Following a rather long drive we end up back where we started: Bright. It’s open for Good Friday. We’ve only had (very good) pancakes (and butter!) today so, even though we’ve got dinner at Provenance in Beechworth looming, we stop in at the local brewery for a good beer and a snack.
Bright Brewery is absolutely packed – standing room only.
I’m desperate (desperate, I say!) for a bowl of chips, so we’re given the non-existent Table 100 and told they’ll try to find us.
We stand around the side of the bar where there’s ample space to put a bowl of chips, and watch an amusing exchange with one of the staff with the bloke who served us asking what the deal is with Table 100. He explains and says, ‘Just look for the girl with the hair!’ Notwithstanding that my hair is a beacon, I’m also right behind them. Even better, the confused staff member has our bowl of chips ready to go! I am one happy lady.
These are great chips – if Brodburger had these chips, it would be firing on all cylinders. They’re hot, crunchy and beautifully seasoned with malt salt.
We’re about to be running late to our next dining experience, so we sadly leave here.
But, the chips leave such a lasting impression on me that by 3pm on Sunday we’re back again, having travelled an hour from Milawa to Bright.
And it’s packed – again.
The menu between lunch and dinner says they doing chips and pizzas, but they tell us there’s pizza, but no chips until 5.30. 5.30pm!!!
What to do except settle in and wait?
In all seriousness, I get that sometimes things don’t go to plan, but we’re told it’s just a plain ‘no chips’ – a small explanation would have gone a long way (and it’s otherwise a real credit to them that I like their chips so much!). The easygoing feeling among the staff on Friday is lost a little on the Sunday.
Chips aside, we get some beers. This time we try the paddle of their six beers.
These are a great introduction to the Bright Brewery beers – with just six beers there’s a good range available: simply, six very good, and very different beers. There’s a full overview here. I’m glad we try it, but the amber ale remains my favourite (closely followed by the bright lager).
Eventually 5.30pm rolls around. When we order, they still have to check with the kitchen (!) but thankfully it’s a go ahead.
Are the chips worth the wait? Probably not. But I’m nothing if not stubborn. They’re still excellent. The pizza isn’t as good as Bridge Road Brewers (future post!) but still hits the spot.
As a venue, Bright Brewery is light and energetic – I’d expect it to be loud, but it’s not. The beer gardens out the front and back are ample, and there’s a good vibe throughout. The wait for chips issue is a small one, but could have easily been fixed with a straight-up explanation: No potatoes? No worries. Not enough staff in the kitchen? Fair enough. But no explanation makes everything a touch harder to swallow.
Dates: Friday 18 and Sunday 20 April, 2014
Where: 121 Great Alpine Road
Cost: ~$6-8 per beer; chips $9; pizza ~$16-18
Value for money: High
Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile
Want more? Try their website.