Driving past hop fields and grape vines that replace the tobacco fields of old, we arrive at a large tin shed in the middle of Bright, in Victoria’s high country. Two large fermenters stand out front like silent sentinels guarding the brewery within the shed. Two large doors on the side of the Bright Brewery connect the bar to a beer garden covered by two large shade cloths. At the bar you can taste all eight of the Bright beers on tap.
Les, the new bar manager, greets us at the bar. A desire to move back to the country prompted him to leave The Local Taphouse Darlo for picturesque Bright. We arrive on Friday afternoon to take advantage of the brewery tour and tasting session that is run every Friday at 3pm. Les will be carrying out this afternoon’s tour of the brewery. Jon Seltin is the new brewer, but we won’t see him today as he is out paragliding. Jon has gained a fine reputation after taking the quality of the Bright beers up another notch.
The beer range begins with the light flavoured Bright Lager. Hellfire Amber English-style ale has a faint English hop aroma with a good body and bitterness. Blowhard Pale, an American-style pale ale, is light but has a lovely fruity citrus aroma from the late hop addition. Razor Witbier is a lightly flavoured Belgian-style Witbier spiced with coriander. Staircase Porter is a porter with a wonderful dark roasty aroma. Fainters Dubbel is a thick and rich Belgian Dubbel-style that has a sweet malty raisin flavour. Mystic Mild is a 3% mild ale which is light in body but still well flavoured. Stubborn Russian is a roasted malty Russian Imperial Stout that is dangerously drinkable at 7.5%.
Scott and Fiona Brandon own Bright Brewery, after buying out their business partners a couple of years ago. Having full control over the brewery has allowed them to make a number of changes to improve the brewery, such as hiring Jon and Les. The next big change planned is an expansion of the building. The expansion is necessary, because the current brewery allows little room for working and at the bar there is only seating for a few people. An indoors-seating area would allow for more visitors is colder weather. It will allow Jon room to move around, and will give them enough room to get a bottling machine.
Food can be ordered at the bar, including a selection of pizzas, Panini, nachos, and Kransky rolls. They also have their 5 litre mini kegs of Lager and Dubbel, T-shirts, beer glasses, and other Bright Brewery paraphernalia for sale.
The Bright Brewery beer garden overlooks a children’s playground and the Ovens River. Relaxing with a beer, listening to the sounds of the river in the background, with the occasional squeal of children playing, is a fantastic way to spend a warm afternoon.
Bright Brewery can be found at 121 Great Alpine Road, Bright.. The doors open every day at noon, and brewery tours are held on Fridays at 3pm. They have bands that play live music on Sundays from 4pm.
For more information call (03) 5755 1301.