There are some big ideas brewing down at Footscray’s Hop Nation.
The Hop Nation brewery team has been running its operation since 2016, based in a riverside Footscray warehouse that dates back to the 1880s.
But their growing popularity has been putting on the squeeze, forcing them to look to expand.
The pressure has sparked plans for a brand new brewery and bar to be built on a vacant 1233 square-metre industrial site just a stone’s throw from their current premises.
General manager Sam Hambour said the new brewery, expected to cost $850,000 to build, would offer more space for beer production as well as a new bar tailor-made for tastings.
“We just want to expand what we have been doing the last few years,” he said.
“It will give us more room to brew and to upgrade our equipment. We have really enjoyed the support in the area, if we can get it through it will give Hop Nation a great future in the west.”
Hop Nation would retain its existing brewery and bar, using the space to expand its more experimental beer range, barrel-ageing and collaborations with other brewers.
Mr Hambour said the new premises would handle larger-scale production and offer a different type of tasting experience in the bar, which will have the capacity to handle up to 110 patrons.
“The days of just putting out a few planks and some beer are gone, people are after the full package,” he said.
“It means we will be able to keep investing in the area and have a spot where locals can come and enjoy themselves.”
While the industrial zoning permits the construction of a brewery, the location’s proximity to the Coode Island Major Hazard Facilities will be a factor in any decision as to whether it will be permitted.