Bridge Road

Budding young winemaker Ben Kraus headed to Italy at the start of the Millennium to learn more about the art of making wine. Somewhere along the way, he got distracted on the ski slopes of Austria and ended up working at Tiroler Bier, a traditional microbrewery in Innsbruck, and returned to Australia a brewer, steeped in the traditions of the amber nectar.

Founding Bridge Road Brewers in his dad's Beechworth backyard, he quickly established himself as one of Australia's finest craft brewers and later installed his brewery at the High Country town's old Coach House and Stables. There, visitors can sit among wooden clad tanks sampling a wide range of beers (and occasionally cider) while watching the brewers at work.

Ben didn't just bring brewing skills back from Europe, however, he brought his Austrian partner Maria, who bakes the best pretzels this side of Munich ' perfect for soaking up your beer.

An everpresent at the High Country's festivals, Bridge Road Brewers also hosts regular events of its own, from lederhosen-laden Oktoberfests to slot car racing with a track that weaves around the tanks. In late 2009, Ben began expanding into the neighbouring warehouse and entered the international export market in a bid to fly the Aussie craft beer flag overseas. It's an expansion that seems to be never-ending, with a new brewhouse installed in 2012 to help him keep up with growing demand.

Always on the lookout for new ways to brew and to spread the word about craft beer, Ben's been at the forefront of Aussie brewers taking part in collaborations, flying to Norway to brew with Nøgne �, then welcoming the brewer Kjetil Jikiun back to Beechworth, sending one of his brewers to brew at the UK's Thornbridge and also collaborating with Mikkeller. In 2012, he also began inviting staff from Australia's top beer bars to concoct their own beer ideas and bringing them to the brewery to help make them. All in all, it's fair to say he keeps himself busy.

Name
Bridge Road
Address

Old Coach House
Ford Street
Beechworth VIC 3747

Phone
(03) 5728 2703
Website
Website
Hours

Mon and Wed: 11am to 4pm Thurs and Fri: 11am to 5pm Sat: 11am to 6pm Sun: 11am to 8pm

Tours

By appointment

The Regulars

Bridge Road Golden Ale

While, even by modern standards, Ben Kraus from Bridge Road Brewers releases heaps of one-off and seasonal beers, for the most part his core range has remained the same for a few years, the odd tweaked recipe notwithstanding. Yet with the release of this Golden Ale, the core range is altering. Out goes his first ever beer, the Australian Ale (which will remain as a seasonal release) and in comes a new session beer. It's a gleaming bright golden affair with a light fluffy head from which candied lemon give ways to floral, grassy and peachy aromas from its Aussie hops. There's some sweet malt and a soft bitterness rounding out what is a seriously sessionable ale that's liable to get a pounding in the warmer months. ··· Read more
Style
Golden Ale
Strength
4.4%

Bridge Road Chevalier Dunkel Hefeweizen

Having traced his family roots back to Germany, it was only right that Ben Kraus should create some of its beer styles. This one, from the southern state of Bavaria, has enjoyed a renaissance in its homeland in recent years with young Germans discovering a taste for its full aroma and flavour. With big wafts of clove and banana on the nose paving the way for a rich, roasted choc-banana flavour followed by a lingering roast bitterness. The beer underwent a reinvention in 2012 when Ben introduced a new recipe, beefing up the colour and malt character. ··· Read more
Style
Dunkel Hefeweizen
Strength
5.2%

Bridge Road Chevalier Biere De Garde

Another take on a fairly rare European style, this is comfortably the biggest beer in the Bridge Road range, other than occasional specials. Loosely based on a traditional French / Belgian farmhouse ale, it contains spices that bounce off the hefty malt backbone to create a dried fruit aroma with hints of star anise and clove, all in combination with fruity esters from the yeast strain. A complex beer that shows its full range as it warms, it's a good match for game dishes and desserts. ··· Read more
Style
Biere De Garde
Strength
7.5%

Bridge Road Robust Porter

A delicious combination of mocha and chocolate flavours and aromas make Bridge Road's Robust Porter a great beer for the colder months ' or as an accompaniment to sweet desserts. It's big without being heavy and, if you're feeling brave, the brewer recommends trying it with freshly shucked oysters. ··· Read more
Style
Robust Porter
Strength
5.2%

Bridge Road Chestnut Pilsner

An experimental batch of lager featuring chestnuts grown locally to the brewery in 2009 proved successful enough for a new variant to return a year later as a permanent fixture on the Bridge Road lineup in 2010, this time as the Chestnut Pilsner. Clean and crisp, in part thanks to the Galaxy hops also grown locally in the Ovens Valley but also the three months this beer spends conditioning before release, it's a traditional beer style given a subtle nutty twist. ··· Read more
Style
Pilsner

Bridge Road Chevalier Saison

A superb recreation of the classic Belgian farmhouse style, this captures all of the delicate spices and fruit essences you would want in a Saison and was deservedly shortlisted for Best Victorian Beer at the 2010 Australian International Beer Awards. Its part citrusy, part spicy aroma comes from the particular yeast strain used as well as the addition of different fruits, including - on occasion - locally farmed quince. Fantastically refreshing and with a tart, dry finish, it's great with a wide range of foods ' even breakfast! ··· Read more
Style
Saison
Strength
6%

