Hobart, Australia, 2 May, 2023
Hop Products Australia (HPA) have completed this year’s hop harvest. They picked 847 hectares across Victoria and Tasmania, which resulted in 1,821 tonnes of hops.
This was a 37 hectare (4.5%) net increase and a 164 tonne (9.9%) net increase year-on-year across six proprietary varieties – Eclipse®, Ella™, Enigma®, Galaxy®, Topaz™ and Vic Secret™ – as well as Cascade.
Oil content came in equal or above the 5-year average for all proprietary hops.
HPA’s Head of Sales & Marketing Owen Johnston said “Eclipse had a particularly strong showing that should lead to an exceptional year of performance in beer.”
The final hectares of their recent Victorian expansion are now reaching commercial maturity, but some plants were significantly impacted by a third consecutive La Niña weather pattern. “Despite adverse growing conditions we were able to modify our calendar of inputs accordingly, with the warm and dry summer aiding cone maturation.” said Mr Johnston.
A portion of this year’s crop will be reserved for commissioning their new production facility in Victoria. The modern temperature-controlled pellet plant and form, fill and seal packaging line will produce in excess of 50 tonnes of pellets per day. “This will allow us to double our current processing capacity while retaining higher average oils in the finished pellets at a lower average HSI.” continued Mr Johnston.
This means brewers can expect an increase in quality, a reduced spread of analytical data, and more consistent performance in beer.
HPA is focussed on a sustainable future of quality beer, completing the initial Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of their business to identify key areas and realistic targets to support the implementation of low emission practices that will improve their brewing customers’ indirect emissions moving forward.
Mr Johnston said “the hop and brewing world is going through a significant realignment of supply and demand as brewers endure some of the toughest years on record, but the outlook for Aussie hops remains steady.”
Crop 2023 is heavily contracted, with a very limited amount available on the spot market.