The original Bright Brewery shut down in 1916 and this modern incarnation was started by a quartet of ‘ale changers’ – couples David and Julie Cocks, and Scott Brandon and Fiona Reddaway – some 90 years later. Skiers en route to Mount Hotham pass through the small township of Bright and the area is also popular with bushwalkers, hang-gliders and mountainbikers. A strong love of the outdoors is a common thread running through the lives of the four close friends behind Bright Brewery, who each met their respective spouses through the Monash University bushwalking club. Later on, David and Scott graduated in engineering, Julie and Fiona in economics; subsequently, the four have left city careers behind and moved to Bright to raise young families. The enterprise started with beer being made at the Jamieson Brewery for the annual Alpine Valley’s Gourmet Weekend in 2005. Within a year a secondhand microbrewery (which had been operating in Japan) had been installed in premises on the main road of Bright and the first beer flowed there in May 2006. Two pale ales were the first brews rolled out and were contrasting variations on British and American styles. Staircase Porter followed, then a Belgian dubbel, a wit beer and more recently, a lager.
The range has been built on steadily from the original pair of pale ales with each new release a well-thought out addition: a robust porter, a Belgian witbier and a raspberry-infused wheat beer.
Bright Blowhard Pale
Behind the Label
A bright light illuminating a silhouetted beer bottle is the brewery’s logo and, like most of their range, Staircase Porter is named after a local landform. The Staircase Spur is a tortuous route up Victoria’s highest mountain – Mount Bogong, which looms large outside Bright. The route is only some 6 kilometres in length but includes a challenging 1400-metre climb in altitude; bushwalkers have to scramble up natural ‘steps’ comprising boulders, stone blocks and tree roots, during the quadriceps-burning ascent. You’d probably be ready for a porter or two by the time you reached the summit.
121 Great Alpine Road, Bright 3741 Tours by appointment; bar; food; takeaway sales
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