A revolution is brewing in Melbourne’s west.
As appreciation for micro-brewed craft beer skyrockets, small-scale breweries and brewing teams are popping up right across the western suburbs.
Two Birds Brewing led the way in Spotswood but now flying the flag for Footscray are gypsy brewers West City Brewing and the soon-to-be-unveiled Hop Nation brewery.
West City Brewing first launched last year with their Oaty Session Stout. They have since rolled out a Footscray Ale and Sunshine Ale in homage to their westside roots.
Hop Nation brewers Sam Hambour and Duncan Gibson have been beavering away evenings and weekends to build their brewery in a riverside Footscray warehouse that dates back to the 1880s.
The pair both hail from a wine-making background and are approaching their beer-making with the same focus on showcasing the origin of the ingredients.
Mr Hambour says they began as home brewers but were keen to expand.
“We decided in 2014 to start Hop Nation and have slowly evolved as gypsy brewers,” he said.
“”Footscray is an up and coming area and we found this warehouse from the 1880s, so now we’re putting time and effort into setting up a brewery and bar here.”
The name Hop Nation comes from a focus on highlighting the different qualities of hops from various countries and the way each beer style uses hops in unique ways.
Their first beers include an Australian IPA, an American red and a pilsner, along with limited releases such as The Kalash – a barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout.
Both brewers are part of this week’s Good Beer Week and Hop Nation will also be taking part in this weekend’s Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular in the Royal Exhibition Building.
Mr Hambour said Hop Nation plans to be brewing in Footscray by the end of next month and open to the public in late July.