Sometimes, rekindling the passion with an old flame is ok. I’m talking about your first beer crush of course, a beer above all others that got your heart racing and licking your lips in anticipation of your next dalliance. But then new beers came out, tempting you to try something new. You take your eyes off the beer you know and love and think that maybe there’s better ones out there.
In reality, you may be right to think that. The Australian craft beer scene is constantly evolving with breweries challenging their customers’ palates and each other with weird and wonderful brews. But as much as things change, some things stay the same. Over the Christmas break, a mate offered me a Hop Hog and I instantly fell in love all over again.
Feral Hop Hog IPA is one of the best, if not THE best, Australian produced India Pale Ale on the market, becoming a permanent part of beer geek culture featuring in Good Beer Week’s “Sh*t Beer Geeks Say” – “Hop Hog is AWESOME!” It has been voted the best beer in Australia according to the annual Local Taphouse’s Australia Day Hottest 100 poll for 2012 and 2013. By the time this issue goes to print, I suspect we may see a similar result for 2014.
Josh Hodges, Victoria’s Feral Sales Rep, has a theory about why Hop Hog has entrenched itself into the hearts and minds of crafty Australians, “It’s all about balance. I’ve tried my fair share of IPA’s and it’s almost like people are trying to ‘out-hop’ each other these days, paying no respect to the other delightful ingredients in beer.”
For the few that haven’t tried Hop Hog before, expect an amazing floral, piney aroma with a nice level of bitterness thanks to the generous American hop addition and smooth, slightly sweet malt character. Thankfully, Hop Hog is easily found on tap at good beer venues around Melbourne and regional Victoria and available at almost every good bottle shop. Here’s cheers to Brendan and the rest of his Feral’s over in WA!
I still love you.