Craft Work

The Tumut River Brewing Company is a success story in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales and a Renault Kangoo van gets some credit for its contribution.

Former IT professional Tim Martin’s plan was always to build a food and live entertainment business to generate tourism around the town of Tumut.

As an enthusiastic brewer Tim considers beer to be a key component in the enterprise and Tumut River Brewing Company (TRBC) produces 24 different beers and ciders with such novel names as “Full Grunt”, “Deliverance” and “Voodoo Child”.

TRBC previously utilised a large van to pick up and deliver various items associated with the business.

Tim realised it was bigger than needed so he went looking for a more compact vehicle.

“The thought was: let’s get something that’s cheaper to purchase but also something that’s cheaper to run and easy to navigate through traffic,’ he says.

“One of the main requirements for us was to still have the ability to fit a pallet in the back and use a forklift to load it so we went for the rear barn  doors.”

There weren’t many small vans which ticked all those boxes and Tim eventually narrowed the choice down to the Renault Kangoo and a similar sized unit from another manufacturer.

The Renault proved cheaper to purchase and more affordable to run. But price and practicality were only some factors in the purchase decision.

“I had zero expectations for this little van and I was measuring everything against our larger van, knowing full well the Kangoo wasn’t going to be anywhere near the size. But everything in it was what I wanted – I needed Bluetooth, reversing sensors and cruise control because the guys spend a lot of time on the highway,” says Tim.

“It had all of those things as standard. And it had cup holders!”

As TRBC covers 100,000 kilometres every 18 months the new Kangoo was needed for practical travelling and the seats proved extremely comfortable.

The Renault also delivers pizzas around Tumut from the Brewery and once or twice a week it goes to Wagga Wagga or Canberra.

“I knew nothing of Renault when I bought it and I didn’t know whether they were good or bad or indifferent. But after owning it I’d definitely own another one,” Tim says.

“I have to say, the guys at Renault in Wagga Wagga were amazing and it was probably the best experience I’ve ever had with a car dealer. I’ll definitely be talking to them when it’s time to buy another van.”

While the hospitality industry was affected by COVID more than many others, Tim has chosen to see the positives that have come out of last year’s unprecedented disruptions.

“We’ve had a lot of renewed support from many different places,” he says.

“I hadn’t realised there were other people who were passionate about what we did, and it turns out we had a lot more people who cared about us than we thought.”

What initially started as a couple of mates having a beer in a shed has since grown to a sophisticated craft brewing operation now augmented by a stylish food and entertainment venue.