Bridge Road Bling IPA

A big, brash number crammed full of modified malts and hops in Bridge Road's recreation of the classic British style. It pours a hearty, rich brown and immediately assaults the senses with its powerful aroma. By going big with both malt and hops, it retains its balance and is a great accompaniment to spicy foods. ··· Read more
Style
India Pale Ale
Strength
5.8%

Bridge Road Beechworth Pale Ale

A fine example of the modern Australian take on Pale Ales. Inspired by the hoppier variations to come out of the States, it's big on piney, citrusy hops that give it an enticing floral aroma and contribute to a gently lingering bitter finish. Bridge Road's benchmark beer, it's a good match for spicy or oily dishes. ··· Read more
Style
Pale Ale
Strength
4.8%

Bridge Road Celtic Red Ale

Originally brewed as a one-off for Beechworth's annual Celtic Festival, it proved such a hit Ben had no choice but to make it a year round addition to his range. This rich, deep red ale in the Celtic tradition has a powerful malt body displaying both roasted and toffee characteristics with a hint of nuttiness. It's topped off with minimal bitterness from noble hop varieties. ··· Read more
Style
Celtic Ale
Strength
5.3%

The Specials

Bridge Road Brewers B2 Bomber Mach 4.0

One of Bridge Road's most popular annual releases is back in its fourth incarnation. The B2 Bomber first took to the skies to mark the brewery's birthday back in 2010. Ever since then (barring one exception) it has been the birthday brew, evolving (well, being beefed up is probably more accurate) each year. It's a melding of styles that takes in black IPA and Belgium, with the former meaning plenty of dark malts and punchy hops, the latter providing a fruity, herbal yeast character. Last year saw the hopping regime stepped up significantly, allowing the hops to take centre stage - a distinctly resinous centre stage - for the first time. This time around, the brewers upped the hops again - and the malt - and the result is probably the version that integrates all the various elements best, even at this early stage. The hops lead off, but are matched every step of the way by sumptuous chocolate and slightly roasty malt flavours. The Belgian characteristics seem subdued by comparison, but presumably ··· Read more
Style
Belgian Black IPA
Strength
8.6%
Stockists

Bottles:

Grape and Grain Morrabbin

Olinda Cellars

Slowbeer

Barny's

Beer Cartel

The Park Hotel

Kegs:

More stockists...

Released August 8 2014

Bridge Road One Autumn Sunday Morning Somewhere Three Hours North of Melbourne / Fat Man Red Suit

It's just as well there's no self-imposed, Twitter-like character limit at Crafty Towers. If there was, we'd pretty much have exhausted it with just the names of two new limited releases from Bridge Road. One, which left the brewery late June, was given the dubious honour by Bridge Road's senior brewer Steve of "the worst beer name ever". Said name is One Autumn Sunday Morning Somewhere Three Hours North of Melbourne and the beer is the collaboration with Leo from Birra del Borgo and Tobias from To-Ã?l brewed on the opening weekend of Good Beer Week. It's a "black session IPA" and, says Bridge Road founder Ben Kraus: "Session IPA seems to be the flavour of the month ... and there's plenty of talk/argument about whether or not it is really a legitimate style. We thought it'd be a good idea to add fuel to the fire and make a black one." The hop bill is comprised of odds and ends lying around the brewery that were plucked from by Tobias and Leo over breakfast. Also out now and bearing a similarly ··· Read more
Style
Black Session IPA / India Red Ale
Strength
Various
Stockists

Barny's

Attica

The Park Hotel

The Wheaty

Grain Store

More to follow

Released July 7 2014

Bridge Road Brewers IPA Pack

Bridge Road Brewers continue their ongoing mission to educate the world about all things hops with a new partnership that has been struck up with glassware manufacturer Spiegelau. The Beechworth brewery has just released a rather eye-catchingly packaged three-pack of its Bling IPA in which the space for a fourth beer is instead taken by one of Spiegelau's specialist IPA glasses, first released last year after being developed in conjunction with American breweries Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. Having recently picked up the trophy for Best Packaging at the 2014 Australian International Beer Awards, for its Beer School Hop Pack, this may well have a chance of nailing the award two years running, coming across like the "BIFF", "POW", "ZAP" bubbles that enlivened fight scenes in the Adam West Batman TV show of the 1960s ' with a little educational information on the pack to boot. ··· Read more
Style
IPA
Stockists

Specialist bottleshops, Dan Murphy's and BWS nationwide

Released June 8 2014

Bridge Road Brewers Enigma New World Pilsner

The new and experimental hop lovers at Bridge Road Brewers have managed to snag a swag of the latest variety to be put into commercial production by Hop Products Australia. Enigma has been rushed through the development process, which can usually take a decade or more, faster than any other hop variety in HPA's existence. You may recall reading about it a few months ago on this site when HPA's hop breeder Simon Whittock let slip about Enigma in an interview at a time when it was still supposed to be under wraps. Proclaiming the first sampling of the hop at an early point in its development as "jaw-dropping", he said they had found it delivered "a real berry fruit, almost white wine, character". Now you can find out for yourself, with Bridge Road having used it in a New World Pilsner. Inspired by the frequently excellent New Zealand pilsners, it is a pilsner that uses the sort of hopping rates and methods brewers typically use when creating a US style Pale Ale. It is a single batch brew ··· Read more
Style
New World Pilsner
Strength
5.0%

