By Ena Hadziselimovic
Victoria's Bridge Road Brewers is out to change the perception that craft beer has no place in fine dining, having picked up listings at some of Australia's top restaurants.
Bridge Road owner Ben Kraus created his 750ml Chevalier range a few years ago to position his beers as a serious drink that can be just as worthy of a place on a restaurant table as a classy bottle of wine.
And the tactic seems to have succeeded, with the Chevaliers having found their way onto the drinks menus of restaurants like George Calombaris' The Press Club in Melbourne, Neil Perry's Rockpool in Sydney and other top Melbourne diners like Vue De Monde and Cutler & Co.
"The idea was to get serious restaurants and their customers to think about beer in a new way," Kraus told TheShout.
"We want customers to be able to go to a really nice place and not be forced to drink wine because that's just what you do at nice restaurants."
The Chevalier Range is a collection of three premium beers: Biere De Garde (7.5% ABV), Hefe Weizen Dunkel (5.2% ABV), and Saison (6.0% ABV).
Kraus said the large format bottles are designed for sharing and they create a talking point in group dining situations.
"Typically you get your own beer stubby in a restaurant and drink that to yourself like an outcast, and if you use a glass, the empty bottle gets quickly tossed out."
"Our bottle can stay on the table because it looks nice and suits a classy joint. People can look at it and talk about it."
Kraus said the Chevalier range also offers excellent value on a restaurant drinks list in comparison to wine.
"At a good restaurant, you wouldn't find a decent wine for under $30 dollars, but our beer is half the price of a really good bottle of sparkling or white and offers plenty to talk about."
"It's a premium beer at a price that would hardly afford you a cheap bottle of wine."