While not without its challenges, the past 12 months has been one of further consolidation and growth in the world of Black Hops. We’re proud to say that we still remain majority founder owned and independent, having no institutional investors or venture capital input.
On the brewing front we smashed out 111 unique beers in 2022, including 74 new recipes – a Black Hops record! Cheers to our creative and hardworking brew crew. What was your favourite BH brew in 2022?
All up we packed 1,7 million litres of beer in 2022 (with over 2 million litres brewed).
Off the back of all this beer, our growth continued on an upwards trend (we were stoked to finish at number 57 in the Australian Financial Review’s list of 100 Fastest Growing Companies for the year).
We are truly grateful for all the support that we continually receive from our customers, investors and friends! Here’s a breakdown of our 2022 highlights reel ..
January: G.O.A.T. Goes Top 5 Again In GABS Hottest 100
The GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer Countdown is one of the highlights of the craft beer calendar. In the January 2022 Countdown we once again finished inside the top five, with G.O.A.T. repeating its high standing from the previous year and finishing as the fifth favourite Oz craft beer for 2021, making it the highest ranking Hazy IPA in the country.
While G.O.A.T. did us proud, we were also over the moon to have East Coast Haze finish at number 19, off the back of zero promotion for the list in its debut year. And a big shout out to two of our Limited Release beers – Hop Swap on also making the list in its debut year and to Neverland for its second consecutive top 50 finish.
In total we had six beers make the list, which was equal with Capital Brewing for the most amount of beers in the list for the second year in a row. Here’s the full list of Black Hops results:
- G.O.A.T. – 5
- East Coast Haze – 19 (debut)
- Neverland – 46
- Hop Swap – 60 (debut)
- Pale Ale – 61
- Hornet – 81
January/February: Black Hops Delivers The Biggest Equity Crowdfunding Raise Ever For An Aussie Brewery
When we announced our second Equity Crowdfunding campaign, we had no idea of the mind blowing response we’d receive when we went live.
After 45 minutes of opening the campaign we’d already hit the $500,000 minimum raise mark, with almost 250 new investors already onboard. Within 3 hours of launch we hit the magic 1 million dollar mark, with 500 new investors joining in. Incredibly, the momentum continued, as we hit our maximum of $2.2m in under 24 hours, delivering the biggest equity crowdfunding raise ever by a brewery in Australia, in record time! We didn’t even get the chance to make the offer public.
We welcomed almost 1,000 new people into the Black Hops Alpha Team and the coolest thing is so many of those are staff, customers, re-sellers, suppliers, existing investors, traditional investors and just general fans of Black Hops.
We’ve got some big plans over the coming years, with a big expansion of Black Hops II And tapping into the Equity Crowdfunding model to help fund our vision also helps us maintain our current business model of being majority founder owned, independent and having no institutional investors or venture capital input.
To read more on our Equity Crowdfunding history and how this most recent campaign played out, check out our blog post article.
March: Representing at the Qld Food & Wine Show Beer Awards
In March a Black Hops contingent headed up to the Royal Brisbane Showgrounds for the Royal Qld Food & Wine Show (RQFWS) Beer Awards.
With the competition for trophies and medals larger than ever before, we were stoked to snag a trophy for our Double West Coast Rye IPA, Why Can’t IBU, which took out the Champion Hybrid Beer award.
We were also super stoked to pick up the first Gold Medal for our latest core range beer, East Coast Haze. And Code Red also scored yet another Gold Medal, to go with the Champion IPA trophy it has taken out at these Awards twice previously (as well as three Gold Medals at the AIBA Awards).
March: Celebrating the Third Birthday of BHII
March marked the 3 year anniversary of the launch of our Northern Gold Coast brewery, Black Hops II. We threw a party to celebrate,putting out a limited run of three new beers ..
- Another Lap Around The Sun: 6.7% Hazy IPA
- Love Handles: 7% Choc-Marzipan Imperial Milk Stout
- Flamingo: 5.2% Passion Fruit, Dragon Fruit & Hibiscus Sour
April: Brewing A Beer To Support Flood Recovery
Following the devastating March/April floods which impacted a number of South East Qld and Northern NSW communities, we decided to brew a 1,000 litre batch of beer to help support the ongoing recovery flood effort.
After workshopping the idea with some other breweries wanting to help, we came up with a beer called Relief XPA, a 5% easy drinking XPA style beer.
We donated all of the proceeds from the sale of Relief XPA to charities and organisations who coordinated relief efforts in flood ravaged communities.
For more about the project and how it came together, check out our Blog Post.
May: Black Hops Scores 6 Gold Medals at 2022 AIBA Awards
The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA’s) were held on 26 May, with a bunch of the Black Hops brew crew heading down to Melbourne to see how our beers stacked up against the best craft breweries in the land.
We’ve managed to walk away with gold medals for our beers at every AIBA awards ceremony we’ve entered since 2017. And 2022 was another record breaker for us, scoring 6 gold medals for the first time ever (5 gold medals was the equal most we’d ever received previously.)
