No... the Will Feral thing is not lost on us. It's too good. As are the beers. We spent an afternoon chatting to Will about all things Feral, and condensed it down to a short 5 minute read. Want to know how the Coca-Cola Amatil takeover has affected things at the brewery (or not?), or how about any small batch special projects they've got in the mix? We get the low-down. You're welcome
Let us take you back in time to an age of beer commercials saturating TV and Bryan Adams at #1 in the charts. Bob Hawke was fighting off another attempt at the Leadership by Keating while skulling another yard of ale and the hottest day on record was hit in Perth. We're revisiting the year marking the birth of our group and exploring what our industry looked like during this truly epic era.
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.
Want to hear more from Beau...?
Think you know your brews? Think again....
Ale of a Time
This blog is seriously cool. It covers off craft beer related articles, reviews, press-releases, podcasts and more. Should you find yourself wanting a break from beer (why would you), there is a nifty "not beer" tab that has everything from album reviews (not a Kanye fan), recipes, weekend music... epic. Get around it.
You can follow Ale Of A Time on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, Podcast and Ello.
The Crafty Pint
The Crafty Pint - a well known favourite among beer geeks, and for good reason. Featuring a wide array of reliable, well-written and often referred to reviews, there's plenty to like here. A must-follow on FB, Insta, Twitter, Vimeo & Flickr.
"The Crafty Pint is an independent online magazine and resource for anyone interested in craft beer in Australia. We bring an honest, old-fashioned journalistic approach to beer's brave new world, telling stories because they're worth telling not because someone is paying us to write them.
Like many of the people who have changed the face of beer in Australia, we believe in authenticity, integrity, enjoyment and love. We hope to play a role in helping good beer, brewed by good people, find its way into the hands of more drinkers.
The Crafty Pint – Putting Class In Your Glass Since 2010"
girl + beer
Previously featured as a GUEST BLOGGER here, Girl + Beer is a local Perth girl who is inextricably linked to the Perth craft beer scene. Knowledgable, passionate, well traveled and a girl to boot. You can follow her on FB, Insta and Twitter.
"I love beer. Beer is about flavour and story. There's a great story behind every beer and every brewery; whether it's the history of a beer style or an unexpected ingredient or the brewer themselves. The result of these stories are beers that range from light and delicate to absolutely the opposite and all are potentially your next favourite beer."
Beer Advocate is an American beer blog (founded in Boston, 1996) and takes a bigger, slicker approach to the craft beer scene. We like it because it features everything from basic beer 101's, interviews with top US craft brewers, interesting insights into the American craft beer scene, all the way through to quirky recipes featuring brew ingredients: hopped strawberry shortcake with witbier curd anyone? You can follow these guys in print, and on every digital platform from FB, Insta, Twitter, YouTube and email.
Beer & Brewer
Beer & Brewer is a stalwart craft beer and home brew mag that has expanded to FB, Insta and Twitter. This is a really reliable resource due to the well-researched articles, wide ranging topics that they cover, and we love both the Home Brew tab, and the Food & Travel. Because after all, craft beer allows us to travel via the fridge... but nothing beats a new brew in a new place...
Don't miss the 'Fun Stuff' tab - it covers all kind of unexpected topics like the opening of a Beer Hotel (yas plz), Pis in a Bottle, Craft Beer & Curry matching, share a Pint with Mick Fanning, and more.
This guy is a Sydney local, and while it won't help our WA readers, we love his passion, opinions (essential in a writer), perspectives and general magnanimity.
"There is no snobbery here. Plenty of geekiness, but no snobbery. You will find reviews of beers here but please go and try them yourself. There will rarely be bad reviews, it’s more in keeping with craft culture to forgive mistakes and celebrate success." - Tim Hodge, writer/owner Sydney Beer blog
Follow Sydney Beer on FB, Insta, Twitter, RSS and via email.
...on beer and cheese matching
If it weren’t for the whole no-talking-thing, I would bet good money that I was a reincarnation of a Belgian monk from centuries ago, happily, albeit silently, in the monastery making beer and cheese.
