“The brewer gets to use the oils in a much more concentrated form in the brewing process to achieve the outcomes on a much larger scale.”
In what must surely be a match made in heaven, NZ Hops Ltd has partnered with UK-based Totally Natural Solutions (TNS), a major producer of hop oils.
The partnership deal will enable brewers from around the globe to access high quality bespoke New Zealand hop oils.
Already globally recognised for their premium quality, hops grown in the Tasman region will now be brought to the market in volumes that can satisfy the needs of larger brewers.
Currently NZ Hops Ltd accounts for 1% of the overall worldwide supply of hops, simply based upon the limits on its capacity using traditional pellet methods.
“What the oils will do as a result of the TNS process is provide a highly concentrated soluble oil-only version of the same premium hop qualities that can be used at three or four stages of the brewing process,” says NZ Hops Ltd chief executive Craig Orr.
“The brewer gets to use the oils in a much more concentrated form in the brewing process to achieve the outcomes on a much larger scale.
“That gives us the opportunity to grow our brand and business beyond the 1%, because we’re using a much more efficient version to dispense the same flavour and impart the same story into those beers.”
TNS has developed the IP around the extraction process and has a significant entre into a number of international brewers as a result of the work it has done and the expertise it provides.
Craig says the innovation will catapult both businesses into a brand new growth cycle.
“TNS sees the benefit of and understand the value that NZ Hops Ltd has got in the market place.
“We’ve solved their supply chain problem and partnered with them on an equal measure by providing them with access to our huge range of premium quality hops.”
Craig says one of his key objectives is developing a much greater market-led growth in the co-op by investing in the NZ Hops Ltd brand.
“One of the key planks we want to grow is really about developing a much stronger sustainability story – simply because it goes hand in hand with the brand.
“One of the ways to do that is to invest heavily in hop innovation. In the broader sense, NZ Hops Ltd is really just a gatekeeper to the use of the hop.
“The primary use is the brewing sector and the primary method or format has been in the hop cones, in their original sense, and the pellets.”
Representing a significant innovation for NZ Hops Ltd and leapfrogging its international competitors own development of hop products, the Tasman-based company can now punch above its weight on a global scale.
“We’re a small industry on a global scale in terms of hops supply – but now we can foot it up there. In my mind that’s a significant milestone in the growth of this co-op going forward.”
An initial sample production run has just been completed with NZ Hops’ branding and packaging now ready for dispatch to breweries in Europe, UK, North and South America and Asia.
“They will have samples in their hands by November from which we will start the process of converting those into future forward contracts of hops and future volumes of oils to be sold into those markets.”
NZ Hops Ltd has also just launched a brand new aroma hop called Nectaron™, which embraces the characteristics of peach, pineapple, passionfruit and grapefruit and will be used in IPAs Pale Ales and pilsners. “Are we going to take on the world and do we plan for growth—the answer is yes,” says Craig.