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 were ready to open our doors in a killer spot in Footscray.