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The Hop Hog from Swan Valley brewer Feral has been named Australia’s best beer by a panel of brewers, beer writers, venue operators and retailers. It tops the list in the second edition of The Critic’s Choice: Australia’s Best Beers, the book released this weekend, knocking Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale down to number two. The top 12 have been counted down online over the past fortnight, with the book’s launch being celebrated at a series of events around the country tonight. It sees Feral joined twice by fellow WA brewery Little Creatures in the list, with Beechworth’s Bridge Road also appearing twice in a list starring breweries from four states.
“We just make beers that we like and have personal respect for so if other people also like them than that’s all very nice and helps us get beer out,” says Feral head brewer Brendan Varis (pictured – sort of – above), who is currently building a new 50 hectolitre brewery with Nail Brewing.
“The timing is very good as on Monday we have forty foot containers arriving to deliver our stainless steel.”
When they’ll be making beer off the new setup is up in the air as they wait for a gas meter from the local authorities, but he has confirmed that the brewhouse will be christened with Hop Hog. He also confirmed that a new lager will be following shortly afterwards. It’s a single hop beer made with Sorachi Ace that has been developed under the working name “983” for more than a year – a beer that could do for the hop what Knappstein’s Reserve Lager has done for the Kiwi Nelson Sauvin variety.
“We still don’t have a name for the beer,” admits Brendan, so if anyone’s got any ideas, feel free to send them over.
As for the remainder of the Critic’s Choice top dozen, they are:
Feral Hop Hog
Stone & Wood Pacific Ale
Little Creatures Pale Ale
Bridge Road Saison
Little Creatures Big Dipper
Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale
Knappstein Reserve Lager
Mountain Goat Hightail
Murray’s Angry Man Pale Ale
Bridge Road / NÃ¸gne Ã India Saison
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