HPA undertakes largest replanting in history
Hop Products Australia (HPA) recently commenced a significant replanting of its hop fields in Tasmania and Victoria as part of a long term strategy to increase the production of proprietary, specialty hop varieties.
HPA grows approximately 80% of the country’s brewing hops and is in the process of replanting 20% of its acreage requiring the propagation of some 200,000 hop plants.
HPA Managing Director Tim Lord said; “For decades, hop production was dominated by mainstream bittering hops – very much a commodity product for the brewing industry. For many years, we’ve been breeding and trialling proprietary hop varieties to discover hops that are perfectly suited to the Australian climate and growing conditions.”
“We are very proud of the fact that our exclusive varieties such as Galaxy®, Ella®, Topaz®, Summer® and Vic Secret® are making a significant contribution to the development of the craft beer sector here and overseas.”
This replanting process is just one element of a five year plan that has required significant capital investment in dedicated propagation facilities, hot houses and expansion of hop gardens. This investment has also driven increased employment opportunities to enable this major redevelopment to be completed.
The replanting process will occur in a number of stages across both farm sites in Bushy Park Estates in Tasmania and Rostrevor Hop Gardens in Victoria until Christmas, with some early plantings expected to produce a crop for the 2014 harvest in February – March.
To manage the increased demand, HPA has just appointed Owen Johnston, former Moo Brew Head Brewer, as Sales and Marketing Manager to oversee sales of the expected 40% increase in production across the next two year. Domestic and global demand now sees HPA working with breweries in more than 20 countries, and the list is growing.