Bridge Road Christmas Beers 2021

Red IPA & Pavlova Beer
7.5% & 7.3%

When we wrote up last year’s iterations of these beers, we gave false health information within the first eight words of the write-up. We apologise for any damage caused. We are in the process of firing the writer responsible,† and will do our best to avoid blunders like this in the future.

Fat Man, Red Suit, Big Sack is now in its eighth year with the titular festive giftgiver right there on the can’s label – it appears the elves haven’t managed to oust their unkempt boss, and I, for one, am ecstatic about that.†† Because when this beer was first released in 2014, I saw it and thought: “Hey, a ‘red IPA’! You don’t see many of those around!” Now, in 2021, I see it and think, “Hey, a red IPA! You don’t see many of those around!”

This yearly release is one of the anchors of the style in the Australian market. FMRDBS isn’t exactly the same beer as it was in 2014. It’s not even exactly the same beer as last year – Bridge Road have “reduced the malt and upped the hops making for a dry, lean and more-ish beer”, which may cause some malt lovers to lament as they grieve the loss of the chewy toffee character. But don’t fear: this beer is still very much Fat Hops, Red Malt, Big Flavour. A hop bill of Galaxy, Vic Secret and Enigma hits hard with tropical fruits and pine, and a touch of rhubarb as a slight earthiness joins forces with the piney bitterness. And the malt flavours still keep you company like the pitter-patter of a dishevelled St Nick on the roof.

In a similar vein, the Magical Christmas Unicorn is back with a vengeance, but also with a difference. Where it’s been described as a vanilla ice cream beer in the past, this year it’s evolved into a pavlova beer – still creamy vanilla, still sweet as all get-out, still a lovely body without turning into syrup, but there’s now also a tang of passionfruit to add an extra layer of flavour. A festive dessert beer fit for an Aussie summer.

Mick Wust

†As the writer of those words is the founder and owner of Crafty Pint, firing him is proving to be a lengthier and more difficult process than anticipated. Bear with us.

††Though if they do ever manage to get rid of him, I might have to hit them up to find out how they went about it.

Published November 23, 2021

Bridge Road Brewers

Old Coach House
Ford Street
Beechworth VIC 3747

(03) 5728 2703
Open Hours

Lunch: 7 days from midday to 3pm
Dinner: Thurs to Sun from 6pm to 8.30pm
Brewery door open daily from 11am


Each Saturday at 11am

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