Bright Brewery

No one should need an extra reason to visit Bright, a true four season destination in the Victorian High Country: winters perfect for snowsports; springs and autumns that explode with colour; year round adventure sports and gourmet food and wine trails. But if you did need another reason, the Bright Brewery fits the bill...

Set in the heart of the Alpine town on the edge of the crystal clear Ovens River, it's the perfect spot to unwind. On offer is everything from their citrusy Blowhard Pale ' ideal after a hard day's hiking or cycling the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail ' to a full-bodied Staircase Porter ' as comforting as a warm blanket on cooler winter days.

Set up in 2006 by Scott Brandon and Fiona Reddaway who had left Melbourne behind for a change of pace, Bright has gone on to pick up a swag of tourism awards; pint in hand, gazing on the tree-covered surrounding mountains as the river burbles nearby, you'll soon understand why.

The brewery plays host to regular live music on Sunday afternoons, while anyone keen to find out more about their Mountaincrafted beers can sign up for one of Bright's monthly 'Brewer for a Day� packages: spend a day behind the scenes with the brewer making a full 1200 litre batch all the way from mashing the grain to decanting it to the fermenter. Just don't forget to return a few weeks later to taste the result straight from the tap.

In late 2012, the brewery completed a million dollar expansion program. This tripled the venue's size, introducing much-needed additional indoor seating, resulting in one of the most impressive microbrewery bar / restaurants in the country. There's a long bar pouring their full range of beers, massive dining area lined with wooden tables, outdoor seating front and back and cool use of old kegs for everything from lights to sinks in the toilets. It also means more place for Jon Seltin, the brewer that joined Bright in 2011, to fill with his range of specialty releases and barrel-aged experiments that have been turning heads among craft beer aficionados wherever they land.

Name
Bright Brewery
Address

121 Great Alpine Road
Bright
VIC 3741

Phone
(03) 5755 1301
Website
Website
Regular events

Sundays: Live music in the beer garden

Hours

Daily: midday to evening
Hoppy Hour Fridays 5pm to 6pm - pots from $3

Tours

Fridays, 3pm.
$18 for full tour and tasting of all beers.
$10 for just the tour

The Regulars

Hellfire Amber Ale

An aromatic and moderately bitter amber ale, Hellfire has a clean, dry finish that can easily lead to another. ··· Read more
Style
Amber Ale

Blowhard Pale Ale

An American-style pale ale with a bracing citrus aroma and crisp Cascade hop character, the Blowhard Pale Ale is a great, refreshing beer on a hot summer's day in the Valley and the perfect accompaniment to spicy foods or fish and chips. ··· Read more
Style
Pale Ale

Razor Witbier

Belgian witbiers are known for their dry finish and spicy aromas and flavours. And the Razor, made with unmalted triticale wheat grown as the base of nearby Mount Buffalo, is no different, with a light, refreshing flavour displaying hints of coriander. ··· Read more
Style
Witbier

Staircase Porter

A fantastic, full-bodied dark ale in the traditional British style, the Staircase Porter is a true winter warmer. Bursting with dark chocolate and coffee flavours, it's topped off with the aroma of scorched almond. ··· Read more
Style
Porter

Fainters Dubbel

The Fainters Dubbel is a Belgian Abbey style beer, meaning it's not one for the fainthearted. Displaying a flurry of malt flavours accentuated with raisins and spicy cloves, it comes in at 8.5%. As the brewers warn: "Treat it with reverence, lest it smite you down!" A freeze distilled Super Dubbel version of this is currently undergoing testing in the labs. ··· Read more
Style
Abbey Dubbel
Strength
8.5%

Bright Lager

A fresh, natural easy drinking lager, Bright Lager's a true product of its environment. It's made with grain grown on a farm just down the road from the brewery and hops from the surrounding Alpine Valleys. ··· Read more
Style
Lager

The Specials

High Country Brewers Rule 47 Collaboration 2014

The beauty of a beer writer joining a brewery in a marketing role: they love the opportunity to exercise their writing talents. Case in point is James Davidson, former Beer Bar Band blogger and Brews News contributor now ensconced happily at Bright Brewery in the Victorian High Country, which hosted the second High Country brewers collab brew earlier this year and sent us through the story of the day. He tells us: "Last year the High Country Brewery Trail started a new initiative by collaborating on an annual limited release brew called ‘Rule 47’ (a reference to The Velominati’s rules of cycling – “Drink Tripels, don’t ride triples”). The inaugural release was a hoppy Belgian style strong ale brewed at Bridge Road in Beechworth." This time around the four brewery representatives, Pete Hull (Sweetwater), James Booth (Black Dog), Steve Matthews (Bridge Road) and Jon Seltin (Bright) moved from tripel to an "India Pale Wit", which James says "has been made up from a 45/35 ratio ··· Read more
Style
India Pale Wit
Strength
6.6%
Stockists

