Exceptional year predicted for beer following bumper hop crop

Hop Products Australia (HPA) has completed this year’s hop harvest, with a 10% year-on-year uplift in crop volume across six varieties.

HPA is the country’s largest hop grower. The company picked 847 hectares across Victoria and Tasmania, which resulted in 1821 tonnes of hops. This was a 37 hectare (4.5%) net increase and a 164 tonne (9.9%) net increase year-on-year across Eclipse, Ella, Enigma, Galaxy, Topaz and Vic Secret, as well as Cascade. Oil content came in equal or above the five-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 HPA’s 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 Johnston.

A portion of this year’s hop crop will be reserved for commissioning HPA’s 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.” said Johnston.

This means brewers can expect an increase in quality, a reduced spread of analytical data, and more consistent performance in beer.

“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,” said Johnston.

The hop crop 2023 is heavily contracted, with a very limited amount available on the spot market.

HPA named Lion Supplier of the Year

HPA was recently named Supplier of the Year at the Lion Supplier Recognition Awards.

The category awards – across packaging, ingredients, logistics, engineering services and site services – recognise those suppliers who have performed the best in terms of delivery performance, quality, customer service and feedback.

Attending his first Supplier of the Year Awards since joining Lion last year, Lion Group CEO Sam Fischer paid tribute to Lion’s suppliers and the strong relationships that underpin the company’s Trans-Tasman operations.

“Our partnerships with suppliers are absolutely vital to our ability to brew and transport our products to pubs, bars, bottleshops and fridges in every corner of Australia and New Zealand,” Fischer said.

“This is an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate strong and enduring partnerships, while also looking forward to opportunities to grow together into the future.”

Regarding HPA’s win, Lion Chief Supply Chain Officer Mauricio Ferreira said: “HPA’s commitment to delivering and maintaining the highest standard of products for use by Lion emanates through the brewery process and helps set our products apart in market.

“We are grateful to all of our suppliers for the support of their incredible teams of experts and their partnership, particularly through the disruption of the past three years, and look forward to continuing our work together in the next growth phase of Lion’s journey.”

Full list of nominees and award winners at the Lion Supplier Recognition Awards

Award: Packaging (ANZ)
Winner: Labelmakers Group Pty Ltd

Award: Ingredients (ANZ)
Winner: Hop Products Australia

Award: Logistics (ANZ)
Winner: Booths Logistics Ltd

Award: Engineering (ANZ)
Winner: Krones Pacific

Award: Site Services (ANZ)
Winner: Ecolab (Pest Elimination)

Award: Diverse Supplier Award (ANZ)
Winner: Gforce Corporate And Finance Pty Ltd

Award: Innovation & Sustainability Award (ANZ)
Winner: Visy Glass Operations Pty Ltd

Award: Supplier of the Year (ANZ)
Winner: Hop Products Australia

Pictured above: Sam Fischer, Lion CEO; Michael Capaldo, National Sales Manager HPA; Mauricio Ferreira, Lion Chief Supply Chain Officer.

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