The West

When Will Irving was 18 and knocking back pints at the Feral Brewery, little did he know that his passion for beer would soon turn into a career as an award-winning brewer.

Last night at the Beer and Brewer Awards in Sydney, Mr Irving, 27, was crowned Young Australian Brewer of the Year for his work at the Feral Brewing Company.

The Swan Valley brewery also won Best Australia Beer for its Hop Hog.

Mr Irving said he started off stacking boxes at a local bottle shop when he was just 14 and continued to grow into the beer profession.

"When I turned 18, Feral Brewery was our local for Sunday sessions, so I just got to know everyone out there and tried to get work experience which didn't eventuate until Brendan (Varis) bought the company and I became his sales rep," he said.

"Secretly I wanted to get into brewing when I started at the company."

Mr Varis noticed Mr Irving's talent and decided to teach him how to brew just months after beginning in sales, leaving Mr Irving in charge of the brewery when he went to the US.

Mr Irving's long-term goal is to open his own brewery. He is currently on a distance study course for a brewing qualification.

The West Australian

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