03/05/2013 - 10:42

WA beer Australia's best... again

03/05/2013 - 10:42


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WA beer Australia's best... again
Feral Brewing's head brewer Brendan Varis.

Feral Brewing Company’s Hop Hog India pale ale has been rated as Australia’s best beer in a soon-to-be released guide to the nation’s top brews, adding to a long list of accolades for head brewer Brendan Varis.

It's the second time Hop Hog has taken the top spot in The Critics' Choice: Australia's Best Beers book, now in its fifth year.

Hop Hog was also rated Australia’s best beer for the past two consecutive years by Beer and Brewer Magazine.

Feral followed that up by being named Australia’s best brewery at the Australian International Beer awards in May last year, while the Hop Hog was named best international pale ale.

Head brewer Brendan Varis described the beer as a hop extravaganza, with just enough malt to make it approachable.

Editor Pete Mitcham applauded Hop Hog for its balance, freshness, firm bitterness and dry finish.

"Can’t. Find. Words," Mr Mitcham said. "It’s all been said so many times before.

"Best. Beer. Again. Perfectly balanced, hoppy and fresh, firm bitterness and a pleasing dry finish. Champion Ale, Champion Ale, Critics’ Choice #1 last year.

"How’s that? Can I go and get one for myself now?"

Feral Brewing Company, located in the Swan Valley winery district, is a family business that started 10 years ago with a focus on supplying its own restaurant.

But it got serious about retail sales about five years ago after Mr Varis and wife Gabrielle bought out some original shareholders.

Last year, they built a new brewery in Perth's northern suburbs, increasing their annual production capacity from 500,000 litres to five million litres.

"We're lucky timing-wise because it seems the thirst for good craft beer is almost insatiable at the moment," Mr Varis said.

This year, Feral Brewing Company features twice in the top 10, with its unusual Watermelon Warhead light wheat beer ranking number four.

With an alcohol content of only 2.9 per cent, it was created with the intent of being an interesting addition to the small low-strength class, Mr Varis said.

Mitcham describes it as "possibly the most insanely marvellous beer to hit the scene since the discovery of yeast".

"Full of flavour, complexity and thirst-quenching satisfaction, but with little more alcohol than a Seventh Day Adventist Church picnic".


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