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TRUE BREW: WA craft kings Feral and Nail celebrate 10 years of BrewCorp with new collab beer Nailraiser VJA

Nailraiser VJA is described as the “love child” of Feral and Nail’s best-selling beers, Biggie Juice and VPA, but it’s more of a love monster.

Unleashed to mark the 10th anniversary of BrewCorp — the shared brewery best mates, Feral founder Brendan Varis and Nail legend John Stallwood launched in 2012 — the Very Juice Ale is somehow greater than the sum of its parts.

Camera IconFeral co-founder Brendan Varis and Nail Brewing legend John Stallwood. Credit: Jessica Ferguson

Featuring eye-popping and frankly intimidating artwork from local designers Peche and Zendoke (another collaboration!), Nailraiser is a dense, hop-driven hazy India pale ale landing at a massive 7.5 per cent.

Feral co-founder Brendan Varis and Nail Brewing legend John Stallwood back in the day.
Camera IconFeral co-founder Brendan Varis and Nail Brewing legend John Stallwood back in the day. Credit: Supplied

El Dorado hops punch out pineapple, watermelon and citrus aromas before bright tropical flavors, sturdy bitterness (IBU 45, if that matters to you) and thick mouthfeel make this a very biggie IPA.

The craft brewing scene in WA is virtually unrecognizable to the one where Varis and Stallwood launched BrewCorp with a handshake deal.

Coca-Cola bought Feral in October 2017, in the process absorbing Nail’s 25 per cent share of the Bassendean brewery. Since then Varis has stepped away from Feral, and Feral stepped away from its Swan Valley brewpub.

Both breweries remain fixtures in pubs and bottle shops across Perth, and Nailraiser again proves that the core of both Feral and Nail is making great beer.

After launching at Dutch Trade Co. on August 12, VJA hits the market on August 15 and will be pouring at Froth Town at Claremont Showground on August 19 and 20.

National Hotel owner Karl Bullers pours a Swan Draught.
Camera IconNational Hotel owner Karl Bullers pours a Swan Draught. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

THE GREAT SWAN DRAFT

The news that Lion was shifting production of Swan Draught kegs back to WA for the first time since 2013 to avoid pandemic-related supply chain disruptions was good news for the local brewing industry.

WA was lucky that the Swan Brewery’s closure didn’t cause the “brain drain” that has apparently occurred in South Australia since West End rolled out its last kegs last year.

In fact, we could have an explosion of fresh talent with Lion looking for brewers and production operators to work at Little Creatures and ramp up production of Swan Draught to meet local demand. Think of it as a draft.

Garage Project and Trillium teamed up for Sunrise Valley Hazy IPA.
Camera IconGarage Project and Trillium teamed up for Sunrise Valley Hazy IPA. Credit: Supplied

GARAGE PROJECT SUNRISE VALLEY

This hazy IPA was initially brewed in Canton, Massachusetts with Trillium Brewing Company.

From North America’s east coast to New Zealand’s north island, Wellington’s Garage Project have continued the Home and Away series with an impenetrably cloudy 8 per cent double dry-hopped, double IPA that is a juice smoothie in beer form.

Trillium and Garage Project used a radical hop-free boil before a massive dry hop with Kiwi varieties Nelson Sauvin and Rakau. Ridiculous, and ridiculously delicious. 96/100

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