Rosanna Village is one of those shopping strips that tends to favour small businesses over major chains. Little cafés, florists and milk bars all help make Rosanna feel like a small country town, despite it being only a half hour train ride from the CBD.
Located in Melbourne’s northeast, this suburb has plenty to offer the myriad families that live nearby. Yet, for a long time, there was one essential business missing from Rosanna that no community ought to go without: a high quality bottleshop to call its own.
Since opening its doors in October 2016, Vintage 72 has rectified that problem by giving the suburb a home for craft beer, fine wines and high end spirits alike. It sits right in the middle of Rosanna Village and is barely a stone’s throw from the train station, meaning even those travelling home on the Hurstbridge line can sneak past for the latest beers.
While the building that Vintage 72 occupies was a bottleshop for some time, the store spent many years unchanged, with little was done to entice new customers through its doors. That was until it was taken over by the family behind Diamond Creek’s Nillumbik Cellars and Greythorn Cellars in Balwyn North.
They felt the local shopping village could use a bottleshop done well. And, with more than three decades worth of experience selling alcohol in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, they felt that all the store needed was a bit of love.
That love came in the form of a new fit out inside, complete with plenty of fridges to fill with their impressive range of craft beer. Now, the bottleshop focuses on an ever-rotating range of craft beer, all of which is kept refrigerated.
While Vintage 72 does stock those essential beers from those breweries that have become staples in Melbourne beer circles (think Moon Dog, Hawkers and Boatrocker), returning customers can expect to find a new stream of beers awaiting them each time they walk through the doors.
With three stores now connected to Nillumbik Cellars, the group also has a significant level of buying power, which brings with it access to plenty of limited releases, whether they are Australian or imported. This means that the beer geeks of the outer north have a chance to get their hands on those beers that used to only be found on the shelves of the inner north.
Soon after opening its doors, Vintage 72 learned that there is no shortage of people in area looking for craft beer. While many customers do come in seeking a bottle of gin or nice wine, craft beer immediately became the store’s best seller. It's no doubt reassuring to the new owners – and, presumably to the growing number of brewers looking for outlets through which to sell their beer – as the previous occupants had long told any beer reps that knocked on the door that there was a limited demand for craft beer in the area, so stocking a wide range was unnecessary.
Instead, it appears that Rosanna and its surrounding suburbs are full of young parents who take their beer seriously. And that the area is no more impervious to craft beer’s unabated rise throughout Melbourne than many others.