On tap at all four breweries

Good bottleshops (where you'd expect to find Bridge Road limited releases)

Released October 21 2014

Bright Brewery Stubborn Russian 2014

The quality of beers he was releasing pretty much from the start of his time at Bright suggested young brewer Jon Seltin was one to watch. But it was on a visit to the brewery a couple of summers ago and a chance bumping into Jon (who was supposed to be on holiday but clearly couldn't keep away) that the attention to detail, creativity and ambition became apparent. Among the toys and experiments he unveiled was a barrel filled with a "stock ale", a type of beer originating in 18th century UK that would be strong and malty then often left to mature for months in barrels to take on oxidised and sour characters. Jon planned to leave his to take on these normally unwanted characters for years before blending it into other brews. Fast forward to today and a portion of said stock ale is making an appearance within this year's Stubborn Russian, the brewery's Russian imperial stout. The beer was already a cracker, offering depth within its jet black body in previous years. The new experiment seems ··· Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
Strength
8.9%
Stockists

Bright Brewery (draught & bottle)

Slowbeer

Grape & Grain

Olinda Cellars

TRU BRU

Released October 22 2014

Bright Brewery Saison de Varleè (plus variations)

We make little secret here at Crafty Towers of our love for saisons and accompanying belief that they are a wonderful beer for the Aussie climate. So it's always nice to see another one appear, especially it's one that is being released in three different formats. On our last couple of visits to Bright in the Victorian High Country, we've been lucky enough to have a nosy around the back of the brewery where head brewer Jon Seltin has all manner of experimental programs underway. He has involved a little of one of them in these latest releases, although the main beer ' the Saison de Varleè ' remains a pretty traditional take on the Wallonian farmhouse style. It's brewed with Belgian pilsner malt and Australian wheat malt, pours a cloudy golden colour and is, we're told "complex and effervescent". The fruity and spicy character of the beer comes from a unique yeast originally smuggled out of the Brasserie De Blaugies. As for the variations, one sees the same wort (the hoppy, sweet, sugary ··· Read more
Style
Saison
Strength
Various
Stockists

Bright Brewery

Others TBC

Released March 31 2014

Bright Brewery Spiced Cloudy Apple Ale & Pilot Light

Just recently, we had our first experience of cult Aussie classic, Billy B's Golden Malted Apple Beer from Thorogood's in South Australia. We've been foisting it onto all and sundry ' heck, The Alehouse Project has even gone and ordered some to pop in its fridge. And now a Victorian brewery has announced an apple beer collaboration too. Bright brewer Jon Seltin has joined forces with craft cider producer Batlow Cider to create an experimental apple ale, the Spiced Cloudy Apple Ale. Using a Strong Belgian Ale as a base, the fermenting brew was 'dry-fruited' with 200 litres of Batlow's finest cloudy apple juice before rum-soaked oak and a handful of spice was added for good measure. The resulting hybrid is "a strong, malty, full-flavoured apple ale which displays hints of French oak and cinnamon". It's not the only new drop currently pouring at their Brewery bar in the Victorian High Country. Back after a successful debut in 2013 is their "small but sessionable" English IPA, the Pilot Light. ··· Read more
Style
Spiced Apple Beer & English IPA
Strength
6.45% & 2.9%
Stockists

Bright Brewery

Released February 28 2014

Bright Brewery Oktoberfest

Having released the likes of a massive Barleywine and a tiny midstrength along with a fruity sour in recent months, the latest release from Bright is rather more middle of the road. Being October, it's an Oktoberfest style beer, aka a Vienna Lager, and ticks all the boxes of the style. It's a bright, copper-hued affair with biscuity, bready aromas and a touch of subtle German hop too, with those bready characteristics following through in the mouth with some soft toffee flavours in a beer that has a lovely full mouthfeel yet finishes nice and clean. Or, as brewer Jon Seltin puts it rather more succinctly, it's "liquid bread." It's pouring at the brewery throughout the month where, rather than jumping legs first into some lederhosen for a big Oktoberfest event, they're complementing the beer with Bavarian themed food, music and décor to set the tone for a relaxed month long celebration. ··· Read more
Style
Oktoberfest Vienna Lager
Strength
5.1%

