After three years in the brewing biz, Exit Brewing finally has a place to call home — but, in a distinct point of difference from every other brewery in the industry, the bar has a name all its own. Uitgang Bar, a collaboration between Exit co-founders Fraser Rettie and Craig Knight and their beer loving friend David Pike, officially opened its doors early April.
"The name is Flemish for Exit and is an homage to where we were first inspired to brew in Belgium," says Rettie. "We fell in love with beer and first began to home brew there, and the name is just a little something different."
All three owners are Richmond locals, and Rettie had specifically eyed the space enviously many times on previous occasions. "I used to walk past the space almost every day and I'd always stick my head in and think 'this would be a great place to showcase the Exit range," says Rettie. "When we found out it was becoming available, we moved fast."
The space boasts exposed brick and arches, as well as a sizeable beer garden — a commodity along Bridge Road. They hope to grow a few hop plants in the garden, which will be used both for show and as ingredients in pilot brews only available at the bar. The bar features an extensive range of taps, including ten beer, one cider and one carbonated coffee tap, produced nearby at North St. Of the beer taps, four will be dedicated to Exit, one is reserved for Kaiju! Beer — who they share brewing facilities with — and the additional four will act as rotating taps for other Australian craft breweries.
The venue's local focus goes deeper than most — all of the booze in Uitgang will focus on Australian producers, including independently made spirits and wine. Keeping with their community focus, the bar is offering takeaway food services from three of their favourite neighbourhood haunts — pizza and pasta from St Domenico, burgers from Three One 2 One and Vietnamese fusion from Mr Minh. "There are so many quality food places around Bridge Road and we chose to partner with restaurants we love and eat at ourselves," says Rettie.
Having a bar doesn't mean you'll stop seeing Exit beer around town, either. "We have a lot of really loyal retailers and customers so we're very conscious that we don't want to hog all of the limelight with the new bar," says Rettie. Exit will even throw their third birthday at the nearby Royston Hotel, who have been loyal supporters of the brand and have hosted events for them in the past.