Earlier this year I succumbed to a long-running temptation and signed up to the Bridge Road Brewers Posse. That’s where you can get Ben and the team to send you a case of beer every three months (I think you can get a deal where you get it sent more often too).
After thinking about it for ages – and not going through with it due to finances and the difficulties in trying to sneak a case of beer into the house without my wife seeing it – I finally signed up on the spur of the moment. And soon thereafter worked out how to sneak the beer into the house (“look honey! Those guys from Bridge Road sent me another case of beer to review. Aren’t they exceptionally generous?).
I realised I’d made a good decision when I got the first box. Not just because it was full of great beer (come on, it’s Bridge Road, I bet they have no idea how to make a bad beer) but because it included some bottles of Beechworth Pale Ale, one of the finest beers on the planet (do I exaggerate? I think not. I think very not).
There aren’t too many beers that make a really strong impression on me the first time I try them. The Beechworth Pale Ale is just such a beer. When I’d just started out writing a newspaper beer column, I emailed a stack of brewers looking for samples to review. I figured no-one would respond but some did.
One of them was Ben from Bridge Road Brewers, who sent me a wonderful box of goodies. In that box was a bottle of Beechworth Pale. I cracked that open one night when I was by myself (which was quite fortunate because, as it turned out, I wouldn’t have wanted to share this beer with anyone).
I poured it into a glass and then took it into the lounge room. I then gave the beer a sniff – because I understood that was what beer writers were supposed to do. Then I gave it another sniff. And another one. And another one.
I kept going, actually putting off drinking the beer because I was so bewitched by the magical tropical fruit aroma. Then, when I finally got around to drinking it I was very impressed with the tasty passionfruity-pine mix. So much so that I wrote in my newspaper column that it was ‘‘Hands down one of the best beers this country has ever made’’.
Close to two years after I wrote those words I still stand by them wholeheartedly. It is an awesome beer.