After sharing – and enjoying – a bottle of their Feijoa Farmhouse at the weekend, I had a text conversation with Andrew, the Son in Fury & Son, during which I pointed out: "Who'd have thought you and your dad would be responsible for putting out beers like this when we first met!"
"Haha, certainly not us!" was the reply. "It's been a long road but glad we took it."
While they've been increasing the rate and diversity of their limited releases for some time now, and have put out other beers from their barrel program, Feijoa Farmhouse feels like a push into new territory for the team at Keilor Park. The liquid was put into barrels in 2020, well before this summer when feijoa seems to have become something of the sour ale fruit du jour, giving the Brettanomyces plenty of time to go to work. Thus you'll pick up much in the way of sweet acidity tantalising your taste buds. It’s a toss up for me whether the fruit aroma is dominated by the feijoa or the impact of the Brett and barrel; either way, it’s backed up by a quenching acidity, a little oak, and reminiscences of the chardonnay that once lived in the barrel.
Apparently, the beer was a passion project from one of the guys on the brew team during COVID, hence appearing in large bottles – "the culmination of good decisions during bad times" – and certainly you'll enjoy sipping the fruits of his labour from a goblet. That said, I couldn't help wondering what it would be like whipped through a cream-topped summer dessert, or to flavour a gelato...
Its companion piece, Nectarine Farmhouse, has also been aged in ex-chardonnay barrels with Brett, although has been given rather more straightforward presentation in cans. There's an intensity to the fruity sweetness, which has presumably been enhanced by the activity in the barrels, activity that lends the beer a spritziness, a lively acidity, and a gentle whiff of funk. As a result, it presents far lighter than its weight would suggest, drinking with the refreshingness of something rather quicker to produce. It's retained so much of its nectarine character – in the colour too – that it's juicier than its big bottle brethren, making for an interesting companion piece.
- Barrel-Aged Brett Farmhouse Ales
- 6.7% & 7.1%