Hope Brewhouse

Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales’ iconic wine country, is the last place you might expect to find 2016’s Champion Small Brewery. Yet, the sprawling venue that is Hope Estate is home to just such an operation.

The 420-hectare location is also home to a winery, restaurant and, most magnificently, at the base of the rolling green hills the homestead looks out upon, one of the largest outdoor stages in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac, attracting concertgoers from far and wide. And, as they’ve watched the legends before them, soaking up the evening sun, they’ve needed something to drink.

Wine, of course, was well catered for. Owner Michael Hope has been making it in the Hunter Valley since 1994. What he needed was a brewery and, more importantly, a brewer. The first he purchased from Murray’s, taking the 12 hectolitre system that had served them so well off their hands. And the second he found a few hundred kilometres away in a man who had also started out in wine before moving to beer.

Matt Hogan, a former winemaker for De Bortoli near Griffith in the Riverina region, had become head brewer at William Bull, De Bortoli’s brewing arm, by the time he made the move to the Hunter in late 2013 to help set up and run the newly installed brewery. In the years since, it’s undergone multiple expansions, evolving from concert caterer pumping out mid-strength to nationally distributed, award-winning brewery, with the aforementioned title at the Craft Beer Awards shining a spotlight on Hope Estate and helping them gain easier access onto venues and bottleshops.

As demand grew, so too did the strain on the brewery’s packaging facilities. So, in early 2017, they installed a canning line to keep up. The bold black and silver cans that roll off it contain both the core range – ales in the former colour and lagers in the latter – and a growing list of limited run beers, ranging from highly hopped numbers to barrel aged beers and fruity sours, released about once a month.

Although the choice to can was based on delivering a fresh product to the consumer, it almost goes without saying that the best place to try the beers at their freshest is at the Estate itself. Inside, 12 taps pour a range of brews, from crisp pilsners to US style IPAs and barrel aged stouts.

You'll also find huge tables and benches that create a German beer hall vibe, while outside, especially on a sunny day, the patio serves up stunning views of green hills, towering gum trees and plump vineyards, making it one of New South Wales’ – if not Australia’s - most picturesque breweries at which to enjoy a beer.

And, if you're in the Port Stephens region of New South Wales, you'll find a rotating selection of Matt and co's beers pouring at the Nelson Bay Brewhouse too.

Marie Claire Jarratt

Name
Hope Brewhouse
Address

2213 Broke Road
Pokolbin
NSW 2320

Phone
(02) 4993 3555
Website
Hours

9am to 5pm

Hope Brewhouse Regulars

Hope Brewhouse Lager

The beer where it all started for the Hope Brewhouse – a mid-strength lager to serve to the thirsty hordes at Hope Estate's major concerts. It's a simple affair – pilsner and carapils make up the grain bill and Cascade the hops, the picture completed by a German lager yeast – and one the brewers describe as "fresh, clean... dry, crisp". And, while it was originally conceived to serve by the hectolitre at gigs, it's now part of the brewery's permanent can range too.… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
3.5%
Bitterness
12 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Chocolate Milk Porter

Brewer's notes: A porter brewed with the addition of lactose (milk sugar) and Dutch cocoa powder. The beer is sweet up front from the lactose but is balanced out by a bitter dark chocolate finish. … Read more
Style
Chocolate Milk Porter
ABV
5.5%
Bitterness
35 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Australian Pale Ale

Brewer's notes: With a light, fruity aroma and flavour this pale ale is a thirst quencher for hot Aussie summer days.… Read more
Style
Australian Pale Ale
ABV
4.5%
Bitterness
20 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Hefeweizen (Can)

Tapped September 12th, 2018
They've had a Hefeweizen as part of their lineup for a number of years at Hope but, as Oktoberfest season approaches in 2018, they've released one in cans too. Inspired by the beers of Bavaria, the aim was to create the style's famous melange of banana, clove and bubblegum aromas from yeast derived esters and phenolics. And they've succeeded in drawing them out to the extent the aromas moved beyond the realm of banana lollies into something reminiscent of a vanilla laced, creamy banana flota. It's… Read more
Style
Hefeweizen
ABV
4.7%
Bitterness
12 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Double IPA

Brewer's notes: Big, bold American Double IPA. Tropical fruit, citrus, pine and resin characters dominate this hop forward beer. Light malt characters and solid bitterness round off the palate,… Read more
Style
Double IPA
ABV
9.0%
Bitterness
75 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Black IPA

Brewer's notes: Cascadian Dark Ale. A hoppy black ale packed full of big pine, resin and citrus hop character offset against subtle roast and chocolate malt characters and finishing with solid bitterness.… Read more
Style
Black IPA
ABV
6.8%
Bitterness
75 IBU

