On Friday the 13th of April I visited The Beer Farm in Metricup, near Margaret River, Western Australia. This brewery was started two years ago on a dairy farm, using the old dairy buildings as the brewery and bar area. The brewery consists of a two vessel brewhouse and fermentation tanks to allow a maximum capacity of about a million litres a year at present. However, two new fermentation tanks have just been added and there are plans for more. They also have their own canning line.
Along with their core range of beers this brewery likes to make specialty brews using native ingredients. In the past they have made a Strawberry Gum Stout, a Saltbush Barley Wine and a Sandalwood and Quondong Beer. Their latest release is a Native Australian IPA, or a NAIPA, using sunrise limes and blood limes. While I was there they were in the process of putting down a collaboration brew with Rocky Ridge Brewery that will be a Sour Milk Stout that uses rhubarb in the brew.
The beers that I sampled were:
1. Calm Your Farm, 3.6% abv, this is a mid strength beer with a hazy golden colour and a malt aroma. It has an initial taste of malt before a mild bitterness on a crisp dry finish.
2. West Coast Lager, 4.6% abv, this has a golden colour and a sweet malt aroma. It has a light, sweet malt taste. An easy drinking lager.
3. Brown Ale, 4.4% abv, this has an amber brown colour and a sweet caramel aroma. It has flavours of toffee and caramel on a mild bitter finish.
4. Western Cider, 4.8% abv, this has a cloudy appearance and a strong green apple aroma. It has an initial flavour of sweet apples on a dry finish. The apples for this unfiltered brew come from Manjimup.
5. India Pale Ale, 5.6% abv, this has a golden colour and a strong, sweet, fruity aroma. It has a nice fruity taste on a generous, lingering hop bitter finish.
6. Pineapple Sour, 4.2% abv, this has a cloudy appearance and a pineapple fruit aroma. It has an initial sweet fruity taste and then a gentle pineapple sour zing finish. Refreshing.
7. India Pale Lager, 5.2% abv, this has a clear straw colour and is the breweries flagship beer, the aroma is of stone fruit. It has an unusual, sweet fruity taste that moves into a good bitterness on a crisp finish.
8. Australian Bitter, 4.2% abv, this has a hazy golden colour and a fruity aroma. It has a sweet malt taste on a mild bitter finish.
9. Native Australian India Pale Ale or NAIPA, 6.5% abv, this is an Australian take on a NEIPA using native limes and local hops. The colour is a hazy orange and it has a spicy citrus lime aroma. It has a lime zing taste with a gentle bitterness on a slightly tart finish. Unusual but very enjoyable.
The core range of beers from The Beer Farm are all very easy drinking and very well made. Their specialty beers using native ingredients are interesting and a little more suited to the craft beer drinkers looking for something different. The venue is great with a large bar area and beer garden. They have food available to help soak up the beer. They also host interesting events including their annual Rodeo Weekend which happens at the end of April this year.
I would like to thank Miles, a brewer, who took time out from the collaboration brew to talk with me.