Released April 28 2014

Bridge Road Dark Harvest 2014

The second of Bridge Road's annual wet hop releases is back. First brewed with Mikkeller in 2012, it's called Dark Harvest for two reasons. The beer was originally brewed at night, partly due to the Danish gypsy brewer's schedule while in Australia (including this and this for newcomers to The Crafty Pint), and is also deep brown - almost black - in colour. The original beer used an experimental hop variety from Hop Products Australia that gave the beer an incredibly distinctive choc orange aroma and was one of that year's most popular releases; last year, Bridge Road's Ben Kraus opted for a different variety that resulted in a different, more resinous hop character. Pleasingly (at least for those of us that enjoyed the first version) he's reverted to the original hop and the choc orange Dark Harvest is back. What's more, Ben reckons it's "better than the first one". "It has dried out more so has a more lingering wet hop character," he says. For the hop-spotters out there, the variety is ··· Read more
Style
Wet Hop Ale
Stockists

Kegs:

Brother Burger & The Marvellous Brew

The Terminus

Two Row

The Local Taphouse St Kilda

[The Local Taphouse Darlo](/beer/

Released April 21 2014

Bridge Road Harvest Ale 2014

The annual Bridge Road Harvest Ale release has become an event of note for both beer lovers looking for a hoppy new drop and the hop growers at Hop Products Australia, who learn much about how some of their experimental hop varieties will perform. Each year, head brewer Ben Kraus selects a different, as-yet-unnamed hop variety from the Rostrevor Farm just down the road from his Beechworth brewery, picks the entire crop and throws it into a beer as it is, still fresh and wet from the bines. This year, however, there weren't enough hop cones on his chosen variety so the intention was to pick two types, brew two batches and then blend them for the final beer. That will still happen, with all bottled product and a later release of kegs featuring the blend. But before then there is a small number of kegs that have been released featuring one of the beers in unblended form. The reason for this is that the brewers were blown away by the characteristics they obtained from one variety. Ben says ··· Read more
Style
Wet Hop Ale
Stockists

Unblended kegs:

Woodlands Hotel

The Terminus

Goldmines Hotel

The Catfish

Raccoon Bar

Builders Arms

Spotted Mallard

More stockists...

Released April 10 2014

Bridge Road / Nøgne � Aurora Borealis II

Given the extraordinary lengths that Bridge Road and their Norwegian brewing buddies went to to create the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis beers ' involving brews on either side of the planet, unrefrigerated shipping of said brews from one side of the world to the other in barrels via ship ' they will presumably be rather chuffed with their reception. Aurora Australis is currently the highest rated Australian beer ever on Ratebeer and Aurora Borealis scored a top 10 finish in the recent Hottest 100 poll; pretty good for a limited release, 14% plus beer. Now they have repeated the operation for two more beers, which will apparently be the final two in this rather unique experimental series. The Aurora Borealis II barrels arrived from Norway in Beechworth just before Christmas and have now been packaged ready to be sampled around Australia. The Aurora Australis II will be doing the same thing in Europe. The base beer is a Belgian style Tripel and any booze hound would presumably be able ··· Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Tripel
Strength
9.1%
Stockists

Bridge Road

And at good craft beer-supporting bottleshops.

Released February 12 2014

Bridge Road / Grain Store Tony Brown

Of all the things a particularly active anti-alcohol campaigner could wish for, having a beer named in their honour is probably not that high on the list. But clearly a chap by the name of Tony Brown has been enough of a success at operating at Newcastle's one man "fun police" that in coming up with a name for the Brown Ale they've brewed with Beechworth's Bridge Road, the team at the Grain Store could think of nothing more suitable. As they told us: "This beer is quite the opposite of our local campaigner of anti-liquor, anti-pubs, anti-late-night - basically the fun police of Newcastle, so we have brewed our 6.66% Tony [his] in dis-honour." As for the beer, it's the bar staff's favourite style - an American India Brown Ale - which means plenty of chocolate malt up front then big, zesty hops derived from an all American lineup including Falconers Flight, Chinook, Amarillo, Simcoe, Centenial and Zythos to finish things off. ··· Read more
Style
American Brown Ale
Strength
6.3%
Bitterness
60ish IBU
Stockists

Grain Store

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

[New Sydney Hotel](/beer/bar/new-sy

Released September 10 2013

Bridge Road B2 Bomber Mach 3.0

It used to be the case that Bridge Road's Ben Kraus would conjure up a new beer for his brewery's birthday every year. But, given how much everyone loved his B2 Bomber when it first appeared as a kind of Black Belgian IPA, it seems that it's now become the beer to mark each anniversary, albeit with a tweak year on year. And why not? It's the highest rated Australian beer on Untappd, after all, and is a beer with character that develops interest over time. That said, you may want to crack the Mach 3.0 as soon as you get your hands on it as, more than either of its predecessors, its hoppy IPA-ness is front and centre. Whereas the Belgian yeast used to hit home first, followed by a touch of roast, here you're left in no doubt that the hopping regime has been seriously upped, with a massive fruity, almost sticky aroma backed by a hint of roast as it warms. There's a bigger body underneath it's espresso-coloured head too, with the Belgian yeast characters coming to the fore in the mouth too. ··· Read more
Style
Black Belgian IPA
Strength
8.2%
Stockists

Bridge Road

Berry Bottleshop

The Park Hotel

The Wheaty

Banks Fine Wine

Belgian Beer Cafe, Eureka

Grape and Grain

Olinda Cellars

More stockists...

