Fulfilling a long-held dream to brew my own craft beer, with this collaboration with our friends at Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth – Life in the Peloton beer is back.
We’re super excited to announce the second-release batch of our sell-out Life in the Peloton beer, made by our friends at Bridge Road Brewers. It has been a quietly growing dream of mine to have put my own beer out there to the world since I really developed a passion for beer and brewing during my time in Europe. I’m a beer lover from way back – and I know I’m not alone there – but it was when I first turned pro and moved to Belgium that I really started getting interested in it and discovering the local beers and brewing scene was one of my favourite things about living in Belgium.
I loved hearing the history of brewing in the country, and I was out there learning as much as I could about it. In Belgium, beer is so much more than sinking a cold one on a Saturday afternoon (Aussie style), it’s more about the deep history of brewing beer, and I loved learning how it was brewed with the monks and aged like wine, with different alcohol percentages and different tastes – that’s when it became interesting to me.
It was later when I moved to Girona that I bought my first homebrew kit and started brewing beer – from the bathtub in our apartment no less. Obviously later once we had kids that became a bit unfeasible, so I kind of shelved the idea as something I would explore further once we moved back to Australia. Of course, in the interim, the craft brewing scene was exploding in Australia, and I loved making new beer discoveries every time I was back in the country. No longer was beer in Australia just dominated by one or two large breweries making fairly unimaginative lagers, there were new, boutique brewers popping up on every corner.
When I moved back to Australia after I retired, I was starting to reintegrate with the cycling scene in Australia, and one of the best places to experience that is in the Victorian high-country town of Beechworth – I just love the cycling scene and the riding up there, and I was spending a lot of time in the area. It was here that I discovered one of my favourite craft brews, the Bridge Road Brewers Beechworth Pale Ale. I also got chatting to Ben Kraus, the owner of BRB and with him being a fellow lover of cycling and craft beer, discovered that we had a lot in common. Bridge Road Brewers was one of the original craft breweries, having started from Ben’s parent’s garage, in Bridge Road, Beechworth in 2005. The brewery has grown organically in this time, taking over rustic premises in the town and brewing some very quality craft beers in this time (if you haven’t tried their Beechworth Pale Ale, check it out, it’s a classic).
When we decided to collaborate on this beer, Ben drew inspiration from some of my favourite beers – at the time I was really getting back to my roots having just moved home to Australia, and I was in a phase of just loving a good old-fashioned Coopers Pale Ale – so we started to build it from there. It was important that this beer referenced my love of Belgian beers and drew together the cycling and beer influences of Belgium – after all, it’s the true heartland of both. But we also recognised that Belgian beers aren’t for everyone and are something of an acquired taste. So, we started to bring in subtle flavours of Belgian yeast, to give a nod to my time living there, and round out my own experience.
The result is the coming together of these two worlds, so to speak. It’s an Australian-made beer, with fresh pale ale vibes, and a nod to Belgium, which also gives it a hint of cycling in its DNA. It is crafted to be an approachable style, with a dryness and crispness and great malt flavour that comes from high-quality ingredients. It differentiates itself from other cult beverages by its layered flavour, and we’re describing it as the mixed-terrain variety of beer – just like nobody likes riding endlessly along a long straight road every day, you wouldn’t want to drink the same soulless beer every day. This beer mixes things up, with some different layers and rolling hills, some gravel and smooth tarmac – it’s not a wild, out-there experience, but more of a nice, smooth journey along picturesque roads.
It’s also the perfect blending of our two companies – with our combined love and knowledge of cycling and beer. The first release of the Life in the Peloton x Bridge Road Brewers craft beer sold out in a matter of days, and we were so stoked that people loved it as much as we did. There have been a couple of tweaks to the recipe of the first release – mostly, this batch is hyper-local and features a Belgian-style yeast sourced locally from Melbourne start-up Bluestone Yeast Co. Using locally grown ingredients sourced from sustainable and regenerative regional farmers in their beers, helps BRB to deliver sustainable, low-carbon footprint beers. We can’t wait for you to try the second release LITP x BRB beers – grab some quickly and let us know what you think!