Hops Industry Gaining Strong International Reputation
New Zealand-produced hops is gaining a strong international reputation with 90 per cent grown here exported overseas. The United States craft beer scene is particularly fond of New Zealand flavours. A recent report estimated the industry could be worth up to US$200 million (NZ$246m) by 2025.
Plant and Food Research has been given $3.9 million of government funding to help growing co-operative New Zealand Hops Ltd to develop specialty hops for export.
Plant and Food scientist Ron Beatson said teams would be building on the stable of unique New Zealand hops.
“We’re basically fine-tuning them, picking the winners and producing beers from them which we hope will be launching into the export market,” Beatson said.
“If we do it right, New Zealand will be world-leading, certainly in the craft brewing industry but also in premium beer products.”
New Zealand Hops chief executive Doug Donelan said although they exported about 600 tonnes of hops in the last year, they can’t keep up with demand.
Donelan said New Zealand had an enviable position in the global market because our crops were disease-free and unique.