Released July 19 2013

Bridge Road Bar Series: New Sydney Best Little Elixir In Town

The Bridge Road Bar Series rolls on and keeps on taking stylistic lurches all over the place. It's a reminder of just how much variety there is in the beer world these days and how different folks have vastly different passions. Stepping up to the oche this time is the crew from Hobart's awesome New Sydney Hotel and, continuing the unnecessary darts metaphor, they've chosen a style that would have been to the liking of The Crafty Pint's rotund, booze-lovin' childhood hero Jocky Wilson: an imperial pilsner. Chosen due to their love of "big meaty buckets of goodness" it uses the knowledge Bridge Road gained in brewing last year's God Save The Lager and features 20kg of an experimental hop variety called 189 from Bushy Park, which just happens to be up the road from the New Sydney. The result, according to the brewers, is an aroma of ripe pineapple and high alcohols, with sweet fruits from the hops on its "fat palate" (due to the high alcohol content) and "finishing with a great hop spiciness ··· Read more
Style
Imperial Pilsner
Strength
7.7%
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

Released June 12 2013

Bridge Road Bar Series: The Wheaty Weisse Ohne Schuss

"At The Wheaty we love Hops. So we decided to brew a Sour." An early entry for the best raison d'etre for a beer in 2013. But would you expect anything less from the ladies at Adelaide's premiere beer, whisky and good times joint? This is the latest release in the Bridge Road Bar Series, for which the Beechworth brewery brings bar staff from the nation's leading beer venues to their home to create a beer. According to the Wheaty team, this is a beer, "to all intents and purposes, that's essentially hopless. After all, sour is the new bitter. And even if it isn't, Ben had given us a great opportunity to play with bugs - in his breweryâ?¦" Their intention was to create a "clean" sour; light, lively, tart and dry; hence this Berliner Weiss style but stripped back to bare bones - no shots of raspberry or woodruff flavoured sugar syrup to be added to this. This being a beer consisting of Pilsner and Wheat Malt and a single addition of Hersbrucker Hops this beer, meaning it's all about the ··· Read more
Style
Berliner Weisse
Strength
3.0%
Bitterness
Less than 5 IBU
Stockists

April 12 at

The Wheaty

Others to follow, which are likely to include:

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

[The Scratch](/beer/bar/the-scratch-b

Released April 12 2013

Bridge Road Harvest / Dark Harvest 2013

The Bridge Road Harvest Ale is developing quite a tradition. Now in its fourth year, it sees the brewery's founder head to his local hop farm in the VIctorian High Country (at Rostrevor) and pluck an as-yet-unreleased experimental hop variety to be used in extravagant amounts in a one-off seasonal release. This year, however, there's been a slight change as there weren't enough hops of one variety to produce a beer to similar specs as before so two were used, two separate beers were brewed, then they were blended pre-release. This year's Dark Harvest is also a different beast to its predecessor, which was brewed with Mikkeller during last year's harvest. Then the resultant Black IPA was all about the chocolate and orange characteristics; this time around they've selected a different hop variety with pronounced piney characteristics. Both are out on tap now, with the latter only appearing alongside the former. ··· Read more
Style
Fresh Hop Ales
Strength
Various
Stockists

Bridge Road

Cookie

Others TBC

Released April 8 2013

Bridge Road Bling Bling Imperial IPA

He doesn't tend to do things by half, Ben Kraus. Not only does he like to brew collaborative beers with international stars, when he does it he does things like brewing wet hop beers in the dead of night or sending beers in wine and whisky barrels by sea across the planet. And now, in launching his latest limited release ' the Bling Bling Imperial IPA ' a bigger brother to his long-standing Bling IPA, he headed to the 55th floor of Melbourne's Rialto Tower to the Lui Bar of the three chefs hats Vue du Monde. There, gazing out across the city and Port Phillip Bay, his invited guests were the first to taste the 8.5 per cent hoppy treat. And treat it is too. While there is a solid malt backbone in place to bear the weight of the heavy hopping regime, it doesn't over impose itself, allowing the punchy hop aromas the freedom to draw you in and plenty of hop character to shine through in the taste to create a full flavoured yet nicely balanced hop bomb of a beer. ··· Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
Strength
8.5%
Stockists

Bridge Road

Others TBC

Released March 21 2013

Bridge Road / EDGE Waldo

You may recall a story fairly recently about a new collaborative brewing effort that crosses hemispheres. It told the tale of how Australian importer and brewer Adam Betts, from Northdown Beer, had hooked up with Christian Skovdal Andersen of Beer Here to create a series of brews. You may even have tasted the beers they put out under the joint Northdown/Bere Here banner, such as the Cool Hops lager and Victoria's Secret wheat beer. Now the pair have launched EDGE Brewing Project, a new brewing company that will release all their future beers. And, to confuse matters a little, their first release under the EDGE banner is a collaboration, this time with Bridge Road Brewers. The Waldo, which takes its name from the Waldoberry fruit that is one of around half a dozen fresh berries including mulberries and Loch Ness berries added to the beer, is a twist on Bridge Road's much loved Saison, featuring the aforementioned berries, picked fresh on the brew day, and a tweaked hop profile. The result ··· Read more
Style
Berry Saison
Strength
6.5%
Stockists

Kegs

Bridge Road

The Wheaty

Fox Hotel

The Alehouse Project

Junction Beer Hall

Belgian Beer Eureka

Bottles

More stockists...

