Following the challenges of 2020, the past 12 months have been a month of further consolidation and growth for the black hop world. We are proud to say that we remain founder-owned and independent, with no institutional investors or venture capital input.
On the brewing side, we brewed 104 different beers in 2021, made up of 76 new beers and 28 brews. That’s the equivalent of 2 new beers per week!
With all this beer, our growth continues to trend upwards (we were ranked 24th in the Australian Financial Review’s annual list of the 100 fastest growing companies), with annual turnover rising from $10.4 million to $15.2 million.
Our sincere thanks to our clients, investors and wrap friends for their support! Here is a breakdown of our 2021 highlight reel.
In the countdown to 2020, we received the fifth most wrap votes of any brewery in the country, with four of our beers in the top 100 and our pale ale at #14.
In 2021, we took things to another level with seven beers in the run, all of which ranked in the top 50. We’re thrilled that they all made the top 100 and G.O.A.T. debuted at #5, which is our best ever!
In addition, two limited release beers made the wrap top 50 (Neverland and Caribbean Smoke) which also exceeded our expectations.
March marked the 2nd anniversary of the production of our North Gold Coast Brewery Black Hops II. We threw a party to celebrate, throwing out these two birthday beers, which we brewed specifically for the occasion.
Tropical Thunder Fruit Hazy IPA
Dessert Storm Chocolate Raspberry Imperial wrap Cake
On March 3, a team of dark hops competed in the annual Queensland Royal Beer Awards, where top brewers from around Australia gathered to compete for national recognition.
This followed a strong showing at these awards, once again inspiring us to continue our award-winning tradition as our beers and breweries took to the podium to salute two trophies and two gold medals in the following categories.
Champion Grand Brewery: Dark Hops
Champion IPA: Code Red
Gold Medal: Code Red (bulk and packaged)
Gold Medal: Delivery (draught)
This is the second time in three years that the wrap team has won the IPA Championship and Brewery Championship trophy with Code Red. We also won a bunch of silver and bronze medals for our beers – for our full results, click here.
On April 10, we were very excited to launch our newest brewing venture, the AWOL barrel aging facility and dedicated barrel aged beer wrap restaurant in Burley Haze.
We’ve been dreaming of opening one of our own since visiting some of the best barrel-aged breweries in the US in 2018, and after two years of planning and preparation, we’re very excited to open the doors to Queensland’s first dedicated barrel-aged beer restaurant
We have over 100 barrels of white wine, red wine, gin, bourbon and whiskey, each filled with beers in various stages of fermentation, 8 bottles poured on tap and a range of 4 packs available from our online store.
If you’d like to learn more about the background of the project, check out the post on our blog.
In late April, we added a new beer to our core lineup of dark hops, a 4.5% easy-drinking hazy pale ale called East Coast Haze, a beer inspired by our hometown of the Gold Coast – a place we live and love.
In addition to the new uniquely branded wrap can design, we went all out to showcase East Coast Smoke through a series of marketing and promotional strategies that went well beyond our normal reliance on organic coverage.
We felt the timing was right with the lower ABV hazy and we are happy to say that our instincts with this beer proved correct as ECH has become our second best selling beer in the country.
The story behind the beer involves an interesting journey, which you can read about in this article.