Exit Brewing

Cast your eyes over the opening salvo of beers from Exit Brewing and it’s easy to conclude they’re only too eager to plunder all parts of the world for inspiration. There’s a couple of saisons, a Scotch ale, some US-inspired hop bombs and not one but two variations on the theme of stout.

It should come as little surprise then that, while Frase and Grum (Fraser Rettie and Craig Knight to their bank managers) are from Melbourne, met in Melbourne many moons ago and now live and work in Melbourne, their route into brewing was an intercontinental one that took in the UK and Ireland, Belgium and the US.

Frase, who was born in Scotland and thus had a British passport, was first to leave Oz, heading to the UK in 2001 to work on a series of major IT projects. Grum, whose brother was working in Ireland, followed later, initially on holiday but later finding IT work too after the successful “Operation Get Grum A Job.”

Reunited on the other side of the world, the duo embarked on various beer trips, including one to Belgium that was the moment their enthusiasm for beer become unconditional love. Upon returning to the UK, Frase headed to a home brew shop in Aldershot, bought some “cans of goo” and after just three brews by that method, moved on to all-grain brewing, starting out with a “stupidly hopped English bitter” that taught them early on the importance of balance.

From day one as home brewers, the practice of making pretty much every beer a different one was there. And they soon began to show promise too; on one visit to Ireland, Grum gave family members in Galway some of his home brewed stout and they promptly declared that Guinness, by comparison, “tastes like pish”.

By the time they were ready to head back to Australia, they’d invested in a quality pilot system designed by the brewer at the UK’s highly rated RedWillow Brewery. And before they left Europe, Frase decided he wanted to say he’d lived in Belgium so rented an apartment 25 minutes walk from Cantillon for three months. As you do.

Once back in Melbourne, they formed Exit Brewing and became one of the first tenants at Cavalier’s communal brewery in Melbourne’s west. Release one was a saison, brewed in tribute to the country that had set them on the road to being commercial brewers, and won them fans from the off.

At the end of 2015, they moved from Cavalier to share KAIJU!’s brewery in Melbourne’s southeastern suburb of Dandenong South. The area is becoming quite a hotbed for small Aussie breweries and the space they’ll occupy with KAIJU! features a 25 hectolitre brewhouse with two of the five 50 hectolitre fermenters set aside for Exit brews.

In April 2017, they opened their own venue, Uitgang Bar, at 406 Bridge Road, Richmond, with another beer loving mate, David Pike. It's a ten tap venue, with four Exit beers always pouring, one KAIJU! and five others on rotation.

Prior to that opening, throughout 2016 they introduced a core range of four beers: Amber, Milk Stout, IPA and Saison, the last of which became their first canned beer.

It’s a core range that covers plenty of bases while remaining true to their ethos of producing beers that are a little bit left of centre. A bit like their brewing company’s name, in fact. Exit: Ex-IT. No, we didn’t get it for ages either…

Name
Exit Brewing
Address

10 Superior Drive
Dandenong South
VIC 3175

Phone
0467 730 220
Website

Exit Brewing Regulars

Exit Brewing Pale

Tapped October 20th, 2017
Exit Brewing's core range has always been one of the quirkier out there. Sure, there's nothing barrel aged or sour, for example, but a lineup of Amber, Milk Stout, IPA and Saison is one free of anything in the lager/golden/kolsch/pale arena, making it distinct from most. But, as we head into summer 2017/18, they've relented and made their second canned release a pale ale – and one that heralds a new look for the brewery. The familiar logo is still front and centre, but it's surrounded by imagery… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
Strength
4.6%
Stockists

Available widely where you find Exit beers

Exit Brewing Amber

Tapped May 24th, 2018
Exit Brewing's fifth release (or #005 to give it its proper name) was well received. Yet the Hoppy Amber was – among tough competition, admittedly – a beer to us that didn't seem quite up to the standards Frase and Grum had set before and have reached since. There was something a little loose about it, as if the various parts weren't quite in sync, leading to an end product that wasn't as tight as we'd come to expect. Thankfully, they returned to the American Amber style, not as a one-off numbered… Read more
Style
American Amber
Strength
5.0%
Stockists

