Fixation Brewing will tomorrow open its urban home The Incubator, in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood.
The brewery bar, which occupies a small warehouse that had been empty for four years, has been completely revamped over the past six months. From derelict graffiti-covered warehouse to modern brightly-polished brewpub, The Incubator is set to be Australia’s only IPA-dedicated brewery.
Managing Partner of Fixation Brewing Tom Delmont, said that he’s always wanted to make Melbourne home to the IPA-centric brand.
“We always wanted to have a home and we think it’s critical that consumers can come and visit and learn all about our business and our beers, try new things and interact directly with people behind the company,” Delmont said.
“I think we’ve been saying this for five or ten years, that the taproom or the visitor experience was probably mostly attached to a production brewery in Australia’s early craft brewing history.”
“That has changed now, and I think as people are realising that there aren’t so many taps out there for craft beers, to have a retail component that can support your business going forward and to fall in with that hyper-local trend, it’s important to have a base.”
Delmost said that this move by breweries towards opening a retail space or bar, may be seen by some publicans as an issue.
He said that he has heard of instances where publicans are concerned about tapping beers from breweries that are too close in proximity.
“But, we see that as supporting the brand and helping them to sell more of our beer.”
“The other thing is, we’re not doing food, we’re not doing spirits or have a back bar, and we shut by 10pm.”
“So, we want people to come and have a beer, have a tasting paddle and head out and enjoy Fitzroy, Collingwood and the surrounds.”
Delmont said that he doesn’t see brewery taprooms without kitchens as going to replace pubs and hotels.
“I think pubs are intrinsically linked to the community, especially here in Melbourne.”
The Incubator’s 8hl DME brewhouse has been specifically designed for brewing the house beers. With four 6hl fermenters and four 6hl bright tanks, the brewhouse has been overspecked to accommodate losses that come from whirlpool hop additions.
Former brewer at Stone and Wood Sam Bethune, is heading up brewing operations at the Melbourne facility.
Having spent the last few years overseas and then up north, Melbourne-born Sam said he’s always wanted to return to Victoria.
Another Stone and Wood veteran, Anthony Cook, has taken up the role of FOH Manager.
Sam and Anthony, who both have Certified Brewmaster qualifications from VLB technical brewing school in Berlin, have much to offer Melbourne’s IPA inquisitors.
The venue itself has an abundance of natural light that spills in from the floor-to-ceiling windows that line two sides of the facility. The stainless equipment sits behind a long bar that stretches most of the way through the venue. Marble-clad hightables perch next to a series of low tables, to make the space feel flexible while maintaining practicability.
Four serving tanks will feature brews exclusive to the venue. First to grace The Incubator’s 12 taps is a Tropical IPA, The 86 Hazy IPA, Easey Street Session IPA and a Rye IPA. Other Fixation classics will take up the remaining six taps, as well as a cider and sparkling water offering. The other beers available now are the Fixation IPA, Obsession, Squish and The Fix.
The Incubator will open at 4pm tomorrow September 5, and will operate from Wednesday to Sunday, closing at 10pm every night.
Brewery openings are presented by Spark Breweries and Distilleries, the finest in-venue and production brewing systems available, with local design and support.