The full High Country Brewery Grind bikepacking route
The full High Country Brewery Grind links all 9 High Country breweries together into an epic 7+ day bikepacking route: Mitta Mitta, Rutherglen Brewery, Black Dog Brewery (Taminick), The Malt Shed (Wangaratta), Bridge Road Brewers (Beechworth), Blizzard Brewing Company (Dinner Plain), Billsons Brewery (Beechworth) and the Bright Brewery.
This is an epic, 700km+ bikepacking route with solid days and plenty of elevation gain. We set the route up along some basic guiding principles:
- Each day ends at or near one of the breweries.
- Gravel or singletrack where possible, but quiet sealed roads are OK too.
- The surfaces and riding must be manageable on a cross/gravel bike (ie not MTB goat tracks).
- Each night should have a variety of accommodation options, as close to the brewery as possible.
We will be releasing the full route via our website and also bikepacking.com as soon as we’re happy with the last couple of sections.
What’s the (mini) High Country Brewery Grind?
The (mini) High Country Brewery Grind is a shortened version of the full route. It’s a 3-day, 2-night bikepacking ride that takes in four of the High Country breweries: Bridge Road Brewers (Beechworth), King River Brewing (King Valley), Billson’s Brewery (Beechworth) and the Bright Brewery.
This Melbourne Cup weekend (Sat-Mon Oct 31 – Nov 2) we’ll be riding the mini route.
This ride is an unsupported gravel/bikepacking ride where a group of riders leave Beechworth at roughly the same time and follow a mapped route. It doesn’t have an entry fee or insurance, and won’t have any formal organising other than what we all figure out between ourselves before and during the ride.
All riders will be riding at their own risk and supporting themselves (well, we’ll be supporting each other).
Distance 265km, elevation gain +3750m. Most of the climbing is on days 2 and 3, when we tackle Goldie Spur Track (day 2) and then climb the gravel Mt Porepunkah Rd and pretend to be IPWR riders up the sealed Back of Stanley climb (day 3). On loaded bikes.
- Fri 30 Oct: Arrive Beechworth (Billson’s Brewery). Camp in Beechworth.
- Sat 31 Oct: Beechworth to Whitfield, 80km (King River Brewing). Camp at Gentle Annie (n.b. we’re trying to arrange a private camping spot south east of Cheshunt, which would add 20km to day 1 and take 20km off day 2).
- Sun 1 Nov: Whitfield to Bright, 95km (Bright Brewery). Camp in Bright at Camp Crusty.
- Mon 2 Nov: Bright to Beechworth, 90km (Bridge Road Brewers)
- Tue 3 Nov (Cup Day): Kick back, head home.
Note the word “draft” in that title. The route may change slightly between now and October.
This is a bikepacking ride, so most riders will be carrying their own accommodation on their bikes. If you want to free-camp somewhere or live it up in an AirBnB that’s cool. Otherwise, we’re making arrangements with Beechworth, Whitfield and Bright camping spots to overcome 2-night minimum stay requirements.
Fri 30: Beechworth. We’re arranging unpowered sites for up to 40 riders at Beechworth Lake Sambell Caravan Park, 1.5km from town.
Sat 31: Beechworth-Whitfield: We’re arranging unpowered sites for up to 40 riders at Gentle Annie campground, 2km north of the Whitfield pub and 4km south of King River Brewing. N.B. we are trying to arrange an alternative (and special) camping spot south-east of Cheshunt to shorten day 2 a little. Stay tuned for more info.
Sun 1: Whitfield-Bright. We’re arranging unpowered sites for up to 40 riders at Bright NRMA Caravan Park, 200m from town.
Mon 2: Bright-Beechworth. Some riders will be driving home after finishing the ride, so we haven’t arranged anything for this night. But day 3 will be a big day, so we recommend you book yourself something.
To reserve one of the Gravelmob-arranged sites on Fri+Sat+Sun night you must book a ticket for each rider via our online booking system. You can add multiple riders per booking. The tickets are $60 per person (each night is $20pp). Please note – this isn’t a ride entry fee (there isn’t one of those), this is just to reserve your spot at the campgrounds.
The route has multiple breakfast options in Beechworth, Whitfield, Cheshunt and Bright, cafe lunch options in Moyhu (day 1) and Myrtleford (day 3), and pub or takeaway dinner options in Whitfield, Bright and Beechworth (days 1, 2 and 3). Note that day 2 has no lunch option, unless you ride up to Myrtleford. We are thinking we might arrange a food stop at the top of Lake Buffalo, but for now you should plan to carry your own lunch that day.
There’s no obligation for us to all eat together. You can BYO food and cook en route, in the camp kitchens, on your mini-stove, or whatever you like.
We support the “ride what you have” philosophy as the best way to approach bikepacking. Just strap stuff to your bike and have fun.
That said, things will be a little easier (and arguably more enjoyable) on this ride with:
- A gravel bike or hardtail MTB with 38mm+ tyres.
- A lightweight tent and sleeping gear that’ll keep you comfortable and warm at 0-5 degrees.
- Ride clothing suitable for weather that could be anything from sunny and hot to raining and 10 degrees.
- A good attitude towards the local black and white feathered friends who haven’t yet learned that humans on bikes aren’t endangering their nests…
- Bikepacking bags or touring panniers (maybe you could borrow some if you don’t have any – it can be uncomfortable to ride long distances with a backpack).
- Planning around your packing and how to carry what you need on your bike. If you’re new to it all then bikepacking.com and cyclingabout.com are good places to start, or you can call us and we’ll share what we know. And you could have a go at a few loaded test rides over winter as part of your preparation.
Are you keen?
If you’re interested in being part of this ride please let us know by booking your camping accommodation (below) or emailing us at email@example.com. And if you think you’d like to ride it on one of our Bombtrack hire bikes, book early!
This ride could either be a highlight of your year or a complete disaster. Either way, you’ll have something to talk about…