Bridge Road Brewers Brunswick East
This split-level, U-shaped brewery is the younger sibling of Beechworth favourite Bridge Road Brewers, established by Ben Kraus and his wife Maria in 2005. Here, fans of the original will find familiarity – particularly in the beer – but its diverse menu and slick interior prove it to be a different beast to the flagship.
Studio Y handled the vibrant interiors – orange and blue, perfect opposites on the colour wheel, dominate the space. Upholstery is terracotta-coloured, the bar is royal blue. The space is divided into a public bar of high-top tables and booths, a small cellar bar with a focus on wine (though there are plenty of wines on tap at the main bar, too), and outdoor seating out front and back.
Despite the sleekness, there’s no trying to hide the fact that this is a working brewery, with gleaming tanks and fermenters on show and a healthy mix of beers new and old running through its 30 tap lines. Classics such as the Beechworth Pale and Robust Porter will forever be on offer, while more adventurous sours from the Mayday Hills range (like the gruit, which replaces hops with other bitter botanicals), the dark Belgian-style B2 Bomber, and other exclusive brews rotate through.
Bridge Road’s Beechworth home has always had a reputation for enjoyable food, but this location really kicks things up a gear. Steering clear of pub tropes, you’ll find mains and small plates with multifarious flavours on the menu; there’s grilled eggplant, smothered with soy, ginger, chilli and sesame oil. Brisket is served with a chilli beer sauce and tempered by the acidity of Afghani mustard pickles, while Caribbean influence pokes through in a grilled jerk half-chicken, served with cornbread and lemon yoghurt.
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