Released March 12 2013

Bridge Road / Nogne O Aurora Borealis

We promised we were going to sample this beer on the eve of its launch so we could pop a listing up before it is poured at Slowbeer. But then we thought: "This is the kind of beer that needs to be enjoyed in the right place at the right time and not necessarily on a Thursday evening watching the tennis." Why? Well, how many beers do you know with the sort of genesis enjoyed by the Aurora Borealis? Along with its sibling, the Aurora Australis, it has been months in the making, months that have seen two batches of a strong Belgian style Quadrupel brewed on either side of the world then packaged into wooden barrels and sent, unrefrigerated, over the seas from one hemisphere to the other. Along the way, a couple of these barrels have exploded too, making this is a rare treat not to be taken lightly. Thankfully, we were able to have a wee snifter of the Borealis, the version that was originally brewed in Norway before being packaged into whisky barrels and sent south, at last weekend's Ballarat ··· Read more
Style
Barrel and Ocean-Aged Quadrupel
Strength
14.9%
Stockists

Bridge Road

Slowbeer

Others TBC

Released January 25 2013

Bridge Road / Local Taphouse 13 Hours On A Bus

It worked for the Yeastie Boys with their awesome Gunnamatta IPA, so why not invoke the spirit of Paul Kelly for another beer. With the sixth beer in the Bridge Road Bar Series featuring staff from the Local Taphouse venues in St Kilda and Darlinghurst, they decided to borrow a line from the singer's classic From St Kilda to Kings Cross for their Black India Saison that uses 13 ingredients, including spices in the form of juniper, nutmeg and cloves plus hops in the shape of Nelson Sauvin, Falconers Flight, Northern Brewer and Chinook. The brewing collective tasted it for the first time at the venues' end of year Ale Stars this week and tell us: "Deep brown in colour with a reddish hue, this beer first presents a full mouthfeel with milk chocolate tones before leading to the style defining saison dry, funky finish. Backed up by hearty dry hopping and a big pop of juniper berries." Now we just need the Everything's Turning To White Ale, You're 39 IBUs, You're Beautiful and You're Mine and ··· Read more
Style
Black India Saison
Strength
7.2%
Bitterness
30ish IBU
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

Released December 21 2012

Bridge Road / Archive Tennessee Stud

We're a little late posting this one as it slipped out of Beechworth unnoticed at Crafty Towers, so we can't be sure what's left where. But for the sake of completeness, here's the fifth in the fast-moving Bar Series, this time featuring the input of the crew at Brisbane's Archive. They tell us: "We wanted to create something that reflects our varied backgrounds, collective love of our industry and that of delicious beer. Malty and hoppy, bold but beguiling, flavoursome but still sessionable, Tennessee Stud is an expression of what we want at the end of a long night pulling beers and throwing chat. A shot and a beer." What that means is a brown ale with a load of US hops plus "American oak and Jack" thanks to the addition of American oak chips and some Jack Daniels. ··· Read more
Style
Oaked Brown Ale
Strength
5.5%
Bitterness
40ish IBUs
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

Released December 3 2012

Bridge Road / The Scratch Scrotch

It's easy to see how the name for this beer was conceived. It's a Scotch Ale from a bar called The Scratch. That said, knowing the guys that run the Brisbane bar, it wouldn't surprise us if they actually decided they wanted a beer that sounded like crotch and worked from there... Either way, the fourth release in the Bridge Road bar series, following beers produced with Josie Bones, Beer DeLuxe and The Norfolk Hotel, is a strong Scotch Ale that's spent time soaking up the characteristics of American oak soaked in peated oaked 10-year-old Ardbeg whisky - in keeping with The Scratch team's love of beer and Scotch. According to the brewers and bar staff: "This beer has turned out exactly as planned. A big malty scotch ale, that incorporates a huge range of aromas and flavours (who needs hops?). Smokey peat, big oak, huge scotch influence and caramel/choc malt characters come together in harmony." Sounds like one to sip and savour. ··· Read more
Style
Whisky Aged Scotch Ale
Strength
6.9%
Bitterness
20ish IBU
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

Released November 5 2012

Bridge Road Bar Series: The Norfolk Cecil

The third beer released as part of the Bridge Road Bar Series, where the Beechworth brewers invite members of staff from top beer bars across Australia to come up with a beer and brew it with them. The Cecil is the work of the team at Freo's Norfolk Hotel and was designed as a Red Brewed with a combination of Cluster, Sauvin, Zythos and Falconers Flight hops, the outcome wasn't quite as red as intended - "a lesson to be learnt for us here at BRB," says head brewer Ben Kraus, but makes up for it with big orange marmalade and citrus hop aromas familiar to lovers of West Coast US IPAs. Unsurprisingly, those hops are back in the mouth too, with the malts playing a chewy, toffee backup role. "Damn tasty!" says Ben. Get it at all participating Bar Series venues. ··· Read more
Style
Red(ish) IPA
Strength
6.5%
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

Released October 24 2012

Bridge Road Bar Series 1: Josie Bones Revolution

A few weeks back, Bridge Road kicked off its Bar Series, a project that will see it invite staff from some of the country's top beer bars to come up with their idea for a beer then travel to Beechworth to brew it. Each beer is then sold at the brewery and all of the participating bars. You can read more on it here or save your time for drinking instead and head to the venues that will be tapping beer number one. It was dreamt up by the team at Josie Bones and is an Australian Pilsner. The theory behind it is that the Kiwis have brewed so many excellent New Zealand Pilsners using their own hops in recent years that's it's becoming an internationally recognised style, so why shouldn't there be an Aussie equivalent? Inspired by North German Pilsners and featuring Summer, Stella and Topaz hops it features spicy, tropical hop aromas, some yeasty esters, "soft, luscious fruity hop character" and finishes with a strong hop bitterness. Vive la revolution! Oi! Oi! Oi! ··· Read more
Style
Australian Pilsner
Strength
5.1%
Bitterness
40
Stockists

