Ryefield Hops in Bemboka, southern New South Wales is planning a fivefold increase of its current acreage for the 2018 harvest.
The company was founded last year by Morgan and Karen Taylor, along with Karen’s sister Jade McManus, who has a background in permaculture and agriculture.
The hop field is located on Morgan Taylor’s family farm, Ryefield, a huge property that was formerly used to run dairy cattle but has lain dormant for a number of years.
Located about 40 kilometres further inland from Bega in the NSW south coast region, it has a similar latitude to that of Rostrevor Hop Gardens in Victoria.
McManus told Brews News the company hopes to eventually expand its hop fields to eight acres, which will require investment in mechanical harvesting.
She said the proprietary nature of many hop varieties had made it challenging to source plant material.
Market research with brewers led the company to plant Fuggle, Cascade and Chinook in its first season, all of which will be expanded for the next harvest and supplemented with Saaz.
Ryefield’s first harvest earlier this year has made possible a new beer made collaboratively by Wildflower Brewing & Blending using purely NSW ingredients.