Deeds: No Small Feat
Nothing ‘dirty’ or ‘cheap’ about the Deeds Brewing Taproom.
Text:/ Christopher Holder
Photos:/ Jarryd Ponting
Deeds Brewing is one of the reasons why Melbourne has earned a reputation as a global boutique beer capital. But if the boutique brewing centre of gravity is in Melbourne’s inner north, Deeds bucks the trend by calling leafy Glen Iris home.
Deeds moved its brewing operations to its current location back in 2019 but didn’t get council planning approval for its taproom until 2020, then used the covid period to design and build its hospitality offering.
You get the sense that Deeds knows its own mind — the architect-designed interiors of the taproom are modern and bold. The pub is surrounded by the brewery — the vats are impossible to miss — but there’s no beardy, hops-homage or nerdy beer-ology iconography.
The menu goes further than dude-food faves. It’s a cut-above, although heavy on the umami, as you’d expect.
SIGNING THE DEEDS
Built into an old car workshop site, Deeds Brewery Taproom is a dual-level multi-purpose space. The main bar area is where the real action is. There are 28 taps all pouring Deeds brews: “We’re prolific,” enthuses Deeds Director, Pat Alé. “We have two new beers on every two weeks. We’re always experimenting and there’s always something new for our patrons to try.” Walk through the bar and you’ll enter a large function and dining area. Upstairs is a 20-pax private dining room called the Brewers Table, alongside further dining options with a bent towards dining tables and seating.
“The Taproom gives our patrons a really good sense of the Deeds brand,” says Pat Alé. “They get to experience the beer in a curated setting and we’d like to think the venue reflects really positively on our brand.”
AHEAD OF THE CURV
The Taproom’s audiovisual spec is a good fit. The open-plan nature of the space is potentially problematic for controlling sound, but the AV integrator, Light and Sound Solutions (with Technical Director, Daniel Thomas, running point on the project) took a punt on a mini array loudspeaker solution from German audio company, LD Systems. The selection of the super-discreet line array was in no small part driven by the client:
“I didn’t want a big, intrusive loudspeaker install. Loudspeakers are very often, really ugly and we were making a big effort to design something modern and elegant. So when the guys from Light and Sound Solutions suggested the mini array, we were keen to give it a go.”
Deeds might be the first time we’ve seen the Curv 500 installed in Australia but they’re a popular hospitality option in many other markets and are also just as at home as a portable PA option when four elements are pole-mounted on a sub.
One thing’s for sure, the Curv 500 is built different. The cube-like Satellite units connect into each other without cabling — making it a very scalable system. A single Curv 500 Satellite houses one four-inch speaker and three one-inch HF units, with a quoted horizontal dispersion of 110 degrees. Each is rated at 16 Ohms and you can ‘lego-fit’ six units together to run up to a 2 Ohm system (which the LD Systems D2 amplifiers are capable of handling)
The venue employs companion 10-inch subwoofers to fill out the system.
As mentioned, Light and Sound Solutions took care of the AV integration. It was a design and construct arrangement, whereby the client came to Daniel Thomas and his team with a developed concept which Light and Sound refined and then installed. Daniel Thomas describes the key acoustic challenge on this particular project:
“The site was formerly a large motor vehicle workshop and has kept a lot of that aesthetic. It’s highly reverberent which can play havoc with audio intelligibility and patron comfort.
“The Curv 500 was the first weapon we had to combat the hostile acoustics of the space. We’ve not used any LD systems gear before. The client and LD systems representatives in Australia, AVE Corp, were down the track in discussions about using the Curv 500 when we came onboard. We were intrigued and willing to give the system a go.
“The way it fits together is very clever. There aren’t any visible cables. The lack of cables also means you can push each Curv 500 array closer to a wall and out of the way — after all, aesthetics was a prime concern on this project. From there we could direct the array into the space such that we kept unwanted wall and ceiling reflections to a minimum, while still providing a space-filling sound. That was quite impressive.
“Secondly, we worked hard to time align the speaker systems throughout the venue to keep intelligibility as high as possible. There are a full 10 different zones available. The audio zones are managed by Q-SYS, with a Crestron front end control system. If we didn’t time align all the various zones the music would be a mess, you’d be hearing late arrivals from various, more distant zones, and no one would be happy.”
ONE GOOD DEEDS DESERVES
The Curv 500 solution might handle most of the background music work in the venue, but a pair of LD Systems ICOA 12-inch coaxial two-way loudspeakers are installed either side of a dropdown projection screen to provide an audio focus for presentations, live sports and the like. Teamed with a well-concealed ICOA 15-inch sub, they’re also a more visceral audio companion for DJs, which periodically make an appearance for parties and functions.
A Q-SYS Core handles the audio DSP and zoning, while Crestron touchpads provide an intuitive front-end for the staff to select audio sources and levels for each of the four zones.