The recently-married Will Irving has waved goodbye to another of his babies as Feral Brewing Co adds another core-range can to its growing family.
Biggie Juice, created as a one-off brew in a collaboration with Melbourne’s Royston Hotel for Good Beer Week in 2017, has taken on a life of its own to warrant a new approach from the WA brewery.
The East Coast India Pale Ale – or NEIPA if you prefer – had been a spasmodic release since it burst on to the market but its popularity has forced Feral to add the beer to its core group, move it to its main production brewery in Perth’s eastern suburbs and put it in aluminium after starting its existence as a bottled product.
Irving had been brewing Biggie Juice from Feral’s micro-brewery in the Swan Valley. All off the company’s successful brews have originated here but not all graduate to be part of the main team.
“I’ve got to see off another beer,” Irving proudly told Brews News. “It is always satisfying to see a brew that originated from the brewhouse go to Bassendean and into the core range.
“It has taken a bit of care to go from the Valley to the bigger production house. We have had to increase the dry-hopping, one of the few times we have had to go that way when upscaling a brew, to maintain the taste of what we have been doing in the brewhouse.
“But the move has freed up most of the space in our small brewery and will allow me to try a few more things with a few fermenters now free.”
Irving added the move to cans was reflective of consumer demand.
“It is mind-boggling how quickly the growth of cans has become,” he said.
Biggie Juice (6.0%) emerged during the juicy haze craze two years ago and it proved initially to be a difficult assignment for the Feral crew.
While the East Coast IPAs had gained traction in the US, and prompted great interest on Australian shores, it was difficult at the time or Biggie Juice’s birth to fully study the emerging style.
“We didn’t get our hands on many fresh samples to understand what made them work,” Irving said. “No-one was making them locally.
“So we flew a bit blind. But it was a bit like Hop Hog. It was one and done. It worked first time and we haven’t had to do too much to it since the first batch.”
The move to cans has also prompted an identity change for Biggie Juice, which was something of a tribute to rapper Biggie Smalls.
But the late lyric twister won’t be appearing on the new label due to copyright concerns. The can’s appearance has been redesigned by local artist Dipesh Prasad, who has brought the wild boar, synonymous with the Feral brand, on to display.
Biggie Juice will be available around the country from March 22.
Meanwhile, Feral is believed to be producing a new lager for Eastern States release next month.
Some Perth venues are giving consumers a sneak peek at Feral Draught at the weekend.
The new brew is seen as a compliment for Perth Local, which Feral designed to be a beer only available in WA. But some venues have sought an easy drinker beer from the craft brewery, prompting the new release.