Wellington’s Garage Project and a Nelson-based hop grower have joined government officials to fund a $13 million effort to develop unique “Kiwi” hops.
Here’s the deal….
Garage Project (voted the best brewery in New Zealand in 2017) and Nelson-based hop grower Freestyle Farms are committing $7.95 million to the seven-year project. And New Zealand’s “Harry Potter-esque” Ministry of Primary Industries will be kicking in the remaining $5.3m through its Primary Growth Partnership program.
The goal of the research is to create new varieties and cross-breeds of hops that will also lead to beers that are identifiably “Kiwi” from the first sip…
“We see the opportunity to develop some unique beers and have them almost be a signature style of New Zealand beer… and we see the opportunity to send these hops to some of the top craft breweries around the world and work with them collaboratively.”
Ruffell added that under the joint venture, Hāpi Research Limited, the government and private partnership might elevate “New Zealand craft beer to a sustainable global brand that commands premium pricing across all markets.”
New Zealand has a thriving craft beer scene with about 200 companies in operation, according to The Guardian. And although that number has increased by 300% in the last decade… only a small quantity of hops is grown in New Zealand and access to markets is limited.”
If successful the Ministry for Primary Industries projects hop revenue to grow to $132m per annum by 2027, an $89m increase over forecasts without the program.
And similar gains were expected for the craft brewing industry.
According to the ministry “the co-investors expect 835 new jobs to be created across the hop growing and craft brewing industries if the economic goals are achieved.”