It might not have been Bridge Road's first anniversary brew but the B2 Bomber sure struck a chord, not just with drinkers but with brewery founder Ben Kraus and his team too. From the off it was a beer that stood out from the crowd – look back over the past decade and you won't find too many other imperial Belgian black IPAs in anyone else's back catalogue. And why might you want to look at a decade? This – Bridge Road's 15th birthday – is the tenth release of the beer.
It's one that's always evolved from year to year, early on usually in a rather simple fashion: more of everything. More recently, it's featured some extra ingredients too, such as immature spirit from Corowa Whiskey in 2018, and for 2020 it's freshly ground coffee that joins the ten speciality malts, five New World hops and two Belgian yeast strains.
The new arrival hits first – the coffee acting like the opening snare shot in Like A Rolling Stone: "Do I have your attention? Then let us begin." – before that familiar tale of fruity hops meet roasted malts meet Belgian yeast unfurls. Whatever the changes over the years, that's been the defining characteristic: a beer in which there's so much to catch; the movie that demands a second viewing. There's lime and molasses, something herbal and liquorice like, a sharpness that's presumably the result of both hop and roasted malt bitterness that helps cut through the dense dark chocolate, fruity esters with a hint of banana...
It all comes swaddled in a soft, rounded and lush liquid, making for a welcome addition to any celebration, especially one as impressive as fifteen innovative years in the brewing game.
Published July 1, 2020 2020-07-01 00:00:00