Feral Brewing Company

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152 Haddrill Rd, Baskerville
Phone: (08) 9296 4657

Microseconds away from Perth

Ramble past the earthmoving equipment hire joints and their bearded men, past the duck-dappled waterways of Guildford, cringe through the brown mansions of brick and columns until you burst into Perth’s brightening gem – the Swan Valley. Just 20 minutes from the city centre sits a burgeoning epicurean epicentre of wineries, breweries, cheeses and all those other things that make us smile.
Our short drive ended at the Feral Brewery in Baskerville, a rustic though somewhat funky micro-brewery that is making a name for itself for daring, flavour-filled beers. Brendan Varis, Feral’s master-brewer, was our host for the day and within microseconds we discovered his profound lust for anything to do with beer.
He explained to me that Feral’s philosophy is bold: that true excellence requires risk; thus the decision was made that their recipes would be adventurous, daring, and untamed. If the masses with their shepherd’s pie palates didn’t understand it, so be it.
Brendan brought us a few tasting racks containing all six of their brews – an organic pilsner, a Belgian white, and a Belgian Abbey-styled ale amongst them. The organic pilsner pleased with a definitive Czech crispness and far more character and ambition than the majority of Pilsners around. The Feral White thankfully lacked the candy cane aftertaste that has beset this style and delivered all the citrus and floral notes inherent in good whites. In fact, each beer was as diverse from the others as it was fantastic. It is a pity that only the Feral White can be bought in bottle shops.
Feral’s beer is flawless and well suited for food. To this end, they have recruited a chef from one of Perth’s most celebrated upmarket restaurants to make sure that the food exceeds pub-fare. We began with pork skewers on a salad of mixed leaves, pear, walnuts and mint. Whilst this dish was uncomplicated, it was a definite step above pub food and provided a solid counterpoint to each type of beer in the tasting rack.

A sirloin steak topped with a salsa verde and a watercress salad came next. Again, this unfussy food easily managed everything asked of it and a little more. The Abbey-style ale they call Rust and their American-style Pale Ale shone in the company of the steak. Who can complain about good steak and beer?
We also chose a mixed sausage stack of bratwurst, salcicca and an assortment of other undisclosed morsels. This kind of dish is not an ‘every-day’ food; not as it is against the advice of diligent dietitians, but rather because it could lead to over-happiness. European sausages and beer is every red-blooded man’s dream meal.

My company held off the drinks because of the drive home so I picked up a six-pack of the White. Contented, I nestled into the seat of dreamy drifting and let the roadside grape vines blur past. With my stomach nicely plumped with extraordinary beer and wholesome food, I asked myself why I hadn’t visited the Swan Valley more often. No doubt, I’ll be sure to be back at Feral Brewery very soon.

Feral has been featured in the Masters of Menu Recipe Book – for more information please click here.

By Andrew Mendelawitz


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