Beer Review: Bridge Road Dark Harvest

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Bridge Road Dark Harvest
Bridge Road Brewers Beechworth

You don’t know the power of the dark side. OK, May the Fourth has been and gone, but this beer has some serious allure that would make Luke Skywalker turn his back on Yoda and rent a Death Star apartment.

Ben Kraus and the team at Bridge Road in Beechworth first made this Dark Harvest Ale with Danish gypsy brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller in 2012 when they created a one off brew at night (inspiring the “Dark” theme) during hop harvest season.

This beer is a wet hop ale which means hops are picked and almost immediately used in the brewing process, rather than being kiln dried. Wet hops still have the base floral and bitter notes you get with kiln dried hops but there is more intensity and vibrancy.

The striking pine and yes, floral notes I got from this beer definitely proved this theory and against a big malt profile, I was in beer heaven. I asked Ben what he loved about making this beer, “Each year we are given access to the Rostrevor Hop Garden research and breeding program and select yet to be named hop cultivars to use in this beer. This means we get to roam the research block picking and sniffing some brand new hop varieties with really interesting characteristics.”

This year’s Dark Harvest has the rich malt base, fluffy tan head and almost black colour we’ve come to expect from previous releases, but the 2014 version has a more pronounced citrus and sweet toffee experience.

A limited release, this is one is a must-try in the coming weeks, but be quick!

Bridge Road Dark Harvest Stats
ABV: 6.6%
Style: Black Wet Hop Ale
Serving Temperature: 6 – 8 degrees
Food Pairing: Fresh oysters with citrus dressing
Origin: Beechworth, Victoria
Price (RRP): 330ml $9 / 24 x 330ml $110
Buy it here: bridgeroadbrewers.com.au/beers/special-releases/the-dark-harvest

On the Bandwagon

Trev has earned a reputation in the Australian craft beer industry as a passionate advocate for local breweries and educating the masses about the beer they are drinking. He is the founder and Chair of Bendigo Beer which runs many events including the widely acclaimed Bendigo On The Hop festival.