Josie Bones

Beer DeLuxe

Norfolk Hotel ( Fremantle)

The Scratch

Archive (Brisbane)

New Sydney Hotel

[The Wheaty](/beer/ba

Released September 12 2012

Bridge Road B2 Mach II

Bridge Road has concocted some fantastic beers for its birthday releases: a barrel-aged Imperial Porter, a black saison and the B2 Bomber among them. The last of these is probably the one that caused the most excitement among the craft beer cognoscenti, a melding of a Belgian yeast with lots of hops and dark, roasty malts. For the brewery's seventh birthday, it's been brought out of retirement and given a boost in the form of more hops. The result is the same utterly idiosyncratic nose that bamboozled us two years ago, with fruity hops and roasty dark chocolate aromas pierced by something a little funky. Deeply dark in the glass, it's as much of a multi-dimensional sensory melange in the mouth too, making it a welcome return for a beer that was pretty much a Black Belgian IPA before we'd even thought such a thing existed. Less than 1,000 bottles, by the way... ··· Read more
Style
Black Belgian IPA
Strength
8.0%
Stockists

Bridge Road

Others tbc

Bottles can be ordered from info@bridgeroadbrewers.com.au

Released July 13 2012

Bridge Road / Mikkeller Dark Harvest

When we cracked our sample of Dark Harvest, the reaction was instant. "Chocolate orange!" we cried. Then we thought that might be a stupid thing to think. But we told Ben at Bridge Road anyway, opening ourselves up to the risk of being unmasked as utter charlatans. Thankfully word came back that "the hops were a research variety that showed huge orange and mandarin characters in the paddock. Good that you got some choc orange, that was the plan." Phew! Dodged that bullet. So, what else do you need to know? Ben had said hops picked from his local hop farm at Rostrevor and delivered instantly to his brewery at the same time as he flew Mikkel into town. Dark because it's dark and was brewed at night and Harvest, because, well, the hops had just been harvested, the malt bill is all the Dane's doing, lending the beer "that dark, rich and wholesome character so typical of his dark beers" according to Ben. It's lovely, multi-layered and pretty darn hoppy too boot, reminding us at Crafty Towers ··· Read more
Style
Hoppy Dark Harvest Ale
Stockists

Bridge Road

Josie Bones

and other venues TBC

Released April 18 2012

Bridge Road Pride of Ringwood IPA

It either says we've got a long way to go to develop our nasal skills or that even the much-maligned Pride of Ringwood hop can get fruity when given the chance to shine. The traditional Aussie hop used for bitterness in many mainstream beers - and more craft ones than you might imagine - is viewed by some in the local beer world as the equivalent of a Dutch oven - and not the thick-walled one used for cooking. Yet it's been undergoing something of a revival, with Temple using it and (almost) nothing else in its Temple Brunswick Draught, for example. Up in Beechworth, Ben Kraus decided to see what would happen when given the treatment thus far meted out to the far trendier Galaxy, Stella and Summer varieties - ie used by the truckload in a single hop IPA. As for our nasal prowess, when a pot of it was first plonked in front of us by the brewer alongside one of the other IPAs, we had a double take as to which was the Pride. Turns out the ugly duckling actually possesses some rather pungent ··· Read more

Released February 10 2012

Bridge Road Summer IPA

The Bridge Road crew are getting together a nice line in single Aussie hop IPAs, with the Summer following the hugely popular Galaxy and relative newcomer Stella off the rank - and with the unlikely Pride of Ringwood IPA to follow. Summer is a hop variety formerly known as Summer Saaz and has been developed by Hop Products Australia. Those who've ploughed into the Galaxy and Stella IPAs will find this one much more subtle; don't expect to be blown away by pungent aromas, instead it's a gentler, floral aroma, slightly earthy. There's a pretty full body too and a bitterness that works its way gently, but persistently, across your palate. ··· Read more
Style
IPA
Strength
5.0%
Stockists

Bridge Road

Slowbeer

Purvis Cellars

Blackhearts & Sparrows

[Purvis Beer Richmond](/beer/bottleshop/purvis-be

Released January 23 2012

Bridge Road / Nøgne � India Saison (Oz)

The first version of the Bridge Road / Nøgne Ã? collaboration to hit the shelves Down Under is the one brewed by Ben Kraus on his return from Norway, using the same recipe as that concocted with Kjetil Jikiun earlier in the year. The story is that the pair of saison lovers decided to make one with a bunch of Aussie hops that weren't available in Europe at the time of the brew. Hop Products Australia sent Stella and Galaxy varieties over and both were used to create a highly hopped, high alcohol "India Saison". The original should be here soon. For now, you can tuck into the Aussie version and be blown away by the huge tropical fruit aromas. It's as pungently hoppy an aroma as you could wish for, and the hop character carries on in the mouth before the saison yeast pops its head up to say a gently spicy "Hello!" and remind you it's there. The saison character becomes more prominent as it warms, becoming almost two beers in one, two beers that seem to get on really rather well. ··· Read more
Style
Highly hopped saison
Strength
7.5%
Stockists

