It’s Bridge Road Brewers but not as you knew it.
In 2005, Ben and Maria Kraus launched in Beechworth and the pioneering brewers have always been innovators. Much of that has to do with their beers, but the approach extends to hospitality too; their welcoming brewpub in the Old Coach House (where they’ve been since 2006) has become a second home for locals and an essential stop for anyone traversing the High Country.
Today, Beechworth is still very much their home but, since late 2023, they’ve been welcoming guests to another in the heart of Melbourne’s inner north. Bridge Road Brewers Brunswick sits inside East Brunswick Village, which was once a quiet corner of the inner north that's been transformed into a bustling community - and what’s a village without a brewery?
The brewpub is a long way from Beechworth and that’s not purely due to the drive. Rather than trying to shoehorn a Gold Rush town vibe into Melbourne’s craft beer and café-soaked inner north, Bridge Road instead built something fit for the area.
The 350-seat brewery is an open, modern, light space where murals and an orange and blue colour scheme runs across the split levels. There’s also two bars, takeaway fridges, some of the finest toilets you’ll ever find inside a brewery, and dog-friendly beer gardens that stretch onto both Nicholson Street and Bluestone Way.
But while it’s sleeker than Beechy, Brunny is still quintessentially Bridge Road. Driving that familiarity is the brewery’s beers, which fill 30 taps and are both colour-coded and divided between Light & Easy, Hoppy & Hazy, Dark & Malty or Sour & Fruity.
Alongside their well-established core range and the releases coming out of Beechworth, there are also many brewed on the 10-hectolitre brewhouse that hugs one side of the venue. That includes Village Pils, the brewpub’s flagship drop brewed for the community and drawing inspiration from Italian pilsners.
When it comes to food, likewise there’s a combined sense of familiarity and originality. Pizzas still have a starring role but a wide array of dishes fuse flavours from around the world while simultaneously drawing on seasonal produce from the High Country. Vegetarians, vegans, the gluten intolerant, and kids are also well looked after.
For many years, Bridge Road Brewers has been a regional destination and, while it remains so, the brewery’s welcoming hospitality and beers are now part of Melbourne’s craft beer heartland. Having said that, if you're not a Melburnian, Bridge Road Brewers Brunswick is still worth the travel.