Hāpi – Brewing Success

This programme will help New Zealand growers and brewers to explore new opportunities for premium hop growing and craft beer. It aims to make New Zealand globally recognised for unique, premium hops and craft beers.

Overview

Image of hop plant
Premium hops will be bred with consumers in mind.

The Hāpi – Brewing Success Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme aims to develop premium hops and craft beers through:

  • market-led plant breeding
  • precision farming and processing methods
  • a new business model.

 

The programme will:

  • create cross-industry hop and beer research and development that's commercially viable and sustainable
  • support collaborative development of high-value, premium products from regional businesses
  • accelerate the growth of New Zealand’s hop and craft beer industries and the economy
  • help diversify land use 
  • increase the number of growers, the regions growing hops, and the range of hop varieties to help make the industry more resilient.

The Hāpi – Brewing Success PGP programme is led by Hāpi Research Ltd, a joint venture between Brewwell Ltd (trading as Garage Project) and Freestyle Farms Ltd. Importantly, the intellectual property and expertise the programme develops will be kept in New Zealand.

The challenge

 Graph showing large increases (to over 40,000 tonnes) in hop production for Germany and the USA. Total production for New Zealand is less than 1,000 tonnes.

The hop industry in New Zealand is tiny by international standards. Although production is increasing, growth has been much slower compared to craft beer and hop producers overseas.

There's potential to accelerate our industry's growth and improve returns to growers and the economy, but we need innovation to do this.

The solution

The programme has 5 interrelated projects:

  • Project 1: Hop breeding. This will use classical breeding methods and new molecular techniques to improve the speed and efficiency of breeding. The main goal is to commercialise 3 new premium varietals and support the release of 3 royalty-free varietals.
  • Project 2: Precision farming and hop processing. This involves research on optimal growing, harvesting, and processing for unique flavours and aromas – from the field to the glass. It will also explore the impacts of regional differences (terroir) on flavour and aromas.
  • Project 3: Hop varietal market development. New licensing models for premium hops with growers and standards for hop processing will enable quality and consistency, and premium pricing.
  • Project 4: Uniquely New Zealand craft beer. This aims to create a unique New Zealand craft beer by understanding and maximising the unique New Zealand flavours achievable from hops grown here.
  • Project 5: Combined hop and craft beer industry growth. This will connect the New Zealand industry to markets. It will include events that connect New Zealand craft brewers to international distributors, and New Zealand growers to international craft brewers.

Outcome logic model

KEY FACTS

Programme start: 2018
Length: 7 years
PGP funding: $5.3 million
Industry funding: $7.95 million
Commercial partner: Hāpi Research Ltd
Estimated potential economic benefit to NZ: $171 million per annum by 2027 (hop revenue $89 million, new craft beer revenue $82 million).

 

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