The Local Taphouse St Kilda

The Dispensary Enoteca

McCoppins

[Local Bottle Store & Provisions](/beer/bottleshop/the-local-bottle-store-provi

Released October 20 2011

Bridge Road Single Hop IPAs (bottled)

A handful of bars around Australia have offered their punter the chance to educate themselves hoppily courtesy of Bridge Road's single hop IPAs and now you can do it from the comfort of your favourite armchair / hammock / ditch. We doubt you need telling about Galaxy, the big cheese of Hop Products Australia's development program in recent years that's doing its thing in beers across Oz, while Stella is described as its stepsister - a cross between an Aussie and European variety. The former is all about the tropical fruit aromas, the latter combines them with a herbal twist. Both are jam-packed with hops, giving your bitter part of your palate a solid workout. You'll soon be able to try them three ways too, as the Bridge Road / Nøgne Ã? collaboration India Saison that used both is making its way to Oz right now, while another batch is set to be brewed at the Beechworth brewery any day now. ··· Read more
Style
IPA
Strength
4.8%
Stockists

Bridge Road

Slowbeer

Purvis Beer

Purvis Beer Richmond

[Local Bottle Store & Provisions](/beer/bottleshop/the-loc

Released September 9 2011

Bridge Road Stella IPA

The odd keg (and one cask) of this beer have been floating around for the past week or so, but we thought we'd fire it up on Crafty on International IPA Day, on which it is being featured at a number of venues. The beer takes the concept of Bridge Road's Galaxy IPA, which has been brewed fairly regularly over the past 18 months, but uses a new hop variety developed in Tassie. From start to finish, nothing but Stella is used, allowing the beer to be a showcase for a hop described by Hop Products Australia as "reminiscent of, yet distinctly different in character to noble European varieties". They say it displays "subtle hints of anise and a satisfying fullness of palate" and "provides a contrast to the citrus and tropical fruit characters of many modern hops". Expected to be the next star of the Aussie hop scene after Galaxy, this is as good a chance as any to see what it's all about. ··· Read more
Style
IPA
Stockists

Bridge Road

The Local Taphouse Darlo

The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Biero

[Harts Pub](/beer/bar/harts-pu

Released August 4 2011

Bridge Road Saison Noir

Bridge Road founder Ben Kraus is making a nice habit of pulling something special out of the bag to mark his brewery's anniversaries. And with this - a beer which suggests that while the first half of 2011 belonged to black IPAs the second will belong to black saisons, what with Doctor's Orders Synapse having appeared already - that tradition continues. You can plot the evolution that's led Ben here, from the spectacular Oak-Aged Imperial Porter of the fourth anniversary through last year's mightily impressive B2 Bomber. It's not just that the malt bill has been the same for all three; the effect of the Belgian yeast that made last year's B2 increasingly funky as it aged is multiplied here. This time it's the yeast from his Chevalier Saison, a strain that's prominent enough in its fruits and spices to dominate the aroma, leaving the roast and chocolate malts to add heft to a rewardingly complex beer with layers of flavour as dense as its tan head and as slinky as its packaging. The black ··· Read more
Style
Black Saison
Strength
6.5%

Released July 23 2011

Bridge Road Dog's Breakfast (Brew 500)

A beer that could have been called the kitchen sink, this is Bridge Road's 500th brew - a milestone marked with a beer created in tribute to one of the brewers' favourite parts of the day: breakfast. Although black pudding, bacon and eggs were rejected as ingredients, little else was. In went fruit toast, muesli, coffee beans, loose tea, maple syrup, honey. And the result? Less crazy than one might imagine. A deep, dark brown beer, the smoked malts added to create a hint of bacon aroma are there but subtle, with the flavour dominated by toasty dark malts without veering far into sharper roasted territory. Instead of the jumble you might have expected given its genesis, it's actually a nicely rounded dark lager with plenty going on but in harmony. Happy 500th Bridge Road! ··· Read more
Style
Dark lager
Stockists

Josie Bones

Cookie

Biero

The Local Taphouse St Kilda

Beer DeLuxe

[The Local Taphouse Darlo](/beer/bar/the

Released May 17 2011

Bridge Road's The Harvest (2011)

When a brewer makes it clear he's adding a truckload of wet hops to his hop harvest beer - and not allowing anything but wet hops anywhere near the brew - you've got to assume he's aiming for a beer that encapsulates as best as possible the experience of grabbing a handful of hop cones straight from the vine. And from the moment you pop Bridge Road's third annual Harvest into a glass, that's what you get. Just like drinking a fresh Stone & Wood Pacific Ale is like sticking your face into a bag of Galaxy hops, here the experience is akin to rubbing a fresh flower between your fingers and holding them to your nose. The hop variety in question doesn't yet have a name (it's an experimental one from Rostrevor just down the road from the Bridge Road brewery), but it certainly appears to have the potential to be developed commercially. At first, it's all about the lemon aromas, with a hint of candy sweetness on the nose, and develops into something akin to an English summer ale with a tropical ··· Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Ale
Strength
4.6%

