Beer Advent Calendar – Day 19

Beer Advent Calendar – Day 19

What did I unwrap today?

Feral Hop Hog

American IPA, 5.8%

I have very fond memories of an afternoon spent with my mate Dave and Feral’s Marketing Manager, sitting on the deck at the Feral Brew pub in the Swan Valley with a sampling paddle of beers and some very tasty food…just working our way through both in the WA sun!

These guys have been smashing it in recent years, despite the logistical and time difference challenges that present Brewers on the Left Coast. If you are a follower of the Aus Craft Beer Hottest 100, you will know their name and I expect you have tried one, or many, of their beers!

Feral began operation in 2002, with a view to produce brews that were “a little on the wild side”. Since then they have been refining a core range of beers and have produced some weird and wonderful’s for the craft beer nerds to sink their teeth into. They have brewed everything from the Barrique Okarma oak fermented Black IPA to the Watermelon Warhead Beliner Weisse, and everything else in between!

In the current climate of big breweries buying up smaller craft breweries, could these guys be a target for one of the big fellas? Could they go the way of the home-town rival, Little Creatures, and cash in? Hopefully for the craft beer loving public, this won’t be he case…but you never know!

My thoughts on the  beer

Awards for this brewery have been coming thick and fast, especially with this beer. It was #1 on the Hottest 100 the past 3 years, as voted by the people, and has won multiple awards at the Australian International Beer Awards. So when you pick up a bottle of this little beauty, please treat it with the respect that it deserves, and pour it into a nice glass so that you get the full experience.

I was pretty pumped to unwrap the Hog today, as it has been quite a while since I tasted the beer. I remember it being great,last time, and it was not going to disappoint me this time.

Pouring a golden, perhaps burnt orange, colour with a nice creamy head in my IPA glass…it certainly looked inviting. The aroma was as good as I remembered…loads of citrus and stone fruit with a bit of piney spice…I was pretty keen to go back for subsequent deep breaths.

I was sitting on the coach in the afternoon sun, I must have been in my own beer-haven and paying no attention to the outside work as I inhaled and held the beer up to the sun streaming through my windows. My daughter was screaming at me to answer her question, I didn’t hear a thing. In the end she hit my leg and jolted me back to reality. “Daddy, why won’t you listen to me, and you have to a weird grin on your face”…yep I was in my happy place!

The taste of this beer is like a finely balanced thing that balances finely (I dunno?), beautiful malt backbone with overtones of pine and spice, rolled in with some citrus and fruit. A sensational bitter finish lingers nicely on the palate, making you go back for more.

Get around this beer!

What food would go with this beer

Thinking back to my afternoon in the sun at the Feral Brewpub, I would like to pair this beer with some outside food, fresh off the bbq. I was thinking maybe a nice bratwurst sausage with some caramelisation of the meat to pair up with the sweetness of the malts and let all those juicy flavours shine through, then the hops to cleanse the palate ready for another mouthful!

See you tomorrow for the next beer in my Advent Calendar. To see my other Advent Calendar beer reviews, click here. Feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment, or you can share my posts and photos on facebook, twitter, or instagram!

Oh, and if you didn’t catch my Video Beer Review Debut, check it out here!

Cheers to Xmas Beers!

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