Conceived by Ben Kraus in his dad’s back shed in 2005, Bridge Road Brewers has grown to become one of Australia’s most prominent craft breweries. Bridge Road Brewers has a strong history creating 100 per cent of its beer from scratch, on its own production equipment in its beautiful home town of Beechworth, Victoria. This Queens Birthday long weekend marks the 13th birthday of Bridge Road Brewers and also caps off a stellar year of growth and accolades. Beechworth Pale is their flagship beer being voted as Victoria’s top ranked Pale Ale in the Hottest 100 coming in at number 9 overall. It also took out gold in 2018 Australian International Beer Awards.
You may already know the story of Ben and Maria Kraus setting out to start a microbrewery in Beechworth together in 2005 after Ben somehow convinced Maria to move to Beechworth from Tirol, Austria. Reflecting on it now, it was a pretty bold and naïve move for a couple of 24-year-olds with $15,000 as starting capital. Ben claims having strong support as key to their success in what was then an undeveloped market.
Bridge Road Brewers has had many milestones over this time, and currently enjoys distribution throughout Australia as well as into export markets including America, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Looking back on the past 13 years Kraus notes a few milestones.
“When I look back over the blur that is the last 13 years the highlights include being at the first microbrewer’s showcase in Federation Square and having our beer on tap at the same time at Transport Bar; bringing the High Country to the big smoke, a theme that we continue to follow 13 years later. Another was being able to go to Norway to collaborate with Kjetil from Nogne O in creating perhaps the world’s first commercial India Saison. This beer was also the first commercial beer in Europe to use Australian Galaxy and (St)Ella hops, taking the High Country to Europe so to speak. Since then I have had the pleasure of brewing with Aussie hops in Belgium with De Struisse, California with Stone, Austria with Starkenberger and Bierol and twice in Italy with Birra del Borgo. On the back of the trip to California we were also lucky enough to represent at the Firestone Walker festival and also take over the taps at Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco.”
“Launching our ‘Respecting the Craft’ logos two years ago was also a highlight, and something that allows us to remain focused on our core values and remind us why we do what we do and how we should go about making decisions.”
Kraus continued: “Our business has grown steadily over that period of time, and I’m quite proud that this has been achieved organically with our own funding and being able to stay true to our values and beliefs. This organic growth also allows us to focus on our passion, making craft beer, rather than the passion of investors, banks or other interests, getting returns. As we head into year 14 we have more steady expansion underway and I am currently enjoying trying to figure out how to get more out of our unique space here in Beechworth.”
Bridge Road Brewers owes a big part of its success to its hard-working team, from the venue staff in Beechworth through to the sales team on the road around the country, with their beers available in draught and packaged formats down the east coast and into SA.
The brewery has a huge following within craft beer circles and has staked its claim as being a pioneer and leader in the industry. With go-to staples such as Beechworth Pale and Robust Porter they have a reliable core range of beers. But not ones to rest on their laurels, the team behind this regional brewery also continues to innovate and lead bringing new and exciting ideas to the industry to ensure they are recognised at the pointy end of craft beer, as well as the safer side.
To celebrate this milestone they are launching their B2 Bomber Mach 8.0 and Bling Bling (330ml cans) nationally today, with both official and unofficial venues making these two beers available on tap and for take-away.
Learn more about the Bridge Road Brewers story here.