Hawke’s Brewing finalising Marrickville production brewery

Hawke’s Brewing Co has been granted development approval to open a production brewery in the heart of Marrickville, Sydney’s predominant craft beer precinct.

Hawke’s was founded in 2017 by former advertising executives David Gibson and Nathan Lennon with the late Bob Hawke, Labor’s longest-serving prime minister, in a unique agreement providing that 100 per cent of his royalties be donated to charity Landcare Australia.

Following a long property search, the company has secured a 1569sqm site at 8-12 Sydney Street, Marrickville, a stone’s throw away from area pioneers Batch Brewing Company (opened 2013).

Stockade Brewing Company (opened 2018) and Philter Brewing Company (opened 2020) are also in the immediate vicinity.

“Following a two-year search, David and I are thrilled and relieved to have found a home for Hawke’s and our team,” Lennon told Drinks Adventures.

“Getting the opportunity to build and brew the next phase of our dream in the Inner West, alongside so many of our indie mates, is just the icing on the cake.

“There’s an incredible community-focused energy in and around Marrickville and we’re hoping to make a positive contribution as a neighbour, while creating something that everyone here can be proud of.”

Hawke's Brewing founders Nathan Lennon (L) and David Gibson (R) with the late Bob Hawke
Hawke’s Brewing founders Nathan Lennon (L) and David Gibson (R) with the late Bob Hawke

Hawke’s Brewing hospitality offering coming in phase two

There is no hospitality component in the existing Hawke’s Brewing Marrickville development application.

“The proposal is to create a purpose-built brewery for sole use by Hawke’s Brewing Co and to meet additional demand for product resulting from increased sales, brand awareness, and popularity,” the documents say.

The DA says Hawke’s will in the future “explore opportunities” to introduce a brewery bar and retail outlet at the site.

“This proposal will be subject to a separate development application,” it says.

The company applied for a producer/wholesaler liquor licence on May 14.

Capital raising

Hawke’s Brewing has put down roots in Marrickville following a capital raising announced in 2019.

Pursuing investment of between $4 million and $5 million, the company appointed former Lion CEO Rob Murray as advisory chairman.

Two entities connected to Gibson and Lennon remain the biggest investors under the new structure, with each holding a 29% stake.

Among the smaller shareholders is former head brewer Justin Fox, who developed the recipes and oversaw contract brewing of the company’s first first four beers; Lager, Patio Pale, Underdog Session Lager and Opener IPA.

An impressive showing for the Hawke’s Brewing beers in the GABS Hottest 100

Hawke’s recently appointed Brodie French – formerly of Sauce Brewing, Tribe Breweries and Icon Brewing – as head brewer.

Justin Fox, who is based in Victoria, has moved into a chief brewer role on the company’s advisory board.

Landcare partnership

Hawke’s Brewing Co has so far donated more than $250,000 to Landcare Australia in lieu of royalties forgone by Bob Hawke, according to the DA.

“From the beginning, Hawke’s Brewing Co. wanted to build a company with an ethos of ‘giving back’, as an ethical cornerstone in the way it did business,” it says.

“The partnership also aims to create positive awareness for the Landcare brand among younger Australians, who we see as the future leaders in the drive towards a more sustainably sound future.”

Hawke’s Brewing Marrickville will be one of Australia’s most sustainable city-based breweries, targeting an environmental impact of “closer to 0%”.

“This mission spans from how the subject development is powered, how offsets are managed, how waste is mitigated, to the everyday responsibilities as a business and culture,” The DA says.

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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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