Winning the Champion Small Brewery gong at the Australian Craft Beer Awards was a “massive shock” for Hope Brewhouse, brewer Matt Hogan has admitted.
The Hunter Valley, NSW brewer received medals for six of its beers at the recent awards, a consistent enough performance to snatch the champion trophy for contenders with annual production of less than 50,000 litres.
Hogan told Radio Brews News that the company hopes to leverage the win to expand its distribution.
“Watch this space, we’ll look into packaging of some description. That will definitely be happening in the next 12 months,” he said.
“Broader distribution of draught beer to Sydney and surrounds will be our initial target.”
Hunter brewers on a roll
Hope Brewhouse began operations in 2014, having acquired the brewery formerly owned by Murray’s Craft Brewing Co.
It is the latest Hunter outfit to taste awards success, with Lovedale Brewery continually dominating the circuit with its beers.
“There is that sort of real community atmosphere between the brewers here. We’re all happy to share information and learn from one another and collaborate, it’s just a great spot to be brewing beer at the moment,” Hogan said.
“Everyone gets along and dividends are showing by how we’re all performing.”
If the accolade was a surprise to Hogan, it wasn’t to one of his Hunter counterparts, Keith Grice of Hunter Beer Co.
“Those of us who have been enjoying Matt’s beers since Hope Brewhouse kicked off have known that it was only a matter of time before his trophy cabinet started to fill,” Grice commented following the podcast.
“From his very first brew his ability to put together a recipe and attention to process have been evident. I’ve taken much pleasure in sending customers his way.
“Along with Lovedale Brewery, around the corner from Hope, visitors to Wine Country in the Hunter have many great beers to choose from. Those of us who are local are lucky we don’t have to choose, we can enjoy them all,” said Grice.