Exit Brewing has found a home away from home on Richmond’s beery Bridge Road.
Every brewery wants a tap room. But what happens when your brewery is surrounded by truck wheel alignment centres and furniture warehouses instead of lush pastureland or bustling inner-city thoroughfares? You go one better and create a home away from home to showcase your wares, as Exit Brewing‘s Fraser Rettie, Craig “Grum” Knight and good mate David Pike have done at Uitgang Bar.
The way in which “uitgang” (pronounced “out-gang”) rolls off the tongue, somehow suggests a name for a dank and crazy man-cave, but the name really translates from Flemish to “exit.” Uitgang Bar is certainly no gentleman’s den. In fact the space oozes warm character with a chandelier adorning the main entrance, exposed brick, arches (commonly found in buildings along Bridge Road) and an illuminated front bar.
According to David Pike, few people ventured beyond the venue’s main bar (during the venue’s previous incarnation) to what is set to be Uitgang’s pride and joy: the courtyard.
“The thing that sold this place for me was [the courtyard],” said Pike. “In Richmond you don’t get the opportunity to find nice bars with a good atmosphere where you can sit outside. And the people I’ve been speaking to who used to come here never even knew the courtyard existed!”
As winter gives way to spring and summer, hop bines will be grown up the walls of the courtyard. Aromas from which will doubtless waft up toward the apartments above. If the smell of hops isn’t enticing enough, Fraser Rettie’s flyer drive will welcome the nearby locals in for a neighbourly drink.
Exit is of course known for its hoppy beers, but locals and beer enthusiasts can expect a whole lot more besides from Uitgang’s drinks list. Ten draught lines will pour Exit’s core range, one Kaiju! beer, plus four local guests. Crucially, the cool room will ensure all draught beers will be as fresh as can be.
“Our way of setting up the bar is to the [fresh-as] factor, said Pike. We want to ensure all our brewed, kegged and packaged products to be shipped in the shortest possible time, and we’ve invested quite a bit of money in our cool room where we can keep beers under constant [controlled temperature.]”
Packaged beers, wines and artisanal spirits will also be available. Uitgang Bar might be European in name, but everything served will be entirely Australian made.
Says David Pike: “It’s not a Cheers Bar, it’s about family and friends, coming in and having a good time.” Just like any good home away from home should be.
Uitgang Bar is at 406 Bridge Rd, Richmond.
Open Wed-Thu: 4-11pm, Fri-Sat: 12-11pm, Sun: 12-10pm
Words by Graham Frizzell