Hop Products Australia (HPA) has completed its 2022 hop harvest and its crop report highlights the positive impact the hop grower’s $35m expansion project has had on both the quantity and quality of its hops.

The project, which started back in 2019, has seen the planting of 300 new hectares of Galaxy, Vic Secret and HPA’s newest proprietary hop Eclipse, as well as the construction of a new processing facility. In addition the facility now houses two additional picking machines, 12 kiln floors, one conditioning floor and one bale press, which has effectively boosted HPA’s total processing capacity by 50 per cent.

This year’s increased harvest saw HPA pick 810 hectares across three farms, producing 1656 metric tonnes of hops. This resulted in a 135 hectare (20.1 per cent) net increase and a 130 metric tonne (8.4 per cent) net increase year-on-year across HPA’s six proprietary hops – Eclipse, Ella, Enigma, Galaxy, Topaz and Vic Secret, as well as Cascade.

Head of Sales & Marketing Owen Johnston said: “HPA successfully executed a strategy to increase the production volume and brewing quality of our most in-demand Aussie hops.”

Impact in beer is expected to remain strong, with oil content equal or above the 5-year average for all hops.

Managing Director Tim Lord said: “Our increased capacity allowed us to process all hops in a timely fashion, as well as creating more chances for employment, skills development and priority purchasing of local products and services in our growing regions.”

Looking ahead, Lord added: “The increase in acreage has not yet resulted in a relative increase in production volume, with the new plantings scheduled to reach commercial maturity by 2024.”

HPA is currently forecasting that Eclipse will reach 180 metric tonnes, making it its third biggest proprietary hop.

With Australian hops continuing to enjoy strong demand this year’s crop is heavily contracted and Johnston said contracts allow HPA to meet its commitments and mean that only very a limited amount of hops are available on the spot market.

Johnston said: “Brewers are strongly encouraged to communicate their Aussie hop requirements to our sales team, and enter into rolling contracts for supply security.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *