Victoria’s Bright Brewery recently launched its 2021 fresh-hopped beer, titled ‘North East Victoria IPA’, and we reckon it’s their best-ever beer release. Additionally, it features a new modernist label incorporating earth, water and mountain colours designed in a cubist artistic style that we love. It’s fresh, aromatic and uplifting, and a great beer to enjoy during the winter season.

Bright Brewery is the closest brewery to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest hop farm, Rostrevor in Eurobin, situated beside the Ovens River at the base of Mount Buffalo. It’s also famous for hosting adventure seekers in its centrally located brewery/restaurant in the famous tourist town of Bright. Here mountain and road cyclists, hikers, aviation enthusiasts, skiers and snowboarders unite daily for an after-action session. The open-plan interior of the brewery features both table and bench seating with views to the brewing room, spied through viewing windows.

Over the years, Essentials has followed the creative progress of the brewery, noting its continued improvements in ingredient selection and refinement of the various brewing recipes. In 2021, the creativity continues with this edgy new IPA release that’s got us excited about a few more sips, but also for connecting us with the alpine wilderness just in time for ski season.

‘This year, we wanted to do something to really celebrate this truly unique part of the world that we live in, so we’ve created our North East Victoria IPA (NEVIPA). Our fresh-hopped beers are very close to our hearts,’ explains Head Brewer Reid Stratton.

The new IPA is brewed with pure North East Victorian alpine water, and freshly harvested Galaxy hops from nearby Eurobin added to the brew just hours after picking. Additional ingredients include a surprising list of native mountain botanicals hand foraged from the banks of the Ovens River and Mount Hotham by Reid. These connect the new IPA with the freshly scented forests of High Country Victoria.

The new IPA is brewed with pure North East Victorian alpine water

Adding a subtle aromatic and overall fresh, clean finish to the beer, two bitter botanicals include leaves from the Tasmanian pepperberry or mountain pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) and hop bitter-pea leaves (Daviesia latifolia). These were substituted for hops by early European settlers due to the native shrub’s bitterness. Other local natives include round-leaf mint bush (Prostanthera rotundifolia), peppermint gum (Eucalyptus radiata) and lemon-scented gum (Corymbia citriodora), each softly broadening the IPA’s aromatic brilliance.

The resulting IPA is a slightly hazy looking ale with a refreshing aroma similar to the scent of a damp and cool mountain forest. Its flavour is dominated by the clean-tasting youthful, sappy fresh green hops; however, its palate depth is not heavy or overly bitter. This makes it an excellent session ale, well suited to a wide range of food pairing, or just for bloody good drinking!

Bright Brewery’s 2021 fresh-hopped beer, ‘North East Victoria IPA’
Bright Brewery’s open-plan interior

Bright Brewery says the new NEIPA is their most ambitious attempt to capture the flavour of their valley. We think they’ve exceeded their own expectations to produce one of the region’s most well-balanced and enjoyable brews. We’ll be sure to order more as the season continues.

The new Northeast Victoria IPA is now on pour at Bright Brewery.

Bright Brewery
121 Great Alpine Road
Bright, Victoria
Tel 03 5755 1301

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