Updated: Jan 18, 2019
Founder Michael Hope at Hope Estate's Hope Brewhouse
Hope Estate nestled within the iconic wine region of the Hunter Valley has always been synonymous with two things: wine and music. But not anymore.
Since founder Michael Hope took on the former Rothbury site in 2006, Hope Estate has successfully created at least 18 wine variations and played host to music events featuring some of the world's most famous performers including Elton John, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton and "The Boss' Bruce Springsteen.
But not content to rest on his laurels, in 2014 Michael set about adding to the property's list of accomplishments by starting his own brewery.
"It's every boy's dream to own their brewery isn't it?' Michael joked.
"But seriously, for us it was just the perfect fit for what we do. Eric Clapton was our first concert back in 2009 and it became clear to me very quickly that we were engaging with a lot of people though the concerts and cellar door, weddings, functions and other events and it seemed crazy to me that I had to go and buy beer.
"The challenge at first for us as Hope Estate, was that no one knew who we were. That's how the amphitheater came into play to really create that brand for us. Then as it grew I put on my wine tasters hat and thought, wouldn't it be great if one of these cellar doors also had beer? It was a perfect fit for us as a venue and destination."
"Then as it grew I put on my wine tasters hat and thought, wouldn't it be great if one of these cellar doors also had beer? It was a perfect fit for us as a venue and destination..."
Two years ago the idea became a reality when Michael implemented the first stage of the winery's brewery, Hope Brewery
"So far we've successfully brewed 46 different beers here onsite and at any one time we usually have around 20 varieties available, including mainstream beers like pale ale and lager, as well as year-round specialties like Gluten Free Pilsner, Choc Milk Porter and Super Juicy Neipa.
"The rest of the time we get creative with the seasonals or craft beers, and one-offs like the Raspberry Sour for summer and Jet Black IIIPA. There's definitely a market out there for beers people have never tried before and it's fun for us as well."
The packaging used by Hope Brewery also incorporates the fun and flair that is synonymous with Hope Estate, using bright colours and bold design.
"What this really is about, is breaking down barriers just like we've done with wine. There's no need to be intimated by viticulture and it's the same with brewing. That's really the essence of Hope Estate, to not take ourselves too seriously, to have fun, and be approachable."