Black Hops Brewing

“Made by 3 mates on the Gold Coast.”

This has been the slogan of Black Hops Brewery for some time, now. And it does capture the heart the story: how founders Eddie Oldfield, Michael McGovern and Dan Norris brought Black Hops into existence.

But when you look at Black Hops’ three breweries across the Gold Coast and Brisbane, the army of Black Hops employees, the slew of gold medals weighing on the company’s figurative neck, the ever-growing array of special releases, the fandom that sprawls across the country… you see that the story has kept moving forward since the trio’s early days.

There are plenty of crackin’ plot points that took place along the way.

The three guys launched their gypsy brewing project with Eggnog Stout, which is up there as one of the least likely beers a brewing company starts with, and is now now such a reliable element of the Black Hops journey that it’s almost transcended fermentation and adopted a persona you can shoot the shit with.

They brewed the official beer for the Australian launch of Call of Duty III; the brewery’s theme made it all come together perfectly.

They documented every step of their journey from idea to opening a brewery, and made it all easily accessible to their fans. This step-by-step information took the form of blog posts, a podcast, and eventually a book: Operation Brewery: The Least Covert Operation in History. As seemingly self indulgent as a book release sounds, Operation Brewery is anything but, with Dan’s extensive marketing background shining through in this no-bullshit account of turning a love of beer into a career. All of this documentation was a joint feat of authentic transparency and savvy marketing, and served both Black Hops and their brew-curious public very well.

In 2016, they opened their first brewery and taproom in Burleigh Heads, just two blocks back from the main beach. It began small, but didn’t stay that way as the demand for Black Hops beer increased: expansion upon expansion saw both the brewhouse and the taproom grow into the space it is today, full of murals and fridges and merch and a palpable pride that this is the original BH headquarters. It’s a welcome and unassuming environment, so pull a stool up to the bar and get tasting from the long line of taps.

That aforementioned growth is a voracious thing, and 2019 saw the opening of Black Hops II in Biggera Waters. This production brewery dwarfs the first brewery, and is the wellspring of most of the Black Hops beers sold around the country. And if you’re up the northern end of the Gold Coast, it’s another opportunity to drink an abundance of BH beer on tap in the slick taproom.

By the time we get to the backend of 2020, we see the opening of Black Hops Brisbane. While this is only a small space (as Black Hops purchased an existing brewpub, previously Semi Pro Brewing), it’s a foothold in the capital for Black Hops, and a welcome watering hole for Brisbane locals to get their lips around an array of fresh BH core, seasonal and small batch beers.

In 2021, Black Hops unveiled its barrel program – codename AWOL – which allows the brewers to tinker with more than a hundred wine, bourbon, whisky and gin barrels of various sizes to put out small batches of barrel-aged beauties. Some of the beers are funky and fruited, some are smooth and sexy, but all are tended carefully until they’re at their prime state. While the AWOL program started as an accident, it’s now driven by loving intent – and the resulting beers show this clearly.

Hopefully it’s clear that Black Hops’ story is long and winding, from their first beer to their position as a deeply entrenched powerhouse of the Queensland craft beer scene. But while it’s a good yarn, you don’t need to know every detail in order to be drawn into BH’s orbit.

You can trace the BH story back to the beginning, or you can drop into the middle and enjoy their consistently excellent beers. But the one thing you shouldn’t do it underestimate Black Hops.

Mick Wüst

Name
Black Hops Brewing
Address

15 Gardenia Grove
Burleigh Heads
QLD 4220

Open Hours

Wed to Fri: midday to 7pm
Sat & Sun: midday to 6pm

Tours

As advertised on social media.


This is a directory listing. To find out more, head here

Black Hops Brewing Regulars

Black Hops AWOL: Pink Mist

Published September 15, 2022
Pink Mist may be a violent name, but this is a delicate beer. Black Hops have been brewing a raspberry saison since the early days of their existence. But when they launched their AWOL barrel program, they started ageing Pink Mist in French and American oak barrels for six months at a time… and the result is satisfying. Like the final piece of the puzzle locking into place. Pink Mist pours a gorgeous reddish pink (pinkish red?) with a wispy head that takes a bow and leaves. One sniff and you’re… Read more
Style
Barrel-Aged Raspberry Saison
ABV
5.8%

