Hop Nation started out as a pipe dream for us and, like most pipe dreams, testing the waters with a little savings while hanging onto the day jobs was the first goal.
A ton of research, pilot brews and trips to the bank later – we set up the company, came up with a brand and label concept with some friends, put down our first IPA brew and released THE FIEND back in May of 2015.
As it turns out, people were pretty thirsty for THE FIEND and wanted more – always a good thing. We were super fortunate to link up with some sweet brewing operations to gypsy brew our next four beers with – cheers Hawkers and Cavalier! – but the time came to get amongst the local brewing landscape and get our own gear and facility going.
The timing couldn’t have been better when we heard about our friends over at Sawmill Brewing in Leigh, NZ popping their brew equipment on the market to make way for an expansion. With more trips to the bank and with the support of family and friends (thanks guys!) we put in an offer and scored big with Sawmill’s sweet seconds.
Part of the deal was uninstalling the gear and packing it up in containers to Melbourne. Dunc flew over to NZ for the job. Enter Dunc’s dad, 10 days of blood, sweat and well, beers and the gear was ready to go and on its way to the fair shores of Melbourne.
Fast forward a couple months, we have grabbed a lease on a sweet warehouse space, Sam ploughed through a load of paper work and applications and after months of late nights and help from good friends, we are ready to open our doors in a killer spot in Footscray.
We chose Footscray to land in as it’s a great up and coming area that we saw as under-served for beer-loving folk. The space we are leasing was built in the 1880’s and was originally used as a whale fat candle and wax factory back in the day. It boasts incredible exposed brick walls and high framed ceilings and as we work to install our modern brewing equipment we hope to maintain a nod to the past and the historical relevance of the space.
We were attracted to the site not only for the roots of the building, but the modern additions since then, such as solar paneling on the roof. We are stoked to be entering the burgeoning brewing fold on the Westside and can’t wait to open the doors and welcome you to our space.
For now, we are just amped to get the doors open, bums in seats and our beers flowing in our own brewing space. We have visiting food trucks set-up for eats Fri-Sun and then eventually we will aim to get our own fitted-out kitchen for in-house, restaurant-style food service.