Makers & Growers
It was about five years ago when Brian Taylor, colloquially known as BT around the traps, started thinking about a concept that would take Ballarat to new heights and demonstrate exactly why the city was a hotspot for good brews.
“It’s been quite remarkable how the food and wine scene has evolved over the last couple of years,” says BT. He’s one of the city’s hospitality gurus, having worked in the sector since day-dot. “There is a lot more focus on quality local produce, good food, wine and beer. People want an overall quality experience.”
“I thought back to my university days where you just wanted to catch up with friends and have fun. It was about using what you had to make something that you wanted. Out of this idea was born an idea about a venue that everyone felt comfortable spending time in. Just like home.”
And so, in 2015, Hop Temple was born. Owned by BT and managed by fellow beer-lover Zac Hill, the Temple showcases the best in the region’s earthly hops. Located down an elusive, umbrella-clad laneway in an historic warehouse, it’s a hidden hive of artisanal ales – produced locally by craftspeople who have a passion for the art of brewing.
“Ballarat has a rich history of pubs and beer dating back to the mining days,” BT says, referring to the Ballarat Brewing Company which had its heyday in the late 1800s. “We are ideally located in the food belt for produce to make and support all-things beer.”
Hop Temple serves up several of the local breweries including Red Duck, Dollar Bill, and O’Brien, as well as a range of surrounding breweries such as Blackmans, Little Creatures, Hop Nation and Holgate. But craft beer is just one of the space’s claims to fame. “It’s an all-inclusive venue built on the concept of socialising and enjoying other people’s company in a relaxed environment over a beer or a wine,” BT proudly exclaims. “We always try to find ways to entertain, whether through music bingo, events, brews and blues.”
“Ballarat has a rich history of pubs and beer dating back to the mining days.”
Brian Taylor, Hop Temple
Ballarat is fast-becoming one of Australia’s craft beer capitals and is destined to become home to the Australian Craft Beer Centre of Excellence. Combine this with the numerous small-batch brewers that have set up base here, and it’s easy to understand why the city is being dubbed as a hub of handmade hops.
“Beer is the new wine. I love the variety and the personalities, and the passion in the craft beer scene is inspiring,” BT says. “There is a sense of community amongst the industry.”
Hop Temple is enthusiastic about good beer, wine and food. A family orientated environment for everybody to enjoy. Hop prides itself on providing a relaxed atmosphere with no pressure.