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Try-It Thursday April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015


Q markBridge Road Brewers Beechworth

Pale Ale

4.8% Pale Ale

It was back in 2005 as memory serves and the first Victorian Microbrewery Showcase in The Atrium at Federation Square where I first met Ben Kraus. There was taken the first of what would become many sips of his Beechworth Pale Ale. Brewed (back then) in the shed at the back of the family home, Beechworth Pale was the ‘go-to’ US style pale before the growth spurt in Australian craft that saw an influx of inspired imitations that had begun with Little Creatures.

This is a pale that has always been ‘thereabouts’ but never seems to attract the critical acclaim it deserves. After dipping in and out of the Critics’ Choice the past five years, it made its way into the Top 10, joining regular Top 5 entrant and fellow stable-mate, Chevalier Saison.

BRB Pale 1

And to the beer itself;

The Bridge Road Brewers website says;

“Bridge Roads benchmark ale, the Beechworth Pale Ale is a beer dominated by its aromatic hop profile. Often the yard stick of microbreweries, this beer is based on classic American styled Pale Ales, crisp and refreshing, a mouthful of aromatic hops. Beechworth Pale Ale is bound to satisfy hop heads and make a definite impression on those new to the craft beer scene. Beechworth Pale Ale is a hand crafted “new world” pale ale. Dry hopped with both U.S and N.Z hop varieties, we constantly tweak this beer from season to season to get things just the way we like it. We hope you will too.”

James Smith at The Crafty Pint opines similarly;

“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.”

BRB Pale 3

The Beer Ambassador writes glowingly;

“Just by smelling the burst of gas that releases from the pop of the top you know this is going to be a hop driven pale ale. With concentrated grass and resinous hop nose before you pour. The pour releases a beautiful lychee sweetness and subtle fresh cut grass and hop overtones. Swirling this beer in the glass releases more resinous hop notes. A light sweet malt aroma is there in the background. Nice persistent white dense head with medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with medium body and drinks beautifully with a nice dry finish and rounded subtle sweetness. Flavours of pine come through on the palate with a slight stone-fruit taking over from the lychee and a definite floral spice from this batch of hops.

The bitterness has a sharp bite on the mid palate, however rounds out nicely on the back palate with grapefruit bitterness leaving a fresh amount of hops flavours, lasting well after your final sip. Be careful as this hop heavy drink will have your mouth feeling numb with hop resins after a few! With a 4.8% alcohol reading this beer can work in most situations.”

The Critics’ Choice (#29 in 2011,#18 in 2013 and #5 this year) says;

“A showcase of fresh hop flavours, this American style Pale Ale is full of citrus and tropical fruit bombs. A thirsty palate is rewarded with vibrant bubbles and a zesty finish that turns your tastebuds into demanding crowds who are screaming for more.” {Pia Poynton]

“Other US-inspired pales amy have gained more critical acclaim over the past few years, but this one itself paved the way for many of them. One of the original beers in the core range, it’s a New World interpretation which means it has been given the Ben Kraus Treatment and permission to be tweaked from season to season.” [Pete Mitcham]

All that’s left now is for you to go and revisit this benchmark Australian craft beauty.

Bridge Road Brewers

The Crafty Pint

The Beer Ambassador

The Critics’ Choice

Girl + Beer Blog





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