Hellfire here on earth — in Bright Victoria

It’s near the Victorian ski pistes, but in summer the new Bright Brewery in Gavin Street, Bright — opposite the legendary Simone’s restaurant – flicks the palate into overdrive.

The beers are all brewed on site and served with Milawa cheese, local dips, local olives and local relishes in the lounge or out on the deck overlooking the town swimming hole.

If you’re visiting don’t stress over the beer choice – just put your palate to the rack, a nifty little wooden tray with shallow wells holding tasting glasses of all of the brews currently available.

If you’re lucky you might have one of the owners – David and Julie Cocks, Scott Brandon or Fiona Reddaway – guide you through the range. But it’s a pleasant journey in its own right savouring English and American ale styles, porter and Belgian style strong wheat ale.

You can buy the beers direct from the brewery. See www.brightbrewery.com.au

Bright Brewery Hellfire Ale 24X330ml $85
Bright’s amber brew is vaguely in the English pale ale style, though notably maltier and with a touch of caramel giving a hint of sweetness. But a good dose of hops keeps the sweetness in balance, starting with appealing aromatic high notes then providing a tantalising, drying, refreshing bitterness.

Bright Brewery Blowhard Pale Ale 24X330ml $85
Blowhard seems more in the mould of American style pale ales — and that often means a burly, muscly, malt-opulence versus hops-bitterness arm wrestle. It’s amazingly zesty, fresh and rich. But as you sip away, the resiny/citrusy hops gain the upper hand. You love it or hate it. But you never forget it.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007

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