Brewery named one of best in Australia

Will Irving from Feral Brewing with a glass of Watermelon Warhead beer and the big winner, Hop Hog.
Will Irving from Feral Brewing with a glass of Watermelon Warhead beer and the big winner, Hop Hog.

It is the second year in succession that Hop Hog has taken the top prize in The Critics’ Choice: Australia’s Best Beers book.

Feral’s assistant brewer Will Irving said the win was great acknowledgement from peers in the industry.

‘We strive hard to keep fresh beer consistent and to win this spot two years in a row is great,’ he said.

‘Our Hop Hog is a heavily hopped pale ale ” it’s an ingredient used for bitterness and aroma which the American varieties are quite citrusy and pine-needley so we put an abundance in and it’s pretty aggressive but it’s a well-balanced beer too.’

This year, Feral Brewing featured twice in the top 10 list of beers. Its unusual Watermelon Warhead light wheat beer was ranked fourth.

Mr Irving said 50L of Swan Valley watermelons were used to make the unique beer.

‘We ferment beer in wine barrels with a bacteria that lets the beer go sour,’ he said.

‘We add regular beer yeast and fresh watermelons, which the kitchen spends a whole day gutting. It takes three months to produce that beer, whereas normal beers take about two weeks to produce.

‘We’re probably the only place in Australia that uses bacteria to turn the beer sour in the same area as the brewing house,’ he said.

‘It’s a big cost but it’s worked out well.’

Last year, Feral Brewing celebrated its 10th anniversary.