WA has always had strong craft beer game, with Matilda Bay leading the charge from the 80’s, and Little creatures pumping out one of the first majorly hop forward local beers of the time from the early 2000’s.
No longer are punters faced with bland and boring macro lagers when they enter a bottleshop or venue. Producers all over the country are pushing the envelope, and creating new and innovative brews that change our perceptions of what beer really is.
Feeling daunted? Never fear! Below are some of my favourite, fresh, locally packaged and readily available beers easily found around Perth, that will impress everyone from your mum and dad, to the seasoned craft veteran.
Nail Brewing Co. - VPA
From the humble pale ale emerged English pale, American pale, IPA, XPA, BIPA, Double IPA, and now Very Pale Ale.
This new take on the classic pale is chock full of big juicy tropicals, banging fruity pawpaw and passionfruit resin, testament to the fresh, dank El Dorado hops used throughout.
At 6.5%, it’s full flavoured, yet sessionable and great value. Pale malt backs it up, with a minimalist, clean malt backbone playing support. One of the best value beers on the market, this little banger is brewed locally in Bassendean.
Price: $19 a 4 pack
Availability: Independents, selected Liquor Barons outlets.
Cheeky Monkey - Silverback
Roaring out of the darkness this winter comes this big black beast of a beer.
Silverback is an annual Imperial stout offering released by Margaret river’s Cheeky Monkey Brewing co. Coming in at a warming 10% expect fresh roast coffee, ashy roasted malts, rich dark chocolate and earthy complexity, viscous and thick. Best drunk slightly below room temperature, by the fire on a dark winter’s evening with a bar of dark chocolate.
Price: $11 a can, 500ml
Availability: From July 12th, direct from the brewery, Independents, selected Liquor Barons stores
Otherside - Harvest Red
Founded last year out of J shed in the Fremantle port, Otherside have been unhurried and methodical in their releases.
Harvest red is their second offering, and is an all round certified banger, coming in at 5.4% this hoppy red ale punches classes above it’s weight.
Big chewy caramel malts take centre stage, with fresh mosaic hops providing dank herb, passionfruit, stone fruit and pine supporting. Incredibly well rounded and sessionable beer, that even your fussy Granddad will enjoy.
Price: $18 a 4 pack, 330ml cans
Availability: Independents, Liquor Barons outlets
Feral Brewing Co. - Watermelon Warhead
Feral have been consistently pushing the boundaries of the local scene since their inception in the early 2000’s, producing some of the hoppiest beers in the country, to huge imperial stouts and barrel fermented sours.
Watermelon Warhead is the ultimate session beer, a 2.9% blended Berliner weisse. Brewed with wheat and half a tonne of local watermelons. Fermented out with a microbe called Lactobacillus (a great Pro-biotic) then aged in chardonnay barrel for up to 12 weeks.
Brewer’s lovingly blend each batch to taste with fresher less soured beer to achieve balance.
This beer is the ultimate thirst quencher, refreshing, dry, sour with bright melon and plenty of wheat tang that should satisfy the wine drinker and beer geek alike.
Price: $12 pint
Availability: Seasonal tap only, available direct at the brewhouse in the Swan Valley, and selected craft bars.
3 Ravens - Juicy
Embrace the haze, don’t be put off by the colour, or the fact that this beer literally looks like a glass of pulpy orange juice. New England IPA is a new take on IPA that has been taking America by storm, though entirely in it’s infancy here in Australia.
Perth yeast wrangler, Brendan O’Sullivan of Melbourne’s 3 Ravens has produced a stellar interpretation of the style. Brewed with oats and a wheat/rye hybrid, double dry hopping and recirculating yeast to provide extra viscous particulate suspension in beer and big fruity phenols.
Juicy comes in at a cool 6% with low bitterness, low carbonation, with big juicy tropical driven hops and a creamy quenching body that you can crush down easy, Juicy!
Price: $8 a can, 375mls
Availability: Selected Independents, Some Liquor Barons outlets.
Feeling more confused? Relax, have a crafty. Craft beer is all about expanding your palate, making friends and feeling out your tastebuds.
Crack something new, pour it into a glass and talk about what you smell and taste, I promise you’ll drink better for it.
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