By Anthony “Ziggo” Zigenbine.
While everyone else was at the QABC judging QLD’s best homebrew, I was down the Gold Coast (finally) checking out Black Hops. After reading through Operation Brewery and seeing the effort that went into its setup, I was keen to check out the brewery in person. The venue itself is a nice warehouse space, with the brewery off to the side through an open room that people are more than welcome to wander into and check out. At the bar I met Ali and Eddie, and I let them know how good the place was and how I was excited to finally try the Egg Nog Stout, but unfortunately it’s the first time in 18 months they were out of it on tap! So I got a tasting flight of Pink Mist – Raspberry Saison, Hornet IPA, White IPA and the Newstead Brewing Co collaboration Mojito IPA to start off with.
Ali made it clear that they wanted to hear any feedback, “good or bad”, which I thought was a great thing. Quite a lot of the time people don’t speak up if they aren’t enjoying something, and as a brewer I know that any feedback is good feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Everything I tried tasted great so I didn’t have any negative feedback to give, everything was well balanced and easy drinking, although the standout beer for me was the White IPA. I also found their Tropical Lager (standard lager hopped with Motueka and Citra) to be a perfect summer beer. It had a huge tropical fruit aroma and taste but drank like a lager, perfect for QLD summers.
Eddie, a co-owner of Black Hops, took me around the brewery to check out all the equipment, and it is very impressive. They run a completely manual setup, and are expanding the brewery shortly into the complex next door.
On the tour I got to taste the Egg Nog Stout straight out of the fermenter too, which was a nice treat.
All in all, fantastic spot, atmosphere and staff. Can’t recommend it enough! If you’re down in Burleigh Heads, definitely stop by for a visit!