New Zealand Hops. The early settlers from England and Germany found the Nelson region well suited to the hop plants they brought with them. In time a fledgling industry grew, and hops were grown throughout the area. New varieties were developed and over the next 150 years New Zealand became known for its disease-free, high-quality products. Variety names like Motueka, Riwaka, and Nelson Sauvin reveal ties to the local history and geography.
The current growing region, roughly a triangle formed by Riwaka, Tapawera, and Brightwater, produces all of New Zealand’s commercial hops, a premium product making up less than 1% of the world market. For six weeks in early autumn, the farms are busy, frantically harvesting the year’s crop. The bines are cut, and then the fragrant, bitter flowers are removed and dried.
There are 27 grower shareholders of New Zealand Hops Limited, which is a cooperative established to manage the off-farm interests of its members. This includes converting the dried whole hop flowers into a range of high quality, unique New Zealand hop products which are sold to brewers throughout the world. Source Craft Brewing.
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