BRIGHT Brewery marked its 15th anniversary at the weekend but without much fanfare owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner and founder Scott Brandon said he had been looking forward to celebrating the longevity of the brewery, particularly after the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis and the COVID-19 crisis forced its closure for six months overall.
"We're obviously disappointed that we can't celebrate with our friends and family and those who were instrumental in the success of Bright Brewery," he said.
"But we're grateful that we're open again to celebrate with our local friends and visitors from regional Victoria."
This week Bright Brewery will release its limited-edition Pioneer Rum Barrel Aged Stubborn Russian Imperial Stout, which is named in honour of the brewery's first beer, Pioneer Ale.
The beer will be available online and from the brewery.
Mr Brandon, who founded the brewery with his late wife Fiona Reddaway and two friends in a tin shed on the Great Alpine Road, lives nearby the brewery with his three teenage daughters, two of whom also work in the business.
As a founding member of the High Country Brewery Trail, Bright Brewery plays a major role in tourism.
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In 2019, Bright's Hazy Razor Witbier was named the Champion European Style Beer in Australia at the Independent Beer Awards.
That same year, Bright Brewery was inducted into the Victorian Tourism Hall of Fame after being named Victoria's Best Brewery for three years in a row.
"Being recognised as a leader by Victoria's tourism industry for all the work we do in promoting Bright and the High Country meant the world to us," Mr Brandon said.
"We believe what is good for Bright is good for Bright Brewery and vice-versa."
With a new multi-million-dollar production facility in 2018, the brewery was focused on its future early in 2020 when bushfires decimated Bright's peak tourist season and COVID forced it to shut temporarily.
Within 24 hours the brewery pivoted to a direct-to-consumer model, offering home-delivered meals and freshly-poured beers.
"We delivered hot meals around Bright, and we set up a pop-up bar in a refrigerated warehouse in Melbourne and spent many weeks pouring our fresh beers into growlers and delivering them around Melbourne," Mr Brandon said.
When the High Country Brewery Trail's brew day was lost amid COVID, Bright Brewery led a campaign to promote the High Country.
"We bought more than 240 cases of beer from all the other High Country brewers and we packed and delivered mixed cases of beer all over Australia," Mr Brandon said.
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