Beechworth native Ben Kraus and his Austrian partner Maria Frischmann started Bridge Road Brewers in Ben’s dad’s garage in 2005. Ben studied viticulture locally, later working at wineries in Europe. There he met Frischmann and the pair moved back to Australia, with Ben eventually switching wine for a hops-focused operation.

The brewery soon grew in size and moved into the old Cobb & Co coach site on Ford Street. The sprawling venue features a pizzeria, bar, beer garden and the brewery out back. Everything is done on-site – from the milling and mashing to fermenting, maturing and bottling.

Along with a core range of pale ales, pilsner and stout, the brewery is constantly experimenting, creating small-batch releases that might use local produce such as Stanley chestnuts or wine yeast from nearby vineyards. Ageing processes include using old wine and whisky barrels.

Bridge Road Brewers is a cross-generational venue, with tasting paddles to entertain the adults and a playground for the kids. It’s the kind of place you could bring your grandparents, as well as your bearded home-brewer mate.

Doughy pretzels and wood-fired pizzas soak up excess beer. The house bread is made using spent grain and wheat beer, and served with a local olive oil. Try the Stanley apple pizza with gorgonzola, rocket and almonds, followed by a tub of locally made Gundowring ice cream.

And yes, the sign at the entrance that says “free bikes” really does mean you can borrow a bike, for free, to glide about town. If you happen to visit in October, make sure you book a spot at the annual Oktoberfest party. Frischmann’s heritage ensures it’s always authentic.

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Updated: November 19th, 2022

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