Here are the Black Hops beers that won gold medals:
- Lay Day (first gold medal in any awards)
- East Coast Haze (first AIBA gold)
- Send It: can (second AIBA gold)
- Code Red: can (fourth AIBA Gold)
- Hornet: can
- Hornet: keg
June: Celebrating Our 6th Birthday at Burleigh HQ
On 18 June we celebrated the 6th birthday of our Burleigh Heads brewery and taproom (HQ). Cheers to everyone who joined us for beer, cake and good times.
To commemorate the occasion we released a limited edition t shirt design as well as brewing 6 limited run birthday beers for the occasion:
- Lemon Myrtle Hazy IPA
- Sloe Berry Gose
- Banksia & Pine Red IPA
- Cranberry Saison
- Chilli Stout
- Salted Potato Porter
June: The New Canning Line at BHII Launches
In April 2021 we announced a project to commission a new and substantially larger canning line at Black Hops II. Following a large-scale set up process, the canning line was officially unveiled in June 2022.
The team worked long and hard to get this beast purring smoothly to pump out a higher volume of Black Hops beer and it couldn’t have happened without our international friends at CFT Group.
For a rundown on the new canning line and how it works, check out our blog post.
June: Little Packer Wins Manufacturing Award For Fibre King
As part of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) Awards of Excellence, one of our major equipment suppliers, Fibre King, took out the Australian Machinery Manufacturing Award for the Little Packer case packer.
This nifty piece of equipment lets smaller scale breweries automatically package cans directly off the canning line and straight into cartons/boxes without the need for time consuming and costly manual processes.
And we’re proud to say that Black Hops played an integral part in bringing it to reality. To find out more, head to the blog.
July: Taking On The Kokoda Challenge
On 16 July a battalion of fearless Black Hops foot soldiers accepted the daunting mission of completing the Kokoda Challenge, taking on a 48 kilometre test of endurance and resilience across 15 hours through the Gold Coast hinterland.
The event is held annually to honour the Australian diggers who fought in 1942 along the arduous Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea during World War II.
As well as honouring the legacy of the original Kokoda Trail-blazers, the Challenge also serves as a vital fundraising tool for the Kokoda Youth Foundation (KYF), raising funds for kids who participate in youth programs that the KYF run throughout the year.
For their efforts the team managed to raise over $3000 for the Kokoda Youth Foundation charity. A big shout-out also to the BH support crew and those who helped out with the food and some much needed encouragement at each pit stop.
We also brewed a Kokoda themed beer, a 4.5% Trail Mix Session Stout to pay tribute to everything Kokoda represents (and as a reward to the team when they cross the finish line.)
October: British India Pale Ale Salutes At GABS Can Design Awards
The annual GABS Can Design Awards are held in recognition of the fine art of designing a killer beer can. Our 2022 entry was for our British India Pale Ale can, designed by legend Jamie Browne Art in collaboration with the Crafted Festival and Melbourne rock band British India. We were super stoked with how the design and the brew itself came together, so we decided to release it as our limited release for September/October.
Over 150 breweries entered the can design awards and once the judges votes were tallied we were stoked to achieve our best ever result of 2nd position! This was our third consecutive top 10 finish and puts us as one of only two breweries to make the top 10 for three years in a row
The goal for the design was to incorporate the positive vibe and experience that Crafted Festival provides to both fans and Breweries around Australia. With the festival being held on the Gold Coast, it was imperative that the vibrant beach landscape was touched on in the design as it brings warmth to the can and also springs to mind the warmer months on the horizon.
October: BH Scores At 2022 Safe Work Awards
The Queensland Safe Work Awards recognise organisations that demonstrate innovation, leadership and commitment to workplace health and safety.
In 2022 we were proud to be recognised as demonstrating the most significant improvement to work health and safety performance. To keep pace with the rapid growth we have experienced over the past few years has required us to invest in comprehensive work health method statements and a safety culture that supports staff participation, collaboration and consultation.
A big shout out to our People And Safety Manager Dan Shane, whose expertise and tireless work since coming onboard with us has played a crucial role in this achievement.
October: Black Hops Beers Score at 2022 Indie Awards
The annual Independent Beer Awards (aka ‘The Indies’) took place on Thursday, 13 October. Black Hops has a history of success at the event, with this year proving no different. Here are the Black Hops beers which scored medals on the night:
Lay Day Lager
East Coast Haze
November: BH Recognised As One Of Australia’s Fastest Growing Companies
For the past 32 years respected business publication The Australian Financial Review (AFR) have published their Fast 100 and Fast Starters lists, in recognition of the fastest growing businesses and start ups in Australia over the previous 12 months.
And following on from 2021 (when we made the list for the first time), we were stoked to once again finish in the top 100 in 2022, coming in at #57 in this year’s honour roll of fastest growing Australian companies!
A big thanks to all of our customers, suppliers, investors and supporters for getting behind us and continuing to support what we do, you’re all a massive part of our success and we look forward to growing even more while continuing to make the best beer we can.
November: More Birthday Milestones
In November we celebrated the second birthday of our Black Hops Brisbane brewery and taproom. We brewed the following beers especially for the occasion:
- You Do Yuzu: Hazy IPA
- Sorrento Summer: Lavender Limoncello Sour
Bring On 2023
There have been some tricky moments over the past few years, but we’re stoked to be kicking off another eventful year at Black Hops. Cheers for the support as always.