AVNGE Brewing

Craft beer drinkers tend to spend a lot of time talking about the liquid they’re enjoying, but the can that carries that liquid matters plenty these days too. Indeed, a can or a tap decal tends to be the first interaction anyone has with a beer, so eye-catching artwork to help your brand stand out from the crowd matters.

And that’s something that applies to AVNGE Brewing: the presentation of the beers is certainly unique, with the colourful artwork belonging to each beer telling a story that makes you wonder why there aren’t more comic books about craft beer.

Behind those hoppy tales is James Isacsson, who launched the brewing company with his wife Steph Coats in 2021.

In craft beer’s early days, graphic design was often handled by brewery owners themselves, their family members, or friends happy to receive free beer in return and the results were… well, let’s just say they were varied. In this case, while James handles all the designs, his background has left him well placed to create artwork that fits his beers.

For around four years, James was a graffiti artist; his stencil work first appeared in Darwin before moving with him to Melbourne. The AVNGE name was originally his tag, while his sketches often inform the look of the beers.

The very first release was Hopbotomy, and the highly-illustrative depiction of a scared hop about to undergo surgery didn’t just set the tone for AVNGE’s artwork but offered a glimpse of the recipes to come too. The punchy West Coast IPA was inspired by the kind of beers that first led James down the homebrewing path after Steph introduced him to hoppy wonders from her home state of California.

Sure, AVNGE Brewing isn’t entirely about the hops, but James’ passion for classic American styles lives on, with that initial offering followed by the likes of an American stout, Red IPA and DIPA. Largely, you’ll find those beers in good beer retailers and venues in Melbourne’s east and southeast, where James and Steph live, but they appear in other parts of their home state too. At time of writing, they’re brewed at Killer Sprocket, while James was among the first local brewers to complete the Certificate III Food Processing (Micro-brewing) at Kangan TAFE designed to accelerate budding brewers’ careers.

Designing epic labels isn’t the only way James’ past as a stencil artist is reflected in AVNGE. As with craft beer, the graffiti community is a close-knit community of people who are doing what they do because they’re driven by a love of creativity.

Thus, after launching AVNGE Brewing, James soon found himself and the brand embraced by Melbourne’s beer community, from the good booze slingers of the city’s southeast or the many startup brewers without their own stainless. There’s likely no better examples of that connectivity than the moment in 2023 when AVNGE steered six other brewing companies to create the collaborative Gypsy Kiss, a beer launched at one of the finest bottleshops and bars on their side of the city, Grape & Grain.

That’s a lot of different brewing minds to bring together but it’s the sort of practice at which James is clearly adept. After all, once he stopped creating street art, he went on to painstakingly design and build a Disney-approved replica of Boba Fett’s suit from The Empire Strikes Back.

When it comes to brewing good and interesting beer, it’s hard to think of two qualities that matter more than creativity and precision. And AVNGE Brewing is a story heavy on both.

Will Ziebell

AVNGE Brewing

PO Box 5126
VIC 3977

Open Hours


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AVNGE Brewing Regulars

AVNGE Brewing Hopbotomy WCIPA

The beer that started it all. Hopbotomy was AVNGE Brewing’s first release but it’s also inspired by the type of beer that drew co-founder and head brewer James Isacsson into the world of craft beer in the first place. It was the breweries of America’s West Coast that stirred an interest in bigger flavours and, even as the modern beer world has moved steadily hazier and hazier, James has remained as passionate a devotee of bitter, bold IPAs as they come. More than one version has been released… Read more
West Coast IPA

AVNGE Brewing Zero Dark Hour

Some like to pretend that craft beer and hops are synonyms but – in this writer's opinion anyway – there could be more beer styles featuring even more hops. Stout is just one such style and, while black IPAs enjoyed their moment in the midnight sun, lower-ABV dark beers haven't caught on as much in Australia. AVNGE Brewing have helped rectify that with Zero Dark Hour, a 5.9 percent ABV stout that serves up layers of American hops. The deep ly dark beer is filled with roasted, toasted and chocolate… Read more

AVNGE Brewing Hella Dank

How dank do you like your IPAs? Dank enough to make a bear shoot lasers out of its eyes? In that case, AVNGE Brewing’s Hella Dank has you covered, with the big, bitter IPA packing an absolute punch. Brewed with Mosaic, Apollo and Strata hops, they come together as an almighty trio that roars with fresh tropical fruit, pawpaw and pithy grapefruit. But it wouldn’t be Hella Dank without a resinous side and here oily, grippy dank notes lean into a closing bitter bite. *Will Ziebell… Read more
Double IPA

AVNGE Brewing Specials

Avnge Brewing The Hunt For Red IPA

Published April 20, 2023
Much like a submarine, a good red IPA needs balance.* Not enough hops and it’s an Irish red you’ve got in your hand but if those hops impart too much then, you're missing the beauty to be found in a malty beer. The Hunt For Red IPA is certainly a beer of balance, with Avnge Brewing’s approach one of combining American hops with malt from New Zealand’s Gladfield. Those hops hit with a mix of spice, bergamot and grapefruit which share the spotlight with raisins, caramel, toffee and a bitter… Read more

AVNGE Brewing Papa Bear's Pale Ale

Published November 8, 2022
Papa Bear’s Pale Ale might be a classic American craft beer but its origin story crosses the Atlantic and looks to Sweden. AVNGE Brewing founder James Isacsson’s old man hails from there, so they like to call him Papa Björn, or Papa Bear. This pale is the kind of beer Björn (or Bear) likes to drink after a long day building a house on a tiny island. The slightly chewy pale is an easy-drinker with a soft, bready base providing the perfect launching pad for hop-derived citrus and pine and a… Read more
Pale Ale