Hop Products Australia has announced a partnership with New Zealand’s Clayton Hops to distribute a range of New Zealand varieties.
HPA, which bred Galaxy, Vic Secret and Ella domestically, will now have access to Motueka, Pacifica, Rakau and Riwaka grown by Clayton Hops.
Sales and Markeking Manager Owen Johnston said HPA had been looking to expand its portfolio to offer greater choice and diversity.
“For years we’ve been aware of the opportunity on our doorstep, but our commitment to provide quality hops backed by supply surety meant we needed to wait for the right partnership to come along,”Johnston said.
“Now there’s a new player in the New Zealand hop market who pride themselves on producing premium hops that we know will take your beers to the next level.”
Clayton Hops, comparatively recent entrants into the developing NZ grower market, now have four hop farms in the Nelson hops region with 200 hectares of hop garden, making it the largest hop grower in New Zealand.
The company says it will increase its growing area to around 500 hectares over the coming years as it continues to convert more of its prime farmland into hop garden.
While Clayton Hops are a member of the NZ Hops consortium, New Zealand is seeing increasing investment in other growers challenging the domination of grower cooparative NZ Hops Ltd, which once held a monopoly on the Kiwi hop market.
In the past three years independent farms such as Freestyle and Hop Revolution have changed the landscape, dealing directly with big-name breweries and grabbing much of the spotlight.
Johnston said HPA was confident Clayton Farms farming practices, picking, drying and pressing processes are all state of the art to ensure consistent quality.