Hop Nation is a beer mecca hidden in industrial Footscray, where every sip is a high-five to your taste buds.
Originally wine makers, friends Sam Hambour and Duncan Gibson set up their independent brewery in a 19th century whale fat candle and wax factory in 2015.
Sam tells the story: “I was making wine in the Mornington Peninsula, and Duncan was making wine in the Yarra Valley. But we wanted to start the brewery in Melbourne, so we thought ‘why not the inner west?’”
They packed their bags, moved the families, and fast forward – Hop Nation is now an international beer brand. They wholesale all around Australia and export to half a dozen countries.
“We started with three core beers and now we have seven core beers with new releases every month. The Heart Pale Ale is the crowd pleaser, but my go-to is the Rattenhund Pilsener. It was awarded Best Pilsner of the Year at the Australian Beer Awards in 2021.”
And guess what? It’s not just about beer anymore. Hop Nation has spread its wings to ageing brown spirit whiskey, producing small-batch gin under the label ‘Dart Distilling’ and making minimal intervention wines as ‘Site Wines’.
Meanwhile, their Footscray taproom has had a recent renovation, turning it a buzzing community hub for Hop Nation fans and pizza lovers. With seventeen beers and seltzers on tap plus chef Alex Addams Williams serving up thin crust and deep dish pies as Good Pizza, the open-plan brewhouse is perfect for a friendly catch up with mates or events of up to fifty people.
So, whether you’re a beer connoisseur, a pizza lover or just looking for a unique hangout, Hop Nation is where the party’s at.
Swing by, grab a pint, and let the good times flow.