Melburnians may not be allowed to travel to Brisbane right now but soon they won’t need to catch a flight to be able to enjoy the latest releases from Range Brewing as they're opening a taproom in Abbotsford.
RB Abbotsford is set to open in spring, with the brewery’s co-founder Matt McIver (pictured above in the Keeping Local Alive campaign video) telling The Crafty Pint that plans for the taproom have been the works for some time. In some ways, in fact, the idea's been around longer than the brewery itself.
“We’ve always had a fondness for Melbourne and we did toss and turn with the idea of opening the brewery there,” Matt says. “But it was a little too far from home and we wanted to be in Queensland to start with.”
They’ve been looking for a space since 2019 and, with planning applications and many flights under their belts, they’re finally ready to announce the move. For now, they’re keeping the exact location under wraps but we know it’s near Victoria Park Station and thus not far from Bodriggy's warehouse home and a short stroll from the many breweries and beer venues found throughout Abbotsford and neighbouring Collingwood.
Matt says the decision to open a taproom rather than a second brewery was in part driven by their desire: "to have our brewing all in one place, at least for now.
“If you start brewing beer in two different places they have to be different: the water is instantly different, the person brewing it [is different]. So, for as long as possible, we want to keep brewing in this space [in Brisbane] and we’re pretty determined to do that for as long as we can.”
That’s not to say the beer in Melbourne won’t be fresh; in fact, you won't be able to buy it much fresher as all beer will be cold-freighted south with concurrent launches taking place in both cities each Friday from midday. If you're new to Range, their weekly launches have started attracting lengthy queues outside their Newstead HQ.
Matt says the decision to set up in Melbourne also stems from how much the city's craft beer drinkers have embraced the brand since it launched back in 2018.
“We have a very strong customer base in Melbourne, just based off people who buy from our online store,” he says. “So I think it’s nice for those people who have felt some kind of a connection to our brand for a little while, because of how regularly and long they’ve been buying from us, it’s nice to give them a little piece of Range Brewing.”
As for the way it’ll look, anyone who’s visited the Newstead brewery will find much of what they love about its Scandinavian simplicity in Melbourne. There will be booths, sharing tables and the all-important 16 taps of beer, which will also include guest taps from Range’s mates in the beer world.
“We’re going to try and convey as much of our brand as we can in the space,” Matt says. “Simple, clean design and a really welcoming space with plenty of greenery.”