Tasmania, Australia, 28 April, 2022
Hop Products Australia (HPA) have completed this year’s hop harvest. They picked 810 hectares across their three farms, producing 1,656 metric tonnes of hops.
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.” This resulted in a 135 hectare (20.1%) net increase and a 130 metric tonne (8.4%) net increase year-on-year across their six proprietary hops – Eclipse®, Ella™, Enigma®, Galaxy®, Topaz™ and Vic Secret™ – as well as Cascade. Impact in beer is expected to remain strong, with oil content equal or above the 5-year average for all hops.
This year’s harvest marked a significant milestone for HPA, with the completion of a $35 million capital expansion project that involved planting 300 new hectares of Galaxy®, Vic Secret™ and their newest proprietary hop Eclipse®, as well as constructing a new processing facility. The facility now houses an additional 2 picking machines, 12 kiln floors, 1 conditioning floor and 1 bale press, effectively boosting their total processing capacity by 50%. 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.”
Their focus now shifts to maximising the productivity of the new hop gardens. Mr Lord said “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.” At this point, Eclipse® is forecast to reach 180 metric tonnes, making it their third biggest proprietary hop.
Aussie hops continue to enjoy strong demand from brewers everywhere, which means crop 2022 is heavily contracted. The importance HPA place on responsible contracting will allow them to meet all commitments, with a very limited amount of hops available on the spot market. Mr Johnston said “brewers are strongly encouraged to communicate their Aussie hop requirements to our sales team, and enter into rolling contracts for supply security.”