After successfully processing crop 2022, Grace Irwin, marketing manager at Hop Products Australia tells us HPA has been focusing on the final hectares of a $50 million investment delivered over the past 8 years.
“The new plantings are coming into commercial productivity this year, which means we can continue to supply a growing number of local and international brewers with high-quality Aussie hops so they can continue making high-quality beers,” she says.
At the halfway point of the growing season, a typical La Niña weather pattern characterized by cooler daytime temperatures and increased rainfall has had an impact, with 4 percent of HPA acreage subject to flooding. This was a common story across eastern parts of Australia at the tail-end of 2022.
“Despite some challenging conditions, we were able to modify our calendar of inputs, complete stringing and training on schedule, and help most of the flood-affected acreage recover,” Irwin says. “In general, our hops have now reached the wire, are filling out with laterals, and on the cusp of inflorescence which will give us more insight into the climatic impacts on yield this season.”
Even though the hop and brewing world seems to be going through significant realignment of supply and demand, the outlook for Aussie hops remains strong.
“Since crop 2023 is expected to be on average, we encourage brewers to proactively review their Aussie hop requirements and reach out regarding forward contracts.”
And hey, if you make the epic journey to visit the Victorian farms, you might even get to do a hot lap around the outside of the new processing and packaging facility that is scheduled to be commissioned in time for crop 2024.