Beer and cheese have a long history together and not just with the dutiful Belgian monks of old but over the sea to England where a traditional Ploughman’s lunch may consist of bread, pickles, ham and, of course, some cheese and a beer.
The main reason I love beer and cheese together is the sheer diversity of flavour available in each of them and it’s why they make such a fantastic couple. You can get cheese that’s delicate and soft all the way through to some huge blue cheese so stinky in flavour you’re not sure if you should put it in your fridge with the other food. Same goes for beer, you can get a beer that’s light and crisp and you can also find a beer that is the boldest of the bold. With such a wide spectrum of flavour it’s no wonder you’d be hard pressed to find a beer that couldn’t be paired with a cheese or vice versa.
You might be reading this and thinking, ‘hey, what about wine?’ and I’d say to you just one word - ‘bubbles’.
The magic of carbonation gives beer the upper hand when it comes to pairing with cheese over wine. Those wonderfully rich, fatty, thick, tongue coating cheeses are lifted off your palate by the bubbles in beer, allowing the pairing to shine together, to really work together. Poor old wine just can’t do that.
There are almost no rules when it comes to pairing beer and cheese and you don’t have to be a Masterchef winner to put together a wonderful combination at home. Find a nice place to buy cheese, it might even be your local IGA, and a good bottle shop and you’re most of the way there. The only guideline I’d recommend are to consider intensity by pairing big bold beers with big bold cheeses and the more delicate subtle beers with delicate cheeses.
Somewhere to start ...
Reypenaer VSOP with something bold and hoppy, such as an amber ale or IPA
The Reypenaer is a traditional gouda from the Netherlands aged for over two years, the result is an intensely flavoured cheese that I find caramelly, buttery, salty and a little nutty with sharp fruity notes. A well hopped amber ale or IPA will have a great complement of hop character with the fruity zing in the cheese whilst the caramel and buttery notes should highlight the sweeter malt character in the beer.
Meredith Chevre with something more delicate such as a kolsch
This is one of my long go-to beer and cheese pairings that showcase the brightness and zest I get from both a chevre and a kolsch. The Meredith Chevre is an Australian goat’s milk cheese with a beautiful tanginess and fruitiness that,when paired with a Kolsch, seems to emphasise the bright citrusy Kolsch flavours whilst also coaxing out the light grainy malt sweetness.
Want to keep up with girl + beer? Follow her here, and don't miss a drop
You’re going to buy your mum that same old awful present that you bought her last year, and the year before that? The woman who gave you life. Cooked for you. Cleaned up after you (OK not all mum’s did the cooking and cleaning – mine made us do it). But you get the gist.
NO. This year you will get her something that she really needs. Like a bottle of Champagne. Or Chardonnay. Or Shiraz. Or maybe she’s a Scotch lass. Or Gin?
Whatever it is, your local Liquor Barons store has you covered. So this year – plan ahead. Buy her something BEFORE Sunday morning. Cook her dinner. Tell her you love her. Life is short.
What better way to celebrate Aussie Day than with a tinnie of one of Australia's Classic beers? Here's our Top 5 Occa Aussie Drops to quench that 'well-earned' thirst this Thursday!
1) Emu Export
Well you wouldn't expect us to opt for any other than the famous Export. A cult classic that is fast becoming WA's biggest selling beer. Could this be our most famous export? Forget Iron Ore, it's Emu for us all the way!
2) Victoria Bitter
The King of the Sports Bar - retro up your drinking with the stubbie - or go classic with the tinnie - nothing says Australian Beer quite like a can of VB out of the esky for 'a hard earned thirst.'
3) XXXX Gold
It might be from Queensland, but XXXX has been a staple of the Aussie Man's diet since 1924 - definitely best out of a cold can, while manfully turning your snags.
4) Carlton Draught
Are there many bars in Australia that don't pour Carlton Draught? The ultimate in dinky-di Aussie drinking.
5) Swan Draught
Arguably WA's ridgy-didge beer and enjoying a resurgence from those who love a bit of nostalgia in old school bottle format.