Eat & Drink

FogHorn Brewery

FogHorn Brewery arrives in the Hunter Valley

If you’re a local who regularly heads down Wine Country Drive on your morning or arvo commute, you’ve no doubt noticed some changes to local pub, Potters Hotel. 

You see, some quality brewers that go by the name of FogHorn have expanded their Newcastle based brewing operations to the Hunter Valley, recently taking over Hunter Beer Co. (HBC) formerly located at the Potters site.

And folks, I’m just a little bit excited.

If you’ve ever visited FogHorn Brewery in Newcastle, you’ll know that these guys make some decent brews, most notably their extensive range of tasty IPAs .  

A fact which makes complete sense when you consider FogHorn’s Head Brewer and founder Shawn Sherlock has over 20 years of brewing experience. 

“Like most people in the beer world, I started as a home brewer. I had a perfectly good academic career that I’d put a lot of effort into and slowly but surely I just got obsessed with my hobby which was brewing.”

Shawn continues. “In 2014 we opened the FogHorn Brewery in King Street.  Starting the brew pub was a very deliberate move.  I’ve always been really passionate about the venue-based model and doing something innovative in Newcastle.”

Shawn was definitely onto something.  In just six years, the Newcastle Brewery has become a favourite hang for locals and visitors alike and has moved into wholesale production (tinnies) following a partnership with Founders First. 

According to Shawn, this latest move to the Hunter Valley, just made sense.

“Having a second site allows us to grow the FogHorn brand and brewing capabilities. Our vision is to build a newer, bigger brewery on site here as well as a production line.”

Now, if you’re a fan of HBC, there’s no need to be sad.  Legendary local brewers Keith Grice and Daniel Gayner from HBC have joined the new FogHorn brewing team. 

Keith and Shawn actually go way back. The pair used to catch up to taste their brews in Shawn’s backyard, before craft brewing was even a thing!

Keith Grice & Shawn Sherlock, FogHorn Brewery Hunter Valley
Keith Grice & Shawn Sherlock, FogHorn Brewery Hunter Valley

“The most exciting thing for me, apart from growing the FogHorn brand is bringing someone like Keith into the tent.  For one, he’s a mate but there’s only two people in the industry that I would let brew my beers or that I would trust to brew a completely new beer associated with the FogHorn brand, and that’s Keith" notes Shawn.  Keith continues.

“It’s a real union. Shawn is one of my favourite brewers in the country and I’ve known him for decades. If I had to put a shortlist of people together that I’d like to work for. He’d be right at the top.”

The new look Hunter Valley venue which has 10 beers on tap, including FogHorn’s signature brews, will also continue to serve HBC favourites including the Hunter Kolsch, Bock and the ‘Slaked Magpie’.

Oh yes, there’s plenty to get excited about here and it’s not just the awesome beer. 

The Bistro which is still known as Potters Hotel, has brought in a new Chef and will soon announce a fresh new menu featuring locally sourced produce, while still dishing up classic pub fare.

FogHorn Brewery Hunter Valley is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10am-8pm and Sundays from 10am-5pm.   Brewery tours are available.  Call ahead to book.

Potters Hotel is open Wednesday to Sunday. 

Local artist Mitch Revs paints FogHorn's new eye-catching mural.
Local artist Mitch Revs paints FogHorn's new eye-catching mural.