Hope Estate has forged a reputation for big concerts, with the current season seeing names such as Bruce Springsteen, Culture Club, and the Screaming Jets entertaining the masses. They also have a cellar door, which is the first thing you see when entering the main building. But walk a another 10m and you’ll find their glorious bar, with 12 taps of beer at the ready.
The brewery arm was established in 2014, with the mission of creating the finest concert beer experience in the country. The building itself (which houses the brewery and cellar door) looks down the hill towards the stage – I’m yet to experience an event there, but it seems a decent slope on which to watch the stars do their thing. There’s a load of space inside the building proper – couches, long tables and an abundance of standing room for patrons, as well as an outdoor area. From a quick glance of the menu, it looks your fairly solid pub fare, with burgers and pizzas two items to catch my eye.
But beer is what’s being discussed, and it’s a very decent
looking lineup. Everything from a lager to a DIPA to a porter, they’ve got most bases covered. I’ve picked up a few growler fills from there, and they’ve only recently gotten into canning, which judging by my Instagram feed has increased their footprint tenfold. The beers are all of a top quality – I’m yet to have a bad one, with the IPA being the pick of the bunch according to my sensory glands. Maybe they could push the envelop more from a creativity perspective, as being connected to a winery I’m sure they have access to barrels, but hard to mark down if their not hitting the mark their given the overall quality of their beer.
Go there…if you’re after a break from wine tasting
Don’t go there…if you’re after an intimate, community feel. The venue itself is very big, and many of the customers won’t be locals
2213 Broke Road Pokolbin, or
3 Stockton Street Nelson Bay
A hat tip to the area I now call home, Hunter Valley Good Beer Venues features pubs/bars/breweries which have a focus on craftier beer offerings. It also provides me with an excellent excuse to go to the pub, all in the name of research.