Black Hops East Coast Haze

Published May 14, 2021
What's in a name? If you delve into the backstory of Black Hops' new (sorta) core range hazy pale, rather a lot. You can check it out on their blog – a tale that takes in weather patterns, surfing, plenty of discussions, a name change, and now a big campaign to push what's kinda G.O.A.T.'s little sibling to a wider audience. We've looked at the growth in popularity of hazy pales a fair bit this year – and featured them in a blind tasting too, one in which East Coast Haze's forebear, East Coast… Read more
Style
Hazy Pale
ABV
4.5%

Black Hops Tropic Like It's Hot

Published December 16, 2020
Joining the Black Hops core range just in time for summer 2020 is Tropic Like It’s Hot, a thirst-quencher with sun-filled days in its sights. The pineapple, lemongrass and ginger sour had previously been released as a summer seasonal and, given its popularity and the wider love for fruit-filled sours in the beer world, it's a fitting addition. Of the flavours, ginger is comfortably the most prominent, taking the beer pretty close to a dry and tart ginger beer. Layered atop that are notes of fresh… Read more
Style
Sour
ABV
4.2%

Black Hops & Mount Gay Rum Caribbean Haze IIPA

Published August 26, 2020
Let's be honest, if there's one thing the past few years have taught us when it comes to beer it's that sometimes, no matter how bizarre a concept sounds, it can actually turn out to be at least OK, occasionally delicious. That doesn't mean the words "fruit and rum-soaked" and "hazy IIPA" set next to each other doesn't still raise an eyebrow. Yet the beer those phrases adorn – Black Hops' Caribbean Haze, originally a collab with Mount Gay Rum for GABS 2019 – has become one… Read more
Style
Fruit & Rum-Soaked IIPA
ABV
7.8%

Black Hops G.O.A.T.

Published May 20, 2020
Calling a beer G.O.A.T. is a ballsy move, yet the Black Hops brewers clearly knew they were onto a good thing with their hazy IPA. The first batch took out gold at the Australian International Beer Awards; a later batch gold at The Indies. Unsurprisingly, it quickly became a fan favourite too; when people are falling for pretty much anything hazy and hoppy these days, what chance do they have when one is done really well? And now the life of the G.O.A.T. reaches its logical conclusion: a move from… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
6.0%
Stockists

Find em here

Black Hops Mid Range

Published March 26, 2019
The hoppy pale ale has become the staple of many breweries, and for good reason: done well, it’s a cracking style. Black Hops’ Pale Ale is one particular beauty, coming in at 4.8 percent ABV with a wallop of hops. But it still leaves room for a lighter option for those times you're looking to knock back a few and need to keep your wits about you. Enter Mid Range. It’s Black Hops’ mid-strength pale ale, a beer that shares some of the hop bill (and thus the flavours) with their Pale, but comes… Read more
Style
Mid-Strength
ABV
3.5%
Bitterness
35 IBU

Black Hops Super Hornet DIPA

Published December 13, 2018
As 2018 draws to a close, the double IPA that's the bigger sibling to Black Hops' core range Hornet, has been given a run in cans. And, for all the attention that's been garnered by NEIPAs and Brut IPAs (and, to a lesser yet still considerable degree, milkshake IPAs) this past year, the arrival of Super Hornet is the latest in a pretty steady stream of such beers to have come our way, suggesting that, for all the fascination with outrageous fruit salads and low bitterness, there's still an appetite… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
8.7%
Stockists

Use Black Hops' beer finder to assist your search

Black Hops Send It Session Ale

Published October 7, 2018
If you’re familiar with the viral Larry Enticer video from 2017, you’ll know that Send It is a call to be bold, confident and willing to take risks. And, with this addition to their core range, Black Hops has looked to capture that spirit in a can. The brewers describe it as a "Gold Coast inspired session ale" and its light colour certainly suits the pale golden beaches of Burleigh. Calypso and Citra hops bring a baseline of stonefruit and citrus to the aroma, while the addition of… Read more
Style
Session Ale
ABV
4.2%
Bitterness
25 IBU

Black Hops Pale Ale

Published April 3, 2017
The Black Hops crew of Dan Norris, Eddie Oldfield, and Michael "Govs" McGovern has previously applied the same level of creativity found in some of the brewery's beers – eggnog stout, anyone? – to the beer's names. In keeping with the operation's name and branding, they've co-opted military-inspired beer names, from past GABS beer Assault Trifle to Code Red and Pink Mist. Yet, with this beer being a pale ale designed to appeal to a broader range of drinkers – as Dan puts it, for “entry… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
4.8%
Stockists

Black Hops Brewery

Not Tonight

And good beer outlets in QLD & NSW

More stockists...

