SWAN Valley’s Feral Brewery has taken out top spot as the best craft brewery in a nationwide poll.
More than 6500 beer drinkers voted in the poll, which was conducted by leading retailer and online distributor Beer Cartel, who wanted to get a snapshot of the public’s drinking habits, trends and likes.
Feral topped the study of Australia’s best craft brewery with almost 8 per cent of the vote.
It has been a big fortnight for the Baskerville-based brewery, with Feral also collecting the Best Commercial Brewery and Best WA Brewery prizes at the Perth Royal Beer Show awards in late July.
Their American Pale Ale – Runt – won champion reduced-alcohol beer at the gala night.
However, it is the spread of successful beers, including Hop Hog (American India Pale Ale, 5.8%), Karma Citra (Black India Pale Ale, 5.8%), Sly Fox (Summer Ale, 4.7%), Boris (Russian Imperial Stout, 9.1%) and their special limited releases such as Tusk (Imperial India Pale Ale, 9.8%) that have brought people together.
Beer Cartel director Richard Kelsey said the results were evidence of the quality of beer produced in Western Australia.
“We’ve always looked to WA as one of the great pioneering craft beer states in Australia,’” Kelsey said.
“Feral Brewing has been producing exceptional craft beer over the last 10 years, regularly picking up awards from the Australian beer judging community.
“This latest accolade builds upon these numerous awards, showing Feral is considered by the craft-drinking public in the same light as these judges.”
Feral and its products have consistently featured in the top 10 of various other craft beer polls and surveys.
Feral Brewery owner Brendan Varis praised the team’s effort.
“I think we value the consumer-chosen awards like this a little bit more than the beer awards, where it is a blank beer being chosen,” he said.
“As a business, we know our beers and know they’re up to our standards.
“We don’t consider ourselves as a brewery that puts as much effort and resources behind the marketing as others, so the fact there is a genuine understanding of what we do from the consumers’ view is really pleasing.”
Mr Varis, who has become a mentor to many other craft brewers and travelled the world looking at the best techniques, said the Beer Cartel rating also vindicated the extreme care Feral took to ensure their brews get to the market in as good a shape as possible.
Refrigeration is a key part of keeping beer fresh until it hits the drinker’s lips; it helps maintain the reliability of the beers.
“We really restrict our distribution to areas and regions where we think we can deliver our beer to the final consumer the same way that it tastes where we make it in the Swan Valley,” Varis said.
“We know our beer is up to our standard when we release it from our brewery door.
“We want it to be the same beer they’re tasting in the Swan Valley.”