Wicked Elf Witbier

Prologue: Have you noticed anything about November on Tipples? Yes the spelling is better, and yes we have a snazzy new design (did you know those bottletops at top of the page are all from beers that have been reviewed on Tipples?). Other than all this the important thing about November is that it has been an all Aussie extravaganza.

So far this month we have reviewed 23 beers, all from the land down under but strangely we haven’t had a NSW based beer yet. Well time to right that wrong with a little beer from the Little Brewing company in Port Macquarie – the beer of choice, Wicked Elf Witbier.

Packaging: I have to say I like the label, it’s classic beery stuff, in fact it almost has a Germanic or Belgian feel to it. I also like the little wicked elf; that big nosed, big hat wearing, beer stealing scamp. Also kudos for continuing that logo on the bottletop, in my opinion not enough micro-breweries brand their bottletops. Surely personalised bottletops can’t add that much to the cost of packaging and it makes it much easier to spot your beer from above in an esky, which has got to be worth some sales.

Appearance: The label told me this was going to be cloudy. I would be expecting this for a witbier, but it wasn’t, it was almost as clear as a lager, with some nice trails of tiny bubbles streaming through it and a thick, creamy white head that laced wonderfully. Smell: Not surprising for a witbier it had a yeasty sourdough bread smell and maybe just a hint of orange peel.

Taste: A little on the disappointing side. I was drinking this solo, but as always Jord required ‘just a taste.’ I think she described it best when she said “There was a little of something there”, and then *snaps her fingers in a sassy way*, “gone”.

That little something is citrus, but it’s all very understated and it finishes very dry indeed. In

Conclusion: Refreshing, very quaffable, well suited to summer, but really just not that interesting. Probably wouldn’t seek this out again, but it was good enough to encourage me to explore the rest of their range a little more.

Ranking: Let’s have a schooner.

Long Bow Youtube Clip: All this talk of Aussieness makes me think of this, Adam Hill’s version of Advance Aussie Fair

Turning Feral

Today I’m going to tell you a tale of two beers from the Feral Brewing in WA. One is the darling of the beer wanker scene (and rightfully so), the other is a beer that can be picked up at any half decent Uncle Dan’s. One is a hop driven super beer which pushes the boundaries of the craft beer scene. The other is safe choice, an old world style beer. Can you guess which one is available in Uncy Dan’s Big Barn of Booze?

Let’s start with what, for most people will be the introduction to the Feral brand. Feral White. As I mentioned I picked up a bottle of this in my local Dan Murphy’s so I’m going to assume that it’s reasonably easy to get your hands on. It’s a Witbier, the educated amongst you will know that this is a olde world European style (mainly Belgian), and you’ll know that witbier means, wait for it, White Beer.

This beer pours a light yellow colour, hazy and with an orangey tinge, or maybe that was just my mind playing tricks on me given I could smell orange, mixed with a whole lot of wheat, like a pungent sourdough bread.

It had a very thin white head, but what head there was did stick around. There is also a hint of orange in the taste, along with a bit of a spicy overtone and again plenty of wheat. It’s a really good beer, very much on style. It’s not really a style I love, but I can appreciate that this is a good example of it. On personal preference I’d probably give it a schooner, but I’m willing to bump it up to a Pint, because I like what they have done, even if it wouldn’t be my first choice of beer.

What would be my first choice beer, anywhere, anytime and almost everytime would be the other end of the Feral range. The much harder to find Hop Hog. I’ve had it a number of times on Tap at The Courthouse in North Melbourne, and you’ll find it at most of the better pubs in the inner city of Melbourne.  

Whilst the White is an old European style. The Hop Hog is a new school American style IPA. American style of course meaning packed full of hops.

This is a stunningly good beer, sweet citrus, melon and pine hop note abound. It’s sweet on the lips as you start drinking then the subtle bitterness comes through with some passionfruit tones. It’s nowhere near as aggressively hopped as I thought it might be, or that the name and label would suggest. Rather it is a very well balanced beer and just so enjoyable. Full bodied and seriously good. Jug.

The Long Bow Youtube clip: Now I’m sure you were thinking how would I get something that is appropriate for Feral Hop Hog, I mean hogs aren’t generally the stuff of musical wonderment. But like many people you would have forgotten about the musical Big River (I might be one of about 7 people in Australia to have seen this). Anyway here is a song called ‘Hand for the Hog’ all about how good Hogs are, no mention of the beer though (And I’m not entirely convinced that this guy isn’t Streech from Saved by the bell)