Black Hops Brewing Bitter Fun

They may have chosen to make the tropical, New World saison Beach House their flagship beer, but the Black Hops trio made sure they had a pale ale in the lineup to satisfy the hop hungry hordes too. The pun-tastic Bitter Fun uses all Aussie hops but adds them in the sort of quantities that send the beer into American pale ale territory. What that translates to is a beer in which the malt character us kept in the background to allow the apricot and stone fruit characters to shine. And, as the name… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
ABV
5.0%

Black Hops Brewing Pink Mist

Why have one saison in your core range when you can have two? Especially when you live in a climate that's designed for such tart and refreshing beers as this raspberry saison. No surprises for guessing that it's brewed with fresh raspberries, which are complemented by New Zealand and Australian hops. The result, say the Black Hops boys is a beer with "a beautiful pink colour with tart berry flavour and a dry, crisp finish."… Read more
Style
Raspberry Saison
ABV
4.7%

Black Hops Brewing Eggnog Stout

The beer where it all started for Black Hops Brewing, back when they were gypsy brewers. And, right from the start, they dropped hints at what was to come in terms of getting their message out to the world with the brew day documented at length online. The beer also hinted that they weren't going to be a brewing company hindered by a lack of imagination or fearful of trying something new. While the stout didn't contain actual eggnog, it did contain a fair amount of ingredients not usually found… Read more
Style
Spiced Stout
ABV
5.3%

Black Hops Brewing 30 Cal

If you're brewing beer commercially in Queensland, it pays to have a mid-strength in your lineup. Enter 30 Cal, a beer that, as the name suggests is inspired by the California Common style and also registers an almost light beer-esque 3 percent ABV. It features Northern Brewer hops, a Californian lager yeast and Victory biscuit style malt, and it's the last of these that's perhaps the dominant player, creating tight, toasted malt flavours, backed up by a drying bitterness.… Read more
Style
California Common
ABV
3.0%

Black Hops Brewing Beach House

Once they were settled into their brewery home just a couple of blocks back from the Burleigh Heads beach, the first beer to appear in a bottle was this saison. One of two in their range, it's a beer that belongs in the New World saison category because while there are familiar spicy elements in there, it's the beer's tropical character that takes centre stage. It's light in colour and on the palate, awash with tropical and juicy citrus aromas and flavours and fared well in the saison Blind Tasting… Read more
Style
New World Saison
ABV
4.8%

Black Hops Lay Day Lager

Looks like a white wine; smells like a tropical pale ale; tastes like a flavoursome lager. The folk at Black Hops have merged the widespread love of tropical hops and the clean sessionability of a well made lager. It’s super clear, looking similar to clarified apple juice or a crisp white wine. The big, fruity aroma will have you thinking you’ve picked up a hoppy pale ale, but the first sip reveals a clean lager with a smooth body. It’s clean without short-changing you on the flavour: subtle… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
4.4%
Bitterness
25 IBU

Black Hops Brewing Specials

Black Hops Chair Force One & Mega Hornet

Published June 2, 2022
With winter upon us, Black Hops look to offer warming comfort in two very different ways with this pair of now-canned limited releases. In the case of Chair Force One, they take a pretty traditional cooler months approach: the beer is a chocolate coffee stout, with the latter adjunct coming courtesy of neighbours at their Brisbane brewpub, Fortitude Coffee Roasters. Initially, the coffee they've supplied serves up aromas of the fresh espresso kind before things take a turn to cocoa once the pillowy… Read more
Style
Choc Coffee Stout & Triple IPA
ABV
6.5% & 11.0%

Black Hops Afterburner

Published November 25, 2021
Black Hops already have a fine hoppy red in their lineup, the American red ale Code Red – a beer that's not been shy when it comes to picking up awards. But it seems there's room for another before 2021 is over: their last limited release for the year is Afterburner – a Top Gun-referencing red IPA that's also featured in Hop Products Australia's Lupomax mixed packs. The liquid pours a deep blood red – certainly many a shade darker than the cans – and brought to mind hikes deep into the bush.… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
7.2%

