G’day guys. Malt Liquor Mitch here this week with the site’s long awaited first beer post. A reason in itself to celebrate but this week following has been a biggie. Big changes to the site, a vlog going up, and posts to prewrite so I can go off and attend a course to put a trade under my belt with one hundred percent attention. Old work has ended, new work has kicked off, and my valued friends from my old job gave me a Dan Murphy’s gift voucher for my leaving present so I could afford to get a more expensive bottle I’ve been looking forward to blogging about for a while. You’ll see next week.
Every year in Australia, feral animals cause incalculable damage to the agriculture industry and native flora and fauna. Ever since English settlers introduced European animals into the continent, the problem has existed of individuals escaping into or being reproduced in the wild, if not deliberately released. Wild camels introduced from animals originating from northern Africa by early explorers to endure expeditions across the inhospitable Simpson Desert, that once they had fulfilled their purpose were then simply let free to roam the Red Centre ungoverned. Pigs, goats, cattle and all manner of other livestock that broke free or were so left to roam in the bush of their farmland unrestraint of man that they lost their domestication and lash out aggressively when they come into contact with man. House pets like cats or dogs that ran away or were dumped in bushland by negligent owners that ran wild and bring down livestock and native animals for fun. And other animals that were introduced that from the very beginning were intended to be released into bushland as game and became biological pests: foxes, rabbits, deer. Feral game, that are encouraged of the Australian hunter to harvest. Animals that can, will, and do cause damage to the bush when left unchecked. Every weekend tens of thousands of individuals will take to the bush to harvest game with all disciplines of weapons of choice. With hunting dogs and knives, with firearms, and with bows and arrows. My personal choice. The landholder is ridden of cropraiders and livestock killers, and the hunter takes possession of the resources granted of a downed animal. Deer are a widely-renown and coveted trophy animal around the world, and as such, exist as lesser a threat to the bush and exist in concentrated populations dotting the more nurturing areas of the Australian bushland. Foxes while too, are despised by farmers and landholders for destruction of poultry and other livestock, so too are a trophy. That boast beautiful furs. And then there’s the most frequently harvested quarry of all the feral game in Australia – the feral pig. Readily attacks and predates upon livestock and native animals and uproots crops and native plants. While the hide is tough and abrasive, boar boast tusks, both impressive and menacing, visible from afar with the naked eye. As well as the prospect that a pig of either gender is a vast treasure trove of meat. A full-grown boar can feed a family for weeks on end, a young sucker can easily fit inside your barbecue, as well as can be marinated beforehand. So now that my mouth is watering…let’s get on with this post.
We’re kicking off this, the site’s first ever beer post, on what must be the country’s most popular craft beer label – Feral beer. Feral Hop Hog Pale Ale, to be exact. And from the outside, if it’s taste is anything is like it’s appearance, we can expect a strong and brash character. Almost everybody knows the trademark blue boar beared upon the label adorned by every bottle and can under the Feral Brewing Co’s watch. And let’s not beat around the bush here, you buy a beer with an (as advertised) feral boar on it, you don’t expect any vegan-friendly, zero-calorie, low alcohol beer. You expect, nay, demand something heavy-bodied, brash, potent and robust. This is definitely reflected in the online blurb – “The nature of Feral is to cast domesticity aside and embrace the wild. To tear apart and destroy terrains and forge new environments for the benefit of the herd, and the continuation of our species. It is to be uncompromising, untamed, and downright unapologetic: a way of life born from raw, natural instincts and perfected by thousands of years of evolution.” I never once doubted their seriousness, I just didn’t expect it to be written by their mascot. But aside these affectionate and somewhat drunken-passionate metaphors, they say that they brew their beer “the old-fashioned way”, and that’s exactly the sort of thing I like to hear. If something can be done any way, I would choose it be done the traditional way. I’d like to know more about the method by which they craft their brew, but they have unfortunately scribbled it out. No, seriously. But asides from this, the Hop Hog pale ale boasts to have “farmloads of American hops”.
A somewhat more potent one and a half standard drinks per bottle, over most Australian pale ale’s utilitarian single standard drink. Mathematics explains why they’ve chosen to sell it in a four pack, but I’d still prefer a six pack. The cap, unfortunately was not a twist-off, so off to find a bottle opener I trot. Upon first opening, the nose is surprisingly fruity. Catching me off guard, expecting gruff and earthy aromas of hops and malt. I’m instead eased in more smoothly with noses of citrus, orange, and mango. Rising above, easing a light and downplayed note of pale ale. The taste, again, eases you in with a creamy head of kiwifruit, passionfruit, and citrus zest. But later intensifying into a hardier, a more, to be expected earthy flavour of oak, hops and malt.
To summarize: In full honesty; I don’t believe this ale deserves to be labelled feral. If you said feral, the word may conjure up images of flea-bitten mongrels and pestilent cropraiders. This beer comes off as hardy. But this is no feral, no farming pesk weekend cull. This is a trophy boar, this is your fully matured, elephant-neighboring ivory specimen. But once it opens up, is revealed to be the sweetheart it is in actuality. This beer is an easy hot day drinker. And with nothing but hot and hotter days coming up on the horizon, a pack or two of these is just what the doctor ordered. It’s hazardously easy to kick back with a pack of these. I could definitely see myself with a pack of these in air conditioning after a hard days work, or out on the coast aside a surf rod. I’ve seen plenty of people buy packs and packs of these, and it’s easy to see why people like these. I do too. And I look forward to trying all of the other ales in their range. Cheers