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Exit Brewing Company
They grew up in the same neck of the woods and their mums played tennis at the same club, but it was their careers that first brought them together and beer that looks like changing their lives. Fraser Rettie and Craig Knight – or Frase and Grum to their mates – are the pair behind one of Australia’s newest brewing companies, Exit Brewing, and released their first beer earlier this month. The pair both hail from Melbourne and are both living in Melbourne these days, but have enjoyed a rather circuitous path in the meantime.
“We both grew up in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, near Croydon,” says Frase. “We didn’t know each other as kids but ended up working together on the same IT project at Citipower and found out that our mums knew each other from playing the same tennis club.”
Start of Brewing
And so it was that, five years ago, they began homebrewing before making the step up at the start of this year. After more than a decade overseas, they returned to Australia within six months of each other and then signed up for the ever-growing community brewery that is Cavalier in Melbourne’s west after sharing their grand vision with one of the staff at Frase’s local bottleshop, Slowbeer.
Frase said they weren’t interested in contract brewing. They got the opportunity through Shayne, who works at Slowbeer and at Cavalier and told them what they were doing at the brewery. This seemed like a great, cost effective way for them to bridge the gap between home/nano brewing and getting their own brew house. They bought a 3000 litre fermenter there and also have a pilot/nano system that a UK brewer had put them on to set up in an industrial unit in Seaford. They use that to brew experimental stuff - one keg and a few bottles at a time.
With their shiny new fermenter in place at Cavalier, they chose to brew a Saison as their first beer. And what a debut it is: an elegant, spicy, herbal and dry take on the style featuring Galaxy, Sorachi Ace and Citra hops that belies the fact it is their first stab at commercial brewing, tagged Exit #001.
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