Black Hops & Chur Brewing Hop Swap

Published September 22, 2021
With travel between Australia and New Zealand still off the cards, Queensland’s Black Hops and New Zealand’s Chur Brewing have found another way to collaborate by using a cannon to shoot some hops across the stretch of water that is the Tasman sea. Okay so maybe that’s not how the hops were actually transported but it is sure how the beer's artwork makes it look. What did occur is a bit of a hop collaboration, with Black Hops sending over one of Australia’s newest cool kids in the form of… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
7.0%

Rocky Ridge Bla Bla Blueberry & Pine Ridge

Published May 7, 2021
Rocky Ridge continue their onslaught of creative releases in 2021 with the release of a "thicc" fruited sour brewed with blueberry, vanilla, oak and lactose, and a bold 8.5 percent ABV West Coast DIPA… with pine needles in the mix. Bla Bla Blueberry is aptly described as thicc – it's densely creamy and entirely unsafe for vegans. The 260kg of blueberry juice add a striking, pale purple colour as well as bolstering acidity and lending a blueberry and dark fruit complexity. Oak rounds… Read more
Style
Blueberry Cream Sour & West Coast DIPA
ABV
Both 8.5%
Bitterness
10 IBU & 80 IBU

Black Hops Super G.O.A.T

Published March 25, 2021
When you release a hazy IPA called the Greatest Of All Time, how do you top it? For Black Hops, the answer is dialling up the booze and tropical flavours to create Super G.O.A.T. First brewed as a small taproom release right at the end of 2020, Black Hops let the beer roam a little wider for March 2021; a fitting time, given its just a couple of months after the core range G.O.A.T. made it to number five in the GABS Hottest 100. The big version of their top-selling beer even looks like a far bigger… Read more
Style
8.4%

Black Hops California Love

Published January 20, 2021
For their first limited release in 2021, Black Hops have looked to a sunshine state that isn’t their own to brew California Love. The West Coast IPA is in tune with an earlier time in America; not in a MAGA or Trumpian sense (see ya!) but more to an era when America’s big hoppy beers were lean, clear and all about the notes you’d get from the “Three C’s” of Cascade, Centennial, Columbus. In the case of California Love, it’s resin and pine that leads the charge, with enough of it it… Read more
Style
West Coast IPA
ABV
7.2%

Black Hops Troposphere

Published November 11, 2020
Black Hops Brewing’s November limited release IPA is one destined for the stratosphere, with the 6.9 percent ABV beer containing both Galaxy and Strata. If you’re reading these words, chances are you’re pretty familiar with Australia’s Galaxy hop and the more recent Strata from America too but if not, here’s a refresher. The former is known most distinctly for its passionfruit flavour along with other tropical fruits such as pineapple, while the latter is often described as a tropical beast… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
6.9%

Black Hops Neverland Grapefruit IIPA

Published October 21, 2020
They certainly love their IPAs at Black Hops, with the Gold Coast brewery holding multiple in their core range and regularly letting new ones fly out as limited releases. Joining the fray is Neverland, a grapefruit hazy IIPA that was originally brewed as BHII taproom manager Jesse’s staff beer. Normally the Black Hops staff beers stay inside the four walls of one of the brewery’s two (about to be three) homes but Neverland proved a popular one and has been given a much wider release as a result.… Read more
Style
Grapefruit Hazy IIPA
ABV
8.2%

Black Hops Flash Bang White IPA

Published September 11, 2020
It's funny how the Cosmos works. There we were, proofing the Aussie firsts timelines for one of the Ten Years Of Crafty features (which needs updating, natch) and wondering whether white IPAs really needed to be in there and, hey presto, Bonnie from Black Hops shoots an email to say samples of a new run of their Flash Bang white IPA are in the post... If you've never come across one, don't worry, there haven't been many. Ostensibly a Belgian witbier but boozier lumped together with a hefty wad of… Read more
Style
White IPA
ABV
6.8%

