HOP NATION IS A FOOTSCRAY-BASED CRAFT BREWERY INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED BY GOOD FRIENDS – AND FORMER WINEMAKERS – SAM HAMBOUR AND DUNCAN GIBSON.
After jumping the fence from winemaking into brewing back in 2014 the pair opened up their brewery and tap room in July of 2016 to join the burgeoning Westside beer and culinary landscape. Since then the guys have been living up to their brewery’s namesake releasing several hop-driven beers showcasing high-quality ingredients with distinct origins.
Growing up in South Australia, Sam discovered straight away his interest in wine and viticulture. A degree in Oenology at Adelaide University contributed to over 12 years in the wine industry.
The wine world has taken him throughout Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, France and Spain. More recently, Sam has spent the last 6 years making wine in New Zealand before landing back in Australia in 2013 to continue his winemaking career making premium Pinot Noir in the Mornington Peninsula.
After 14 vintages with many longs days in the vineyard and winery the Hop Nation Project started to simmer – as many winemakers can attest to, a passion for wine usually ends up evolving into a passion for beer. Long days tasting through wine barrels, blends or ferments often calls to be washed down with a good craft beer.
From sitting around the backyard fire pit drinking the newest tweak on a porter recipe, or bootlegging the latest fresh hopped IPA to friends and family, has led to a more serious approach to brewing. Nothing like a collaboration of two mates who like to share a quality beverage.
Co-owner/Production Manager and Brewer
Duncan led the simple life growing up in Gore, the deep south of New Zealand. From these humble agricultural beginnings Dunc went on to study Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University In Christchurch. These were hazy days as many a drinking opportunity arrived and unlike other students at the university the Bachelor of V and O crew imbibed on more classy beverages exposing Duncan to great wine and beer. These years cemented his passion for beverage and on the completion of his degree led him around the word.
On his travels he has made wine in seven countries completing a total of 21 harvests by the time he was 29. After travelling to the states in 2006 the seed was planted and a new passion born, soon after home brewing commenced with mixed results!
Duncan and Sam’s brewing relationship started with rivalry, both brewing in the backyard, getting friends to taste the brews and coming up with a favourite beer. After years spent in different wine regions of the world, the two are reconvening in Melbourne and putting the rivalry aside. In recognizing that two beer-loving minds are better than one – they bring you Hop Nation Brewing Co.