By Sean Rogasch

    As soon as I saw the social media post I knew what needed to be done. With Hop Nation’s original brewery bar set for a significant refurbishment, I took the opportunity for one final beer at the iconic venue.

    But don’t get me wrong, this won’t be an article of a Luddite’s thirst for the past.

    It is a love letter to what was and what is to come.

    Hop Nation is a heart and soul location and signifies the evolution of Footscray and its surrounding burbs.

    What its homely bar has always lacked in size, has always been made up for in community spirit and its welcoming atmosphere making it a great meeting place. And of course, there’s the wide array of delicious beers to keep any wannabe connoisseur happy.

    It has very much been a bar that’s incorporated into a working brewery and it has famously welcomed (and brewed) for all-comers; two legs or four.

    As your correspondent pens this piece while sitting in the full bar on its final Friday night before the major restoration commenced – one that will sadly exclude our four-legged friends – there is a sense of what will be lost. How can this bar possibly be replaced, let alone improved?

    The truth is it doesn’t need to be.

    This is, after all, not a century-old industrial institution of the region. To the contrary; it’s a beacon of what the new Footscray has to offer; proof gentrification need not be a dirty word.

    While we can mourn the loss of the original Hop Nation, hot on the heels of Two Bird’s ‘nest’ closing its doors, not all is lost. 

    By the time you read this article, Hop Nation’s new look will be open and no doubt enticing westside beer lovers to bring friends, and to show off the very best of our beer culture. This will only be enhanced when it is joined by the recently approved Moon Dog/Franco Cozzo redevelopment and, currently under construction, Barbarian Brewing Co in Kingsville. 

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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