Black Hops Moondancer Hazy IPA

Published June 25, 2020
It's amazing how memories can be triggered so quickly. I pulled a can of Moondancer from the fridge and was immediately transported back two decades and a continent away to a hilltop outside Pai in Northern Thailand. I was there to watch a meteor storm and had been chatting to a fellow traveller – a bearded sort who had a guitar for accompaniment; among the tracks on the CD he'd recorded was a cover of Van Morrison's Moondance. That's all rather pleasant, but the part of the night it brought rushing… Read more
Style
Hazy IPA
ABV
7.0%

Black Hops North Coast & South Coast IPAs

Published May 20, 2020
Hops are grown elsewhere in the world, most notably across stretches of Northern Europe - home to the varieties from which many of today's superstars have been birthed over the decades. Yet, in the contemporary craft beer world, it tends to be those from the New World – the US, NZ and Australia – that get brewers and beer lovers alike chomping at the bit. So Black Hops decided to give drinkers the chance to see how those from one side of the equator fared against the other. That said, this US… Read more
Style
US & Australasian IPAs
ABV
Both 6.8%
Stockists

Find em here

Black Hops Full Nelson Double Hazy IPA

Published October 31, 2019
Gold Coast brewers Black Hops are firmly driving the juice caboose with this offering. The Full Nelson Double Hazy IPA showcases the polarising New Zealand native Nelson Sauvin hop, noted for its fruit forward characteristics and dank, resinous base speckled with earthy, slightly spicy tones. The Full Nelson comes out grappling from the outset, with dank hop sweetness and subtle notes of pepper on the nose. With a big, juicy punch upfront, the beer tightens its grip with a lingering bitterness set… Read more
Style
Hazy Double IPA
ABV
7.4%
Stockists

Both Full and Half Nelson are available in a mixed 16-pack at select retailers and individually at good beer spots where you usually find Black Hops.

Black Hops #100

Published July 31, 2019
In 2014, a trio of mates released their first beer. It was an eggnog stout because, apparently, that’s what the Australian beer scene needed at the time. They went by the name Black Hops Brewing and 99 beer releases and almost five years later we have #100, an IPA continuously hopped for 100 minutes in the vein of the classic Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. They say #100 is a reflection of all they've learnt over the years; it’s sophisticated and caters to the demands of today. As you'd expect from… Read more
Style
IPA
ABV
7.7%

Black Hops Flash Bang

Published October 6, 2018
White IPAs are, more often than not, a cross between an American IPA and a Belgian witbier. As a style, they’re pretty young – the first one to appear is widely accepted to be the 2010 collaboration between the brewmasters of Deschutes Brewing (known for its hoppy beers) and Boulevard Brewing (known for its wheat beers). It wasn’t until 2015 that White IPA then made it into the BJCP style guidelines. Unlike some other newer styles, white IPAs haven’t been popping up left, right and centre.… Read more
Style
White IPA
ABV
6.5%
Bitterness
68 IBU

Black Hops Code Red

Published May 7, 2018
Black Hops release far more beers than anyone living outside their part of the world might be aware. From returning seasonals to one-offs and now small batch brews from their pilot system, there's always a steady stream hitting taps at their brewery home as well as venues around South East Queensland. But it's only every now and then a beer outside the core range makes an appearance in cans. Times like now, when they've given into popular demand for their autumn seasonal, Code Red. It's a red IPA… Read more
Style
Red IPA
ABV
6.2%
Stockists

Black Hops Brewery

And good beer retailers in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Northern NSW

Black Hops Recon Series: Negroni IPA

Published March 20, 2018
The Negroni is not a new drink – it was invented almost a century ago; James Bond drinks it in the 1960 short story, Risico, and Italian restaurants have been serving it as an aperitif for years. But the past decade has seen it burst into the public consciousness (perhaps its impressive red colour helped made it Insta-famous too), and we’re all the better off for it. It’s equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, and equal parts refreshing, surprising and impressive – not to mention a… Read more
Style
Flavoured IPA
ABV
6.8%
Bitterness
60 IBU

Black Hops Brewing Hornet IPA

Published November 14, 2016
Each season, Black Hops releases an IPA or variant thereof. For Summer 2016/7, that takes the form of the Hornet, which is the brewery's first "regular" IPA in the two-and-a-half years since they started out. According to the trio it features a mix of Aussie, American & New Zealand hops, which combine to create "a dry, angry bitter beer with some serious sting." Look out for it on tap and in bottles around South East Queensland including, if course, from their brewery cellar… Read more
Style
American IPA
ABV
6.0%