Good beer venues where you'd normally find Exit

Exit Brewing IPA

Ever since moving into Kaiju!'s brewery as house guests, Frase and Grum of Exit Brewing have had rather more tank space in which to play. They took the opportunity to start releasing beers that would form their core range. After releasing 12 bottled beers in numbered fashion, only repeating one and even then with a different recipe, the plan changed: they've continued with the numbered releases but now have a small number of beers that will always be available. And, while we've always been fans of… Read more
Style
IPA
Strength
7.0%
Stockists

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co

Exit Brewing Specials

Exit Brewing IIPA

Tapped July 12th, 2018
They’ve never shied away from going big with hops at Exit, whether it’s in the shape of their punchy core range IPA or a series of one-off PAs with varying prefixes: double, red, West Coast... Among their most popular was #010, a fiercely bitter, no-holds-barred West Coast IPA that, thanks to the IIPA printed on the can here, was the sort of experience we expected when we tucked into the beer the can proclaims as possibly the “heaviest beer can ever” and their “Back In Black”. But while… Read more
Style
Imperial IPA
Strength
9.0%

Exit Brewing #016 Scotch Ale

Tapped August 4th, 2017
Way back in 2014 (yes, we thought Exit had been around longer before checking dates...), Exit Brewing followed up a well received first release, a saison, with a sophomore beer that made it clear they were here to brew what they wanted rather than what they thought the market – at that point, gobbling up golden ales like they were manna from heaven – wanted. #002 was a Scotch ale that held little back. And, now, having added a core range, residency with their mates KAIJU! at a brewery in Dandenong… Read more
Style
Scotch Ale
Strength
7.5%
Stockists

Uitgang Bar

Public Brewery

And select bottleshops in Victoria

More stockists...

Exit Brewing #015 Double Milk Stout

Tapped June 6th, 2017
For many brewers, it's only at this time of the year they decide to increase the roasted, chocolate and other specialty malts in their brewhouse and turn out a darker beer. Exit Brewing, on the other hand, has a Milk Stout as part of its core range, a beer there to satisfy dark beer lovers all year round. But that hasn't deterred them from creating another one for winter 2017 – perhaps just as well, given how cold the start has been in their hometown of Melbourne. As the name suggests, it's a beefed… Read more
Style
Double Milk Stout
Strength
7.7%
Stockists

Uitgang Bar

And select beer outlets in Victoria

Exit Brewing #014: Pale Ale

Tapped December 9th, 2016
They may have eschewed placing a pale ale in their core range, but they've long been fond of playing around with hoppy American style beers. And that's where Exit has headed for its final one-off brew of 2016. Pale ales are the unit shifters in the local craft beer world right now and this one comes loaded up with plenty of the usual suspects: US hops Centennial, Simcoe, Citra and Cascade, with some Kiwi Nelson Sauvin for good measure. At 4.6 percent ABV, it's smack bang in the middle of where you… Read more
Style
American Pale Ale
Strength
4.6%
Stockists

And usual Exit outlets in WA, QLD and NSW

Exit Brewing #013 Double IPA

Tapped September 15th, 2016
With their core range of four now in the market, Frase and Grum have had time for the first time in a while to put together another of their single batch numbered releases. And it's a return to hops: a double IPA that follows a number of variations on the theme from Exit. That said, it's distinct from the core range IPA and #011, their popular West Coast IPA, both of which kept all things malty restrained to let the hops take centre stage. Here, malt has been allocated equal footing as is instantly… Read more
Style
Double IPA
Strength
8.5%
Stockists

