New varieties of NZ hops to feed a thirsty global market

by | May 10, 2023 | News

A new collaboration between Clayton Hops and Plant & Food Research will see new varieties of hops being grown in Aotearoa New Zealand, offering brewers worldwide exciting novel flavours.

Clayton Hops, New Zealand’s largest hop grower, have partnered with Plant & Food Research to evaluate a suite of advanced selections from the Plant & Food Research hop programme. These selections, chosen for their unique flavour and aroma characteristics, will offer Clayton Hops customers exclusive access to an enhanced portfolio of hop products designed with brewers in mind.

“Clayton Hops is excited to now be fully integrated right from new variety development through to processing, packaging and marketing,” says CEO Brian Clayton. “New Zealand hop varieties are known worldwide for their unique flavours and aromas and they are particularly valued by the growing craft brewing sector. This new partnership with Plant & Food Research is an opportunity to introduce unique varieties to the global market and ensure that New Zealand is regarded as truly innovative and competitive amongst the increasingly diverse and sophisticated global hop industry.”

Clayton Hops has four hop farms totalling 1,350 acres in the Tasman region at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. The family-owned company has fully integrated facilities, including modern harvesting systems and a new world-class processing, packing and storage facility which provides a platform for high volume and exceptional quality processing as well as exciting new, innovative product formats such as cryogenically made super-concentrated hop pellets which will be in production late this year

Through the partnership, Clayton Hops has identified a suite of advanced selections bred by Plant & Food Research and developed through its internally-funded Technology Development Mission. Over the next 3 years, Clayton Hops and Plant & Food Research will work together to trial and evaluate these selections to determine the best growing conditions and better understand the flavour and aroma profiles and benefits the hops will deliver for brewers. Selections that meet the criteria expected of a Clayton Hops variety will be exclusively owned and commercialised by Clayton Hops, with Plant & Food Research receiving a royalty to reinvest in research.

“Clayton Hops is New Zealand’s largest hop grower, and we’re delighted to be able to support their ambitions through our science,” says Dr Kieran Elborough, Group General Manager Technology Development at Plant & Food Research. “Being able to work with Clayton Hops to evaluate our selections to help meet their future needs is another important step in getting our research out into the world, and we look forward to taking these varieties to the next level with their expertise.”


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