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BREWING BY DESIGN

The growing number of excellent breweries found in Australia these days sets a high bar for any newcomer to the scene. So, how do you stand out? How do you have a truly fresh feel?

Having spent time with the new Brisbane brewery’s founders, Mick Wust reckons the team at Range Brewing has set themselves apart in not one, but two ways: the way they integrate simplicity of design into everything they do, and their pathfinder approach to beer: “Forever exploring, Forever evolving.”

The three guys behind Range are convinced the beer experience doesn’t have to be boring, smelly, monotonous, stale or blokey. Breweries and bars (often the main influencers of beer culture) can be stylish, fresh, and cutting edge. They can take design and aesthetics seriously. They can take the best of tradition, while also trying things that others aren’t.

These convictions first awakened in founders Gerard Martin and Matt McIver (pictured above) during their time in Europe. First becoming friends in their school days in Toowoomba, the pair has lived and travelled in each other’s pockets for the better part of a decade, and they forged the ideas for Range Brewing when they were both living in London.

Matt was working for BrewDog, as well as being the brand ambassador for the London Craft Beer Festival. Gerard was doing design work for a furniture company that favoured “thoughtful, responsible and intelligent design” over trendiness or cheap shortcuts. The idea for Range Brewing grew out of the passion they’d cultivated working in their respective industries, and the leisure time they’d spent soaking up European beer culture.

“We came up with the idea in London,” says Matt, “planned as much as we could, and then went, ‘Well… we can’t do anything else from the other side of the world.’ So we came home to start looking for a home.”

They’d originally planned to open the brewery in their hometown, Toowoomba (which is where the name Range Brewing came from), but, in their planning, their minds kept drifting to Brisbane, where they’d both lived for a few years and where the beer scene is thriving.

“We’d both lived in a big city and that’s what we liked. This city is our style.”

So they changed the location, but kept the name.

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