White Rabbit Barrel Hall
Willem-Dirk du Toit
Fermentation with Imagination is the mantra of Victorian boutique craft beer producer White Rabbit. Foolscap were approached to design a barrel hall that echoed the brand’s love of continual experimentation following the relocation of the entire brewery. Foolscap’s response was to design a space reminiscent of an inventor’s workshop, set deep in the forest. A place of comfort, where the quiet hum of the distillery and enjoyment of a cooling ale go hand-in-hand.
Situated in a former wool mill complex in Geelong, White Rabbit Barrel Hall capitalises on the industrial beauty and generous volume of its historical red brick building. The project also builds on a place strategy developed by Foolscap and Relative to enliven the precinct.
Entering through a narrow, obscured porthole door, patrons enter the Barrel Hall with sightlines into the working brewery, a wondrous space of tinkering and experimentation, filled with the sounds, smell and activity of a working brewery. The journey through the barrel hall reveals open fermenters and a tasting lab, where a fresh brew can be enjoyed beneath a green canopy of ferns and ivy. A general store area offers guests a chance to sample from a providore of carefully selected local produce.
The centrepiece of the ‘watering hole’ area is the seven metre custom bar, a mass of charred Oregon timber beams reclaimed from the site itself. A custom designed and built fireplace invites visitors to take a seat by the fire, with craft beer in hand. The space is finished with furniture pieces developed by Foolscap specifically for the space, including chestnut bar stools, raw steel tables and a variety of lighting pendants and fixtures.
To complete the project and achieve a comprehensive and coherent outcome, Foolscap also designed various extensions to the existing White Rabbit brand, including beer founts, print materials, leather-bound menus, environmental graphics, wayfinding and neon entry signage.