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Hop on to Feral s Hog
Luke Panizza and Brendan Varis at their Bayswater premises. Picture: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

It's brewed in Bassendean and it's been judged Australia's best beer.

Feral Hop Hog scored 97 out of 100 and none of the more than 170 other beers presented could match its fragrant, fruity, bitter pale ale's sheer satisfaction.

Asked what made it such a winner, the brewery's Brendan Varis said: "We work to a particular flavour profile."

As a World Beer Cup judge in 2008, he was "blown away" by American pale ales and set about brewing one to his own vision. Hop Hog has been blowing away judges and drinkers ever since, helping Feral Brewing to the Australian champion medium brewery title.

"The recipe's no secret. The current Hop Hog has cascade, centennial and amarillo hops from America's 2013 harvest," Mr Varis said at Brewcorp, the brewhouse Feral shares with Nail Brewing. The secret was "not so much what's in the beer as how we apply it".

"We" is Mr Varis, former Australian young brewer of the year Will Irving and Luke Panizza. Mr Varis is not head brewer. "We're all brewers," he said, though they brewed "my way".

"Will is brilliant, experimenting at the original Baskerville brewery with oak-aged brews. I'm training Luke the same way."

Vic Crossland

The West Australian

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