Sam Hambour, co-founder champion brewer Hop Nation Brewing: S9E8

Hop Nation Brewing’s Sam Hambour joins us this episode of the podcast for a wide-ranging interview about the company’s beers, wines and seltzers.

Sam Hambour co-founded the business with winemaking friend Duncan Gibson in 2014, with the intention of focusing on hoppy beers.

But Hop Nation continues to expand into new and intriguing territories including a side label for sour beers, Site Fermentation Project; the wine imprint Site Wine and the seltzer brand Ray.

While in Melbourne for Good Beer Week a few weeks ago I dropped by Hop Nation’s original site in Footscray for a long overdue interview with Sam.

Our catch-up turned out to be well-timed, as Hop Nation dominated proceedings at the Australian International Beer Awards the following night.

The company picked up a remarkable four trophies including one of the major awards, Champion Medium Australian Brewery, and Best Pilsner for Rattenhund, which you’ll hear me discuss with Sam in this interview.

Duncan Gibson and Sam Hambour of Hop Nation
Duncan Gibson and Sam Hambour of Hop Nation

These achievements follow Hop Nation’s recent expansion into a new production brewery in Mornington, which has enabled the company to fine tune its beers.

So there was plenty to talk about with Sam, and that’s without even mentioning the 2021 release of The Kalash, their bourbon barrel aged imperial stout that drops on June 3, around the time this episode goes to air.

Same as in 2020, there’s a second version of The Kalash coming out this year, which you heard foreshadowed by David Baker of Victoria’s Bakery Hill Distillery, back in Season Three of this podcast.

And perhaps you can expect even more barrel-aged beers from Hop Nation, which Sam reveals will soon begin distilling whisky, gin and brandy as the latest additions to its impressive beverage portfolio.

More:
Phil Sexton: Wine and beer entrepreneur – S9E3
Pilsner: How the Beer of Kings Changed the World – S8E2
Peter Lalor, journalist on cricket and beer: S7E6

Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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