Gift box indicator of maturing local beer scene
The recent release of the Bridge Road Brewers IPA Glass Gift Pack may very well be an indicator that the Australian Craft Beer sector is maturing, with consumers being more willing to purchase beers and related specialty glassware that less than five years ago were only available through specialty beer stores, and glassware outlets.
“The Gift Packs has been really well received,” said Ben Krause, Bridge Road Brewery. “As packs have become scarce people are driving across suburbs to get their hands on a one based on social media tip offs of where they were still available. It is really great to see,” he said.
Adding to the weight of the argument that Australians are becoming more desirous to see craft beer through a new light, and more inclined to try an expanded range of beer related products, national retailer Dan Murphy’s purchased virtually the entire release, making these available through their stores Australia wide, as well as through their online portal www.danmurphys.com.au
Packaged in ‘highly anticipated’ beer glass
The Bridge Road Brewers IPA Glass Gift Pack contains three beers and and a glass, which to those not familiar with the Spiegelau range of glassware, may appear to be just another beer and glass combo pack. The glass however is perhaps the most anticipated beer glass of all time, being specifically designed to suit the IPA style with the collaboration of US brewers Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada.
Heritage of India Pale Ale ‘modernised’ with packaging
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer, originally a heavily hopped beer developed for the long haul from England to India by boat in the early to mid-eighteenth century. The English variant of the style usually has a moderate to moderately high floral, earthy or fruity hop aroma, with a similar taste and moderate to high hop bitterness.
Despite the heritage of this style of beer, a modern and bright theme was chosen to make the package stand out, employing primarily the colours of red, green, blue and yellow predominantly on each side, indicating the desire of the brewer to give it a wider appeal. The three beer bottles included may have have different coloured label variants, but each bottle contains the same Bridge Road Bling India Pale Ale. The labels have been alternated to fit in with the same bright scheme as the rest of the packaging.
Craft brewery with ‘imagination’
Bridge Road Brewers are a Craft Brewery located in Beechworth Victoria, whose smaller size perhaps is eclipsed by its creativity and imagination. In the last 12 months they have created a beer containing truffles that sounds more at home on a gourmet cooking show than in a beer glass, as well as a Beer School four bottle tasting pack that featured a single variety of hop in each bottle to allow drinkers and connoisseurs alike to better appreciate the different taste characteristics that each provides to the beer.
IPA Glass Gift Pack well received
The combination of the beer style and the glassware in the Bridge Road Brewers IPA Glass Gift Pack has been well received, and perhaps is an indicator of a maturing Australian beer scene.
“The pack came about from first getting to use the IPA glass and see how well it performed,” Mr Krause said. “I wanted to showcase this to the drinkers of our beer and also encourage drinkers to try our ‘Bling’ if they were yet to try it,” he said.
In the words of the brewer, Bling IPA “is armed to the teeth with hops and studded with 24 carrot modified malts”. It pours deep copper in colour and produces a moderate creamy head. A medium aroma intensity delivers a floral perfume-like aroma produced by the hops, with an almost spicy/peppery undertone. A not too bitter finishing palate is met, making this more ‘user friendly’ for those who haven’t ventured fully into the IPA style as yet, or trying one for the first time. It has an ABV of 5.8 per cent.
This gift pack is a limited seasonal release that will probably pop up from time to time.
“Due to our size and scale, pretty much everything we do is somewhat limited,” Mr Krause said.“These packs even more so, though we will do a second release in time for Christmas,” he said.
The Spiegelau beer glass actually ran out of stock with the Australian distributor after the pack was released, demonstrating the popularity of the glass within the Australian market, or perhaps the popularity of this beer pack. The design objective of the glass is the enhance the aroma produced by the IPA style, thus improving the taste experience, aroma being a large contributor to taste.
The glass itself almost has a retro look due to its corrugated conical approaching base. A closer inspection reveals something that is not only unique to view, but also something relatively light and with a fine glass thickness, making it perhaps as distinguished as the IPA beer style itself. The glass will shatter if dropped, but this is far from being a criticism – the same being expected from a fine wine glass.
Recommended food matches
When drinking the Bling IPA with food, something spicy is recommended to match the beers flavour and hoppiness.
The Bridge Road Brewers IPA Glass Gift Pack so far has found favour with all levels of beer drinkers, ranging from beginners to connoisseurs, with an approximate shelf price of $24.
About the author: Matt Chapman has a professional background in IT, and has an interest in food and beverages, especially beer.