Released October 3 2013

Bright Brewery Little Brother

There's a very strict rule in place for any brewer taking part in this year's GABS - your beer must not be released anywhere before GABS is over (so we'll keep schtum about the US entry we sampled at the Craft Brewers Conference in March - was bloody delish though!!!). However, that doesn't mean you can't have offshoots of your GABS beer, which is what the team at Bright has done, creating a "parti gyle" brew with the left over grain from their epic entry. "Parti gyle" beers use what's left over to create a weaker beer, meaning in this case a beer from the aftermath of brewer Jon Seltin's barley/rye/oat wine. He tells us the "grist is 40 per cent rye malt, 5 per cent oat malt, and the balance a couple of different types of malted barley. Kettle hops are all Mosaic, dry hops are all Slovenian varieties." It's on tap at the brewery now, where you can also snap up tickets to their Hop, Skip & Lunch Good Beer Week event. ··· Read more
Style
Partigyle Ale
Stockists

Bright Brewery

Released May 2 2013

Bright Pinky Framboise 2013

It's time to get fruity and funky with Bright Brewery as they bring their raspberry sour out of retirement, with the 2013 version having enjoyed a rather lengthy gestation period. The base beer has spent a year in tank with 100kg of locally sourced raspberries, during which time it's been fed with all manner of funky yeast strains: Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Brettanomyces lambicus and two Saccharomyces strains for good measure. According to Bright's head brewer Jon Seltin: "We're quite proud of how the Pinky has turned out: gorgeous pink colour, very layered and complex aroma and palate with massive raspberry aroma above all the bretty complexity that has developed over the past year - think sourness, damp hay, bran and wheat, wool, humus, and a slight woodsy mustiness. It has a nice, restrained lactic sourness which will, along with the brett characteristics, continue to develop on the bottle over the next several years." There's very little of it and, says ··· Read more
Style
Fruit Lambic

Released April 9 2013

Bright Brewery MIA IPA 2013

This was a beer that really excited us here at Crafty Towers when it first appeared, being the beer that announced Bright's then new brewer Jon Seltin as one to watch (and watch out for overhead if strapped to his paraglider...). He's backed it up with many a fine release since and now is back with the latest take on the hoppy-as-hell IPA. It's not quite the same beer as last time around. Why? Because Jon "couldn't help ratcheting it up a couple of notches". Ah, good old temptation got the better of him, which is nice. That means you can expect a slightly higher ABV at 7.4 per cent and even more hop aroma thanks to a "slightly higher dry hopping rate". This batch is keg only but they're planning on a packaged release in 750ml in the near future now that the have the ability to do so with their spanking new brewery. ··· Read more
Style
IPA
Strength
7.4%
Stockists

Bright Brewery

Cookie

Released February 25 2013

Bright Brewery Pilot Light

With the expansion complete and brewing operations back up and running again at Bright Brewery, the new beers are starting to flow from Jon Seltin. The first one to grace the taps of the brand spanking new Alpine set up is the Pilot Light, a sessionable English IPA. John tells us: "The Pilot IPA is a single batch release [at] 2.9 per cent crafted to taste like something much bigger. It was actually a really fun beer to brew, and quite a balancing act - it can be difficult to make a really full bodied beer that is able to hold up to the hopping schedule of an IPA, while keeping it under three per cent ABV. It's full of Celeia and East Kent Goldings hops, added throughout the boil and also generously dry-hopped post fermentation. The grist was almost all English Marris Otter, mashed very warm and thick to yield a really dextrinous wort." It's on tap at the Brewery now but not expected to last too much longer than this long weekend. ··· Read more
Style
English IPA
Strength
2.9%
Stockists

Bright Brewery

Released January 24 2013

Bright Stubborn Russian 2012

Among last year's impressive haul of Aussie brewed Imperial Stouts was Bright's Stubborn Russian. It was actually one of the lower ABV offerings of the haul, something that has been seen to for this year. In the words of brewer Jon Seltin, it's "black, bigger, badder" stands at 9.6 pr cent yet "is smoother and more integrated than the last release - a good sign that it's a winner is the fact that it's now the go-to beer for all our beer-geek bar staff," he says. This year's contains more toasted oats and a higher percentage of dehusked dark roast malt. Jon says to expect "all the classic impy stout ticks - bitter chocolate, spicy dark bread, alcohol warmth and the ghosts of Goldings hops haunting the aroma." He's holding onto a few bottles until next winter so perhaps you'd best get two and do the same. ··· Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
Strength
9.6%
Stockists

Bright Brewery (bottle and on tap)