Hope Brewhouse IPA

In the modern scale of hop forward, American inspired pale beers, the IPA is a step up from an XPA. And, at Hope Brewhouse, that is most certainly the case, with the IPA not only a step up in size from its XPA, but sharing some of the same characteristics too. We picked up a similar confectionary character to the aroma – a melange of sweet tropical and citrus aromas, followed by more pronounced, macerated citrus flavours. There's a touch of pine there too, while, as with the XPA, there's a pretty… Read more
Style
American IPA
ABV
6.0%
Bitterness
70 IBU

Hope Brewhouse XPA

The XPA is one of the hop bombs with which Hope Brewhouse launched its canned range. Based upon an American pale ale then loaded up with heaps of tropical fruity hops, it certainly comes packing something extra. It pours a bright, pale golden colour and delivers creamy fruit aromas that encompass the tropical, the citrusy and something reminiscent of candied blackcurrant, all atop a full, sweet malt backbone, supported by a touch of balancing bitterness.… Read more
Style
XPA
ABV
4.7%
Bitterness
30 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Munich Lager

The bigger brother to the brewery's original mid-strength lager is a beer that takes its inspiration from the classic helles lagers of Munich and resists any temptation to play with the Bavarians' winning formula. Thus, there's no New World twists here, just a line and length lager: soft, toasted, biscuity pale malts in combination with floral hops and not too much in the way of bitterness.… Read more
Style
Lager
ABV
4.5%
Bitterness
18 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Specials

Hope Brewhouse Single Hop NEIPA

Tapped November 6th, 2018
They're no stranger to the world of New England style IPAs at Hope in the Hunter, having already put out a series of increasingly large hazy drops under a variety of Juicy names. Here, however, things are rather different, not least as it's something of an experimental collaboration with NSW based craft maltster Voyager and Hop Products Australia, the latter providing the as-yet-unreleased-commercially variety HPA-016. It looks rather different too, with black cans wrapped in bold black and white… Read more
Style
Single Hop NEIPA
ABV
6.0%

Hope Brewhouse Super Super Juicy Double NEIPA

Tapped September 12th, 2018
The Hope brewers haven't gone to the extreme lengths of, say, 3 Ravens when it comes to seeing how far and wide they can take the New England IPA style. But they've not been shy in exploring either, with a wet hop NEIPA brewed for GABS and, now, with Super Super Juicy Double NEIPA, taking the number of variants to four. As the name suggests, it's the biggest of the four to date, with Super Super translating as a round 10 percent ABV. It doesn't rate overly highly on the MT scale (Murky Turbidity)… Read more
Style
Double NEIPA
ABV
10.0%
Bitterness
27 IBU

Hope Brewhouse FKA Mango Sour

Tapped September 3rd, 2018
Hope Brewhouse was born of a desire to create a mid-strength to sate the thirsty masses gathering for the huge concerts held in the grounds of Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley. Now, five years on from the launch of that lager, and with scores of other beers having left the brewery and a few awards heading the other way, they've created another mid-strength for a music festival on the site. But this time it's their own. The beer, which will be pouring alongside that mid-strength lager at FKA in October… Read more
Style
Mango Sour
ABV
3.5%

Hope Brewhouse Macedon Harvest 2018 & Hunter Harvest 2018

Tapped May 14th, 2018
Surrounded by Hunter Valley vineyards, it seems natural that Hope Brewhouse would come under the influence of the fruit of the vine. This makes even more sense given the brewery itself is located at the heart of its own sprawling vineyard. As such, the annual grape harvest in now sees 200 kilograms of Hope Estate chardonnay juice incorporated into the Macedon Harvest and a similar amount of local semillon juice into the Hunter Harvest. Both imperial IPAs feature the hallmarks of many such beers,… Read more
Style
Imperial IPAs ft Grape Juice
ABV
9.5%
Bitterness
90 & 93 IBU

Hope Brewhouse Super Juicy NEIPA

Tapped November 1st, 2017
If you're a brewer with hoppy beers on your roster and you didn't release a NEIPA in 2017, were you paying attention? Of course, not everyone jumped aboard the haze craze, but those who did – and got things right – were frequently rewarded by eager punters. Hope's Super Juicy arrived in late spring, presenting with the cloudiness you'd expect in an otherwise very pale pale ale. The brewers added lupulin powder – or hop hash – for its ability to deliver an intense hoppy punch, with the result… Read more
Style
NEIPA
ABV
7.2%

Hope Brewhouse Raspberry Sour

Tapped November 1st, 2017
For one of its spring seasonals, Hope brought in some fresh seasonal fruit and added a heap of raspberries to a gently soured Berliner weisse base beer. The result is a beer that's bright pink in colour and serves up some soft raspberry aromas and flavours, not to mention a touch of tartness, atop its lightly acidic underbelly. Delicate, fruity and refreshing.… Read more
Style
Raspberry Berliner Weisse
ABV
3.8%
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