The West

The Lip - Great start for the Exit
The Lip - Great start for the Exit

Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis casts his eye over the kegs from here and abroad.

Exit has made a grand entry into the Australian craft beer market.

The team of Fraser Rettie and Craig Knight have produced three brews since April in a fast start to their new business, which is operating out of the busy Cavalier premises in Melbourne.

First on the list was a superb Saison and a Scotch Ale and Milk Stout have quickly followed.

They aren’t common beer varieties but Rettie admitted Exit needed a point of difference to make an early impression on the craft beer marketplace.

And he was inspired by a love of Belgium, particularly its traditional brews, during a 10-year stint in Europe.

“It is definitely an homage to Belgium, I adored the beers and the people,” Rettie said.

“We’re only a small operation and in starting off we wanted something to stand out so that’s why we went with the Saison.

“I envisaged trying to sell our product and what would have happened if we had produced another Pale Ale since there are so many out there.

“Saison is a style we really liked, we think it has growing appeal and it suits the climate.”

For a first attempt the Exit Saison is an outstanding success. And it has been enjoyed country wide with Mane Liquor in Belmont stocking the beer for WA drinkers over the past two months.

There is a nice lemon, apple and spice on the nose. As expected of the variety the taste is funky early with a citric splash midway through. It has a magnificent mouthfeel and is not too sour.

The Exit crew have got the balance just right.

Rettie and Knight have picked an interesting name for their business.

It took many hours of thought for the pair who have a background in computer technology. They were determined to avoid any references to dogs because of the plethora of canine titles in the market.

One morning the light bulb flashed above Knight who came up the label.

“It stands for EX and IT since we used to work in that industry,” Rettie said.

Fortunately for Australian drinkers it is only the start for Exit.

The West Australian

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