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Brews, BBQ chews and blues with Burnt Ends at Beerfarm - Beerfarm

Brews, BBQ chews and blues with Burnt Ends at Beerfarm

We're well and truly into winter, and what better way to kick those winter blues to the curb then with 10 days of eating, dancing and boozin'? Cabin Fever Festival does exactly that, with 40 cosy events kicking off this July from Busso to Margs and everywhere in between.

We're stoked to have two events in tow for 2022; our annual live music shindig, 'Blazing Brews' and our mouth-watering new food offering, 'From Stout to Snout'.

Think BBQ, canapés and carefully paired menus, all of which are put together by Nathan and Eileen Booth of Burnt Ends Smoking Co, who are also responsible for the farm's year 'round BBQ goodness.

We popped into the Beerfarm's kitchen to pick their brains (along with some ribs and hot wings) and talk all things local meats, food over fire, and the new brew that'll be washing it all down, Smokey Dokey.

Tell us a bit about your backstory! What were you doing before you became a husband and wife Chef duo behind Burnt Ends Smoking Co?

I was in the building game, making cabinets before getting back into hospitality after 10 years out. Eils was still heavily involved in hospitality as Head Chef and various positions in other local restaurants.

How did you two first meet and when did you decide it was time to start a business together?

We met back in 2009 when Eileen was actually my boss at the old Witches Cauldron in Subiaco. Not much has changed since…she is still my boss. Burnt Ends Smoking Co was born in 2017 with no real solid direction on what is was to become. It naturally grew to what it is today, with us both pushing it to be something unique and have the style of food and cooking techniques something different. 

What are some of the biggest challenges about going into business with your partner, and some of the biggest rewards?

We have always worked well together and like to think our standards and ideas are very aligned. Eils has incredible work ethic and knowledge of the whole industry, which I respect so much. Some of the biggest challenges especially since coming onboard with Beerfarm is the work life balance with three young children, and both of us in roles that require a lot of work and attention.

We're hoping to bring more people into our kitchen with the same values as our already amazing team, which would be incredible, so we can start to really grow something special.

Where did the passion for BBQ, low and slow and food over fire originate from, for both of you?

It literally started in my backyard, playing with fire and a small crappy smoker. I always enjoyed cooking over fire and when you start to play with different produce and elements, it’s a very rewarding way to cook. Cooking with fire is the oldest and most honest technique’s on earth that you can’t hide behind due to you controlling a live element.

You really start going down a rabbit hole once you look at BBQ globally and how it’s used in different cultures. This is why I love it so much and will never get bored of cooking this way.

What are some of the sustainable practices that take place within the Beerfarm kitchen?

We do our best within the kitchen to use everything. All scraps go to compost and from there, to kitchen garden. Our beef is grown on site and fed spent grain from the brewing process, which has so many positive aspects for the cattle and the end product that hits the plate. We use local suppliers as much as possible and follow the seasons with four menu changes a year.

What is so important or beneficial about paddock to plate eating and utilising Beerfarm's onsite Black Angus cattle?

We feed our cattle spent grain and yeasts leftover from the brew, which provides extra proteins and nutrients while adding to the flavour of the meat. It acts as a supplement in the dryer months when less grass is available.

Diatomaceous Earth, used in the filtering process for beer, is mixed in with the grain and the aids in controlling gut parasites. In addition, the yeast that has been filtered out contains lots of vitamins and minerals that have a positive impact on the cattle’s gut health.

This food is considered as waste in many breweries, but we consider them a major part of our cattle’s lifecycle which keeps them super healthy. The relationship between the brewery and the cattle helps manage our carbon footprint associated with traditional grazing practices and beer production. The happier and healthier we can keep the cattle and their gut, the happier we can keep ours.

There's much more prep involved in Beerfarm's Smokin' Saturdays menu and formerly Raise The Steaks than meets the eye. Tell us a little bit about how a typical BBQ day at Beerfarm happens, from start to finish...

Typical Saturday BBQ actually starts on a Thursday, with us trimming our brisket and getting them seasoned overnight. Our chicken breast and wings for the platters go into a brine at the same time. Fires are then lit at 5am the following Friday morning and they are generally pulled off the pits at 5pm or whenever they are ready.

They get rested overnight and sliced to order from 11am Saturday. From 5am Saturday morning, we smoke our chicken breast, sausages, beans and wings to all be ready by 11am. All our sauces and pickles are made in house so it’s a juggling act to get this to come together. Hence why our BBQ is only on Saturdays!

It would be a near impossible task to run this style of cooking everyday alongside our menu we run seven days a week. Raise The Steaks was a whole other beast which was prepared on the Friday, from start to finish. Imagine putting three totally separate menus together that changed every week and delivering them in 24hrs!

Raise The Steaks will come back once our staffing shortages improve. This is why it had to be put on hold, with so much work put into these nights we didn’t want to jeopardise the experience and quality of what we do. Fingers crossed sooner than later!

What winter beer have you been brewing up with Beerfarm recently, and why did you choose this particular beer style?

We have put together Smokey Dokey, a smoked oatmeal stout which seems to be coming along really nicely. We ran the malt and oat flakes through our pits for a full day so they took on the smoke from the applewood we use. Stouts just scream winter and are my absolute go to this time of year.

When can we expect to get our hands on this delicious beer?

Smokey Dokey will be ready to roll out for Blazing Brews, then at our own event From Snout To Stout for Cabin Fever on Friday, July 23rd. We will be matching it to a beautiful dessert which I can’t let out the bag as of yet...

What can people expect to taste from Burnt Ends Smoking Co this year at Blazing Brews?

Everything you’d want to eat around a fire! Our signature brisket toasties will be back, loaded fries with chopped brisket and melted cheese, our southern fried chicken burger will make another appearance and a few more winter warmers for both vegetarians and meat lovers.

What is from Snout to Stout all about, and what makes it so special?

Snout To Stout gives us a chance to showcase our beef and other produce in a way that’s totally different to our everyday service. Everything will be cooked using an open flame to give people a chance to taste food in its most natural form. Think extremely high quality produce cooked over fire. Good food does not need to be complicated!

We'll be using our very own Black Angus from one end of the beast to the other and incorporating premium cuts, secondary cuts and offal. From canapés to entree, a long table banquet to dessert, all matched with amazing wines and our Smokey Dokey collaboration brew. It doesn’t get much better. 

What's your absolute favourite dish to cook of all time, and why?

Hands down favourite is a Croatian dish called a Peka. Pork belly, chicken thigh, potatoes, carrots, onion, chilli, garlic and homemade chicken stock cooked over an open fire pit in a special dish with a dome lid. This with a great red , crusty bread and half a dozen good mates can’t be beaten.

Favourite Beerfarm beer, and why?

At the moment the pastry stout is just incredible, so much body and balance. The guys have been nailing it lately in the brewery. For the warmer months, the Nectaron IPA was an absolute stand out beer. 

Blazing Brews is completely sold out and kicks off this Friday, July 15th at Beerfarm. Click HERE to join the waitlist for tickets and if you can no longer make it, please pay it forward and refund your ticket so someone else can come along.

From Snout to Stout is also long sold out, but not to worry! Click HERE for a list of other delicious Cabin Fever events happening throughout the South West this winter.

And of course, don't forget to give Burnt Ends Smoking Co a follow on Instagram and Facebook.

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