Hop Nation Brewery

The Craft & Co

Exit Brewing Saison

Tapped May 31st, 2016
We've made little secret of our fondness for the saisons brewed by Frase and Grum of Exit Brewing. While they've proved to be adept at brewing across a range of styles, we held a particular affinity for their #001 and #006 releases, the first a tribute to the roots of their brewing adventure in Belgium, the second a tweak on that. So, as they've steadily unveiled the four beers that will form their permanent range – first an IPA, then a hoppy Amber, then the Milk Stout – we've been on tenterhooks.… Read more
Style
Saison
Strength
6.2%
Stockists

Look out for it at good beer outlets on the East Coast

Exit Brewing Milk Stout

Tapped May 1st, 2016
The third beer ever released by Frase and Grum Exit, AKA #003, was a Milk Stout. And that's also the style they've opted for to make up the third beer in their core range too – following an IPA and hoppy amber – now that they've got more room to play with as house guests at Kaiju! in Melbourne's south east. For those new to such things, a milk stout is a version of the dark, roasty drops popularised by Guinness into which brewers add some lactose (milk sugar) during the boil. These sugars don't… Read more
Style
Milk Stout
Strength
5.2%

Exit Brewing #011 American Red IPA

Tapped November 9th, 2015
After darting from pillar to post (well, from yeast to malt to hops and back again) for their opening run of beers, the Exit boys seem to have settled into something of a hoppy groove as they move into double figures. Following #009 (the gluten reduced APA) came #010 (a West Coast IPA) and now #011: an American Red IPA. Their final brew at Cavalier's brewery now that they've moved in with their KAIJU! mates is one that looks to ramp up the hops and the malt (as well as coming with a message of loving… Read more
Style
American Red IPA
Strength
7.9%

Exit Brewing #010 West Coast IPA

Tapped October 15th, 2015
As a means of judging whether the Crafty palate is travelling OK or in need of some serious fine-tuning (or, perhaps, a career change), there's a policy within the Towers of first sampling a beer without reference to any label or brewer's notes, if at all possible. This way, notes can be made upon the basis of nothing more than the senses, then compared with the intentions and descriptions of the brewer. In the case of Exit's West Coast IPA, said sampling notes were short and to the point: "Pale,… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
Strength
7.1%

Exit Brewing #009 American Pale Ale (Gluten Reduced)

Tapped July 10th, 2015
With a coeliac inhabiting Crafty Towers, we're fully aware of the evils of gluten; indeed, the bastard has been tagged Vladimir Gluten around these parts. Actually, that's over-egging the pudding; The Crafty Pot is what's termed a "classic coeliac" and thus reacts to gluten like one of those science experiments at school where your physics teacher pulled out a couple of common or garden items, popped them inside a container and, lo and behold, there was a rapid swelling followed by a fountain… Read more
Style
Gluten Reduced Pale Ale
Strength
6.0%

Exit Brewing #007 Smoked Stout

Tapped April 16th, 2015
Having first dabbled in the world of smoke with their second commercial release, the come-and-have-a-go-if-you-think-you're-'ard-enough, 7.5 percent ABV Scotch Ale – a beer that just kept piling on more and more layers of malt – Exit revisited it with this Smoked Stout. That said, while it's an occasion in which they indulged their love of smoked and peated malts, there's plenty more going on within its dark brown body. Indeed, so struck were we by the distinct US hop aromas we picked up on… Read more
Style
Smoked Stout
Strength
5.5%

Exit Brewing #006 Saison

Tapped April 27th, 2015
Having opened their account in fine style with a saison – a nod to the country that lit the fire that set them on the road to home brewing and, ultimately, Exit – Frase and Grum returned to it for #006. Pretty much everything remained the same other than a switch of hops. They'd been unable to get hold of Nelson Sauvin for #001 so used the unique Sorachi Ace instead. This time around, Nelson was available, but Galaxy wasn't. Either way, the beer lives up to, maybe even surpasses their debut,… Read more
Style
Saison
Strength
6.2%
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