Black Hops Brewing notched another milestone at the weekend with the official opening of their second brewery and taproom, Black Hops II, at the northern end of the Gold Coast, in Biggera Waters.
“It’s predominantly a production facility, so the logistics around that influenced the location [closer to Brisbane than Burleigh is],” says co-founder and head brewer Michael “Govs” McGovern, “but there’s a huge population up that end with nothing like a brewery taproom to go to.”
The 150 square metre taproom at the new joint is decked out with murals and backlit artwork that tell the Black Hops story.
“Our original Burleigh brewery and taproom has evolved into a hub for like-minded people to hang out, drink fresh beer and feel connected to their local scene,” says co-founder Eddie Oldfield. “With Black Hops II we hope to create a similar vibe for Northern Gold Coast residents.”
Black Hops have long sought to bring others into their story. They were the first Aussies to successfully use crowdfunding to launch a brewery, utilising Pozible to complete the build of their original site in 2016, and followed that recently with an equity crowdfunding campaign via Birchal to raise money for BHII, securing $400,000 in just six days.
The new brewery has been in the works for around 12 months, with planning commencing shortly after an expansion of their Burleigh brewery in late 2017.
“We thought [the expansion] would do us for a year or two, but within a few months we were back at capacity again,” Govs says.
Their new production facility consists of a four vessel, 65hL brewhouse, two 25hL fermenters and six 180hL fermenters, making it one of the largest independently owned brewery operations in the country. But the new site isn’t designed just to increase supply of their core range; they also installed a pilot system to allow them to keep pushing out small batches and limited release beers at a rapid rate.
"Last year we produced 52 unique brews," Govs says. "That was with two brewhouses… now we’ve got four. It’s gonna keep me busy!”
And, as if that wasn’t going to be enough, the brewer also became a father on the same day he put the first brew through the tanks.
“Last week we opened the new brewery and I had a new baby! It was pretty intense," he says. "Marie went into labour halfway through the first brew. Luckily I had the entire brew team with me.
“I got the call, and went, ‘Alright. It’s game on now.’.”
“It’s game on now” could well be the brewery’s new motto, as the increase in production will see them launch their beers into Sydney and, eventually, Melbourne.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about for years, but every time we’ve grown our production, our local market has grown, which is great!" he says. "But we’re pretty excited to get into Sydney and Melbourne now, too.
“We’ve built a brewhouse that can punch out a hell of a lot of beer around the clock. We’ve got room for a lot more tanks, a lot of warehouse space… hopefully we can put off opening Black Hops 3 for a while!”
Opening hours for the new venue at 671 Pine Ridge Road, Biggera Waters, are:
- Wed & Thurs: midday to 7pm
- Thursday: midday to 7pm
- Friday: midday to 9pm
- Saturday: midday to 9pm
- Sunday: midday to 6pm