UPDATE: MARCH 18, 2020 — Hop Nation is currently offering free delivery within Melbourne metro for all orders over $75. To see what other venues are offering new takeaway options during the COVID-19 pandemic, head over here.
As Melbourne's craft beer scene and its love affair with the western suburbs continue to explode simultaneously, it seems only fitting that the city's latest craft brewery has made a home in Footscray. A few sheds over from Back Alley Sally's — and just a stroll from fellow beer nerds Up in Smoke — the team behind Hop Nation have thrown open the doors to their brewpub, adding to the growing list of weekend fun to be had out west.
After a stint gypsy brewing out of Cavalier and Hawkers, Sam Hambour and Duncan Gibson have finally found a place for Hop Nation to call its own — and it's too good not to share with the rest of the beer-loving community.
All that 'blood, sweat and beer' the boys have put in has clearly paid off. The lofty, industrial space feels home-spun, yet far from sloppy with furniture crafted from pallets, the bar clad in recycled timber, and striking artwork jazzing up the exposed brick walls. Nab a seat up on the roomy mezzanine level to team your pint with a birds' eye view of the whole operation.
Alongside a trio of guest beers from the likes of Bad Shepherd and Rodenbach, the bar's currently pouring all five Hop Nation brews, with small batch projects set to hit the taps as they drop. The boys' hop-inspired range has a little something for every palate, from the malty American red ale they call The Buzz to the lively Sturm, a limited release collaboration with the Yarra Valley's Jamsheed Wines, brewed with wild fermenting Riesling juice.
Meanwhile, a short but thoughtful wine list nods to the brewers' winemaking backgrounds and dinner comes courtesy of a rotation of food trucks. So far there have been appearances from La Revolucion, El Chivi and 3 Lil Monsters and a Pizza Truck, but you can keep an eye on the brewery's Facebook page to see what's on the menu for your visit.
Whether you're a craft beer rookie or a seasoned pro, nothing beats drinking a pint of beer fresh from the source — especially when you get to do it in a space as nifty as Hop Nation's new digs.