MyFarm’s $17m hop offer takes aim at growing craft beer scene

Rural Exchange 04/08/2018

An investment company has plunged into New Zealand’s growing craft beer scene with a $17.64 million investment offer for Kiwi hops.

MyFarm Investments CEO Andrew Watters says the investment is one of the most exciting in New Zealand’s horticultural sector.

“We’re really taking advantage of both consumer trends and New Zealand’s ability to produce high quality differentiated products,” he told RadioLIVE. 

MyFarm’s offer for the Tapawera Hop Garden is expected to become New Zealand’s largest hop garden, with the purchase of a 96-hectare property and the lease of a second 50-hectare property which will be developed into a 116 canopy (effective) hectare garden.

Hops are a popular ingredient for flavour in craft beer – an industry that continues to grow each year as consumers flock to the scene.

Hops add bitterness and aroma to beer. Photo: Getty.

Craft beer sales increased by 42 percent in 2015 despite a drop in overall beer sales, according to an ANZ Bank report.

“I think this is related to hops being quite a closed sector until now and people understanding the significant growth potential as a result of drinkers switching to craft beer,” Mr Watters said.

The majority of New Zealand's hops, which make up about one percent of the hop export market, are grown in the Nelson region.

The Tapawera Hop Garden is expected to reach full production by June 2022.

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Watch the full interview with Andrew Watters above.

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