Their rapid growth, awards success and an uncanny ability to gobble up airtime and column inches might make it feel like they've been around far longer. But, when Black Hops started brewing at their Biggera Waters production facility in February 2019, it was less than three years after they'd opened their first site at the southern end of the Gold Coast and only half a decade since the launch of their debut beer when operating as gypsies.
Large letters reading "BHII" sit boldly above the front door, leaving no room for confusion as to where in the small industrial complex you'll find the new brewery – if the comforting smell of 6,500 litre batches of beer being brewed doesn't draw you in first.
And, while there are design elements inspired by a trip to Modern Times in San Diego, anyone who's visited the Burleigh Heads HQ will experience a feeling of familiarity when they recognise the same wood that decks out the OG site. Pilot batches line the back wall, with a lightbox "hall of fame" to remind visitors of the greats that have been and gone and a cold room reminiscent of a military supply drop, maintaining the theme upon which Black Hops built their brand.
"It was always my dream to have a massive concrete bar," says co-founder Dan Norris of the eye-catching centrepiece illuminated by hand-blown glass lights hanging overhead.
A growing team of brewers continues to produce beers at the Burleigh location to the south but the 65 hectolitre brewhouse here takes output to a whole new level, and brings greater automation to the Black Hops brewers too. The setup is designed to allow them to produce three times as many cans with the same staffing levels, representing the first stage of a significant upgrade to the operation as they eye up interstate markets.
In addition to this leap in capacity, they sublease the space next door too, so the ceiling could be raised again.
"Next for us is a robot," Dan says with a laugh when asked about future plans.
Over the space of eight months, in which they also set a new equity crowdfunding record for Australia, the Biggera Waters site was turned from a dusty shed into a space for beer lovers, families and food trucks alike, with vendors lining the car park from 12pm every Friday to Sunday.
As for beer, the 150 square metre taproom pours the entire Black Hops core range plus an ever-changing lineup of specialties, with most available in cans to take home.
On the wall facing the bar, towering letters read: "BEER MADE BY 3 MATES ON THE GOLD COAST." It sure is. And plenty of it too.
NB For Black Hops beers, head to their original listing on Crafty Pint.