Once upon a time, three men were sitting at a bar drinking beer, when an idea was born … to make an Eggnog Stout.

The next week Michael ‘Govs’ McGovern, Dan Norris and Eddie Oldfield home-brewed the said eggnog stout and realised that it was pretty damn good! They sent it to some people in the industry to try, and that’s when Black Hops was born.

Two years on from that first brew, the Black Hops tap room in Burleigh Heads is buzzing. The crew behind Black Hops has created a friendly community around their cellar door and brewery, which now distributes all over South East Queensland. “We had all these ideas and were just going with the flow when everything just fell into place. Now we get a real kick from walking into a bar and seeing our beer on tap,” said Eddie.

“When you go to Sydney or Melbourne, you will find lots of small craft breweries in neighbourhoods where people live and eat, not just in the industrial areas, or areas that are hard to get to, and that is what we wanted to do,” he said.

“The tap room means we are able to talk to people coming in here who may have never heard about us. We can tell them our story and talk them through our beers, which is super important because then they will go to their favourite bar and ask for our beer.”

Black Hops has created about 30 brews since they opened. On the day I visited, they had just put a new lager on tap. I do not usually choose to drink lager, but this is different … “There’s lots of hops in it,” explains Eddie. The new Lager is so tasty and goes down too easily. I am silently yearning for another but it is only 10 in the morning so I do the responsible thing and hold back.

“Our aim is to brew beers that suit the Gold Coast, but interesting beers that are different to what others are doing. Like our eggnog stout for example … at first people might be a little unsure, but after the first taste, they love it.”

Another big point of difference is that Eddie, Dan and Govs have documented their entire journey online, in a blog, with podcasts, and now also a book, Operation Brewery, which meticulously outlines their rapid rise, and discusses everything from sourcing equipment to how much beer costs to make.

“One of the things we are passionate about is sharing our experiences with others. We believe in transparency which is going against the general rule in business, where most people like to keep their cards close to their chest. We love the craft beer scene, and we want to help others by sharing our lessons.”

When venturing to Burleigh Heads, The Black Hops brewery and taproom on Gardenia Grove is a must stop for craft beer lovers. Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm, and Saturdays from noon to 4 pm. With an ever-changing lineup of beers on tap, it is the perfect excuse to sample the range and chat to the crew behind the beers.