Released April 16 2011

Bridge Road Chevalier Dunkelweizen

With so much attention lavished on the other two members of the Chevalier range - the Saison and Biere de Garde - the Dunkel's been shunned a little: it's like the Beechworth Cinderella that's picked on and kept out of sight by her ugly sisters (although we're not suggesting there's anything ugly about either of those beers - quite the opposite). But just as Cinderella had her little glass slipper, so the Dunkelweizen has a little trick up its sleeve, in the form of a brand new recipe from brewer Ben Kraus. (This analogy has gone far enough now, Crafty) Whereas before the beer was a blend of others, now it's a brand new one built from scratch. Pouring a deep mahogany brown - opaque like a chocolate liqueur - there's plenty of foam banana and some malty sweetness rising from its thick brown head. In the mouth, there's milk chocolate, cola, some burnt toffee and, of course, more of those bananas. There's plenty to chew on in a pretty creamy mouthfeel too, all rounded off with a smidgeon of ··· Read more
Style
Dunkelweizen
Strength
5.2%

Released February 11 2011

Bridge Road Saison de Printemps

For their second variation on the Saison theme, the Bridge Road brew team has added elderflower and blueberries to their highly rated beer to create a one-off "Spring Saison", having twice experimented with quince. Once again, both additional ingredients are sourced locally - the elderflower at the brewery itself - and once again it's a markedly different beer to its parent. It's cloudier in appearance and has something of a blood orange tinge compared to the original's light straw colour, while the new additions also give something of a herbacious edge to it. There's some lemon mingled with the traditional fruity, spicy saison notes plus a fair amount of added funk. To taste, it's no less complex, with a hint of sugar sweetness amid the tartness, a sharp snap of plum-like bitterness and a perfumey aftertaste. Intriguing! ··· Read more
Style
Fruit-infused Saison
Strength
6.0%

Released December 21 2010

Bridge Road Summer Ale

An exclusive release for members of Bridge Road's Posse, this is a pale Belgian ale developed as an easy drinking summer beer with a difference. It uses a basic malt recipe of Australian pale malts and two different Belgian yeast strains. According to Ben Kraus, the result is "a mild beer with minimal bitterness and a fruity finish from the yeast strains. The plan was to assess the beer after primary ferment and then decide on a hop regime for dry hopping. We have so far added Centennial and Amarillo hops from the US and also dumped in some Nelson Sauvin from NZ." The Posse gives members access to exclusive brews, delivery of Bridge Road beers to their door, discounts at the brewery, 'special treatment' at beer events and invites to happenings at the brewery. To find out more, head here. ··· Read more
Style
Belgian Pale Ale
Strength
4.5%
Stockists

Posse members only

Released November 19 2010

Bridge Road Galaxy IPA

NOW RELEASED IN BOTTLES! Named after the Australian hop variety that has done much to influence beer styles in Australia in recent years, the Galaxy IPA was first brewed by this Beechworth brewer last year. Using nothing but the Galaxy hop both for bittering and aromatics / flavour, the 2010 variant was unveiled for the first time on the first day of October's Microbreweries Showcase. This year there's a higher amount of dry hopping - 12kg in 800l - resulting in a lighter, less bitter beer that's all about the decorative properties of Galaxy. Fresh, floral and fruity, the nose is mixed citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, plus lemongrass, perhaps even freshly cut grass, with the flavour suitably tropical and refreshing too - just in time for the warmer weather. An IPA in name more than style, it's nevertheless another quality addition to the Bridge Road roster. ··· Read more
Style
India Pale Ale

Released November 20 2010

Bridge Road B2 Bomber

The Bridge Road crew like to make a statement with their anniversary beers and the 2010 special is no exception. A true melding of styles, the B2 Bomber is a Black Belgian IPA, bringing together darker, roasted malt varieties, a swagful of hops and a Belgian yeast variety in a quite intriguing mix. The combination of aromas when the dark-as-night beer first poured from the black-labeled champagne bottle like a huge, foam-headed espresso had Crafty confused: "A bag of rubber bands?" Further investigation revealed all manner of aromas - changing as it warmed: sugar sweetness, hints of roasted malts, some fruitiness from the Belgian yeast - even a suggestion of ripe banana. In the mouth, the "Belgian" and "IPA" elements come and go in a flash, with the dark, roasty, toasty flavours dominating and leading to a long, very dry finish underpinned by the hops. Big and bold ' in keeping with the stark labeling - and a fine addition to anyone's cellar. ··· Read more
Style
Black Belgian IPA
Strength
8.5%
Stockists

Bridge Road Brewery

Slowbeer (growlers and bottles)

Royston

Beer DeLuxe

[Local Taphouse St Kilda](/beer/bar/local-taphouse-st-kil

Released August 27 2010

Bridge Road Megachile Pluto Braggot

The first brew devised by one of Ben's fellow brewers, Nardia McGrath, this is a recreation of an incredibly rare beer style dating from Medieval times. A full-bodied, red-blooded honey and ale combo, it mixes a fruity Belgian yeast with UK and European malts, a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg and a serious whack of Red Stringybark honey from Beechworth in a 10% beast of a drink that's part sweet liqueur, part ale as hinted at by the hop bitterness that picks up when the spicy honey flavour tails off. ··· Read more
Style
Braggot
Strength
10%

Released July 28 2010

Bridge Road Australian Ale

Ben's first beer under the Bridge Road banner remains an accessible starting point to his range. A balance of sweet malt and hop flavours give way to a slightly fruity finish for an eminently sessionable beer. ··· Read more
Style
Golden Ale
Strength
4.4%

Released May 15 2013

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