If you are walking down the aisle of your local bottleshop and a bright coloured box takes your eye, chances are it is the newly released Bridge Road Brewers IPA Glass Gift Pack.
With colours and graphics looking as though they have come out of the latest Spiderman comic, the designer has done a great job creating a package that looks modern and trendy, and thankfully following this up with worthy content inside the box.
Bridge Road Brewers are a craft brewery located in Beechworth, Victoria, whose smaller size perhaps is eclipsed by its creativity and imagination. In the last 12 months it has created a beer containing truffles that sounds more at home on a gourmet cooking show than in a beer glass, as well as the Beer School four bottle tasting pack that featured a single variety of hop in each bottle to allow drinkers and connoisseurs alike to better appreciate the different taste characteristics that each provides to the beer.
This IPA gift pack contains three beers and and a glass, which to those not familiar with the Spiegelau range of glassware, may appear to be just another beer and glass combo pack. This glass, however, is perhaps the most anticipated beer glass of all time, being specifically designed to suit the IPA style and developed in collaboration with US brewers Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada.
The glass itself would not look out of place at some 70s dinner party (amongst safari suits, side burns, and lava lamps), due to its corrugated conical approaching base that almost gives it a retro look. A closer inspection reveals something that is not only unique to view, but also something relatively light & with a fine glass thickness, making it perhaps as distinguished as the IPA beer style itself. The glass will shatter if dropped, and my sample somehow managed to get scratched, but this is far from being a criticism – the same being expected from a fine wine glass.
The three beer bottles included may have red, blue or green coloured labels (mine were blue & two red), but each bottle contains the same Bridge Road Bling India Pale Ale. The labels have been alternated to fit in with the same bright scheme as the rest of the packaging.
In the words of the brewer, Bling IPA “is armed to the teeth with hops and studded with 24 carrot modified malts”. It pours deep copper in colour and produces a moderate creamy head. A medium aroma intensity delivers a floral perfume-like aroma produced by the hops, with an almost spicy/peppery undertone. A not-too-bitter finishing palate is met, making this more ‘user friendly’ for those who haven’t ventured fully into the IPA style as yet, or trying one for the first time. It has an ABV of 5.8%.
The combination of the beer style and the glassware has been well received, and perhaps is an indicator of a maturing Australian beer scene.
“The pack came about from first getting to use the IPA glass and see how well it performed,” said Bridge Road Brewery founder Ben Krause, “I wanted to showcase this to the drinkers of our beer and also encourage drinkers to try our ‘Bling’ if they were yet to try it”.
When drinking the Bling IPA with food, something spicy is recommended to match the beer’s flavour and hoppiness.
This gift pack is a limited seasonal release that will probably pop up from time to time. Dan Murphy’s have purchased the lions share of available stock for distribution through their and other Woolworths owned stores, making it reasonably accessible to most beer lovers including those in rural areas.