Slowbeer

Released June 21 2012

Bright Mystic Mild

The latest seasonal from Bright Brewery sees them reining in the alcohol content after unleashing an Imperial Stout and punchy IPA in recent months. The Mystic Mild rocks in at just 3.0% but, that said, it's no flavour free zone or lager-like light. Nope, it's a beer that appears to look to the milds of the UK for inspiration, a deep amber / brown beer that, according to the brewers, is characterised by "raisin toast, dark bread and cigar box/cedar". It's on tap at the brewery now; we'll let you know if and when it appears elsewhere. ··· Read more
Style
Mild
Strength
3.0%
Stockists

Bright Brewery

Released December 2 2011

Bright M.I.A. IPA

This beer was very nearly its creators final gift to the world. The day before it was due to be debuted to the world at the Victorian Microbreweries Showcase, brewer Jon Seltin went paragliding and had to do an emergency landing atop of Mt Feathertop. It took him six hours just to hike down, meaning he didn't return to the brewery until around 10PM (after being MIA since 2pm), by which stage brewery owner Scott Brandon had called the police to retrieve his body. Thankfully, he was only MIA, not DOA, so this is no parting gift. Instead, it's a really rather fabulous celebration of fruity, tropical, floral hops, with a nicely balanced bitterness and a malt structure that does just what it needs to in order that the hops can sing. Here's hoping more is brewed before something else happens to the brewer... ··· Read more
Style
IPA
Strength
6.9%
Bitterness
70 IBU

Released October 21 2011

Bright Stubborn Russian

Anyone who follows Bright's new brewer Jon on Twitter will be aware that he's been getting rather giddy in recent weeks, first at the prospect of brewing a Russian Imperial Stout, then at naming it and now at releasing it. The last of these happens at the brewery today (Aug 5), with the brew at the heart of his excitement described as "intensely roasty and very full-bodied Russian Imperial Stout. Loads of dark fruit and mocha aromas, with a viscous, velvety mouthfeel." Sounds delightful. We'll let you know when and where it is going to appear once it makes its way out of the Victorian Alps (assuming Jon lets any go). ··· Read more
Style
Russian Imperial Stout
Strength
7.5%
Stockists

Bright Brewery

Slowbeer (Growler fills)

The Local Taphouse St Kilda (Growlers)

Released August 5 2011

Bright Topaz Märzen

One of a rash of unique hop harvest beers to come out of Victoria's breweries this year, this saw Bright take the Topaz hop, a variety that's been around for years, and try something different with it. Traditionally used to make a beer bitter, here Bright decided to add it late in the brewing process after they were told that the guys that developed the hop at neighbouring Rostrevor Hop Farm reckoned it had previously untapped potential for aroma and flavour. It would seem the guys knew what they were on about too as the hops add so much hop character to what started out as a Märzen (a Germanic lager that's typically malt driven) that the characters of citrus, passionfruit and paw paw are really rather prominent. Unless you're puritanical about your Märzens being to style, however, you'll happily forgive them as it's a lovely beer lent a reasonably thick body by the resins from the freshly harvested hops. ··· Read more
Style
Hop Harvest Lager

Released May 14 2011

Bright Pinky Framboise

They've been feeling fruity up in the Victorian mountains, it seems, with Bright deciding to mark the end of the summer with a Raspberry Lambic. Brewed using 60kg of locally grown raspberries from Bright Berry Farms, the brewers tell us it pours an "eye-catching red/pink colour" and has a "distinct berry aroma" that "leads into a tart upfront flavour which is instantly recognisable as raspberry". It's the first time they've made the beer in three years but still get requests for it to return. Bright owner Scott Brandon has also created a special trial batch. â?When I was out mountain biking near home I noticed how amazing the blackberries are this year. They're a weed, but a delicious one. So the kids and I picked enough blackberries to make a small trial batch of blackberry lambic. Early tastings are showing something like a beautiful rose champagne.â? As such, they're thinking of holding a public blackberry pick next year for a full brew. The raspberry lambic's being tapped at the ··· Read more

Released March 6 2011

Winter Warmer

There's a series of TV ads in the UK that's been running for decades with the tagline: "It does exactly what it says on the tin." It could equally apply to Bright's winter warmer, which comes complete with a seriously thick mouthfeel and a fiercely dark brown head. They serve as an omen of what's to come: big mocha aromas with a touch of dark fruit and alcohol, which make way for a palate-smothering wave of rich chocolate, a roast coffee hit and a bitter finish. Get it before it's gone. ··· Read more
Style
Export Stout
Strength
6.2%

Released July 22 2010

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