, Lord McAlpine relocated Matso’s Store to its current site beside Roebuck Bay on Hammersley Street. The English aristocrat recognised the historical importance of remnant business houses and early pearling masters’ homes, and set about restoring some of Broome’s architectural origins.
Matso’s Café and Brewery is now a successful restaurant and craft brewery. It would be hard to find better surroundings than Matso’s shady verandahs and outdoor gardens to imbibe its full-flavoured beers and splendid views of Roebuck Bay. The vista often includes pearling boats, flocks of shorebirds and, during the wet, a tropical storm on the steamy horizon over the milky-blue bay. Visitors can wander through the heritage-listed Monsoon Art Gallery, which is housed in pearling master Captain’s Gregory’s former dwelling.

A small 100-litre brewery was set up at Matso’s six years ago. When new owners, Martin Peirson-Jones and Kim Hart took over in 2001, they upgraded to a much larger micro-brewery with a 1200-litre capacity. Mal Secourable, who has been Matso’s head brewer at for the past two and a half years, has found it a challenging and exciting process brewing the craft beers that are now on tap in the café. The result is a range of beers that includes River Rocks Lager, a smooth German-style beer and Monsoonal Blonde, a wheat-based beer with a refreshing hint of citrus. Other thirst quenchers are the alcoholic brews, Mango Cooler and Ginger Beer.Story end

Full story OUTBACK Issue 36 Aug/Sept 2004

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