The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

NZ Hops unveils new locally-bred hop brand

NZ Hops has announced the release of a new hop cultivar, Nectaron.

The hop is a result of 17 years of research and work by a team of horticulture specialists at Plant & Food Research, led by plant geneticist Dr Ron Beatson.

The team worked with thousands of potential new strains of hop to identify and nurture just one.

Nectaron was chosen for its ability to thrive in the New Zealand growing environment and deliver unique flavour characteristics of intense passionfruit, nectarine and pineapple.

“Our New Zealand hops are sought out by specialist brewers around the globe, so we are really excited to have something completely new to offer them,” says Craig Orr, CEO of NZ Hops.

“Nectaron promises to bring a whole new flavour particularly suited to the trending New England IPA style of beer along with traditional IPA’s, Ales and Lagers.”

The last three letters of the hop’s name are in honour of Dr Ron Beatson who cultivated the newly branded variety from the initial crossing of its parents back in 2004 and its selection as a seedling in 2006, through to its commercialisation.

“It’s a wonderful tribute,” he says. “But it’s truly the result of a team effort between Plant & Food Research and NZ Hops within a long-standing hop breeding partnership.”

NZ Hops says the commercialisation is a vital step in strengthening the New Zealand hop industry and supporting its growth.

“Our buyers are looking to New Zealand for something new, something different,” says Craig Orr. “Our growing conditions are unlike anywhere else. We can’t wait to showcase Nectaron to the world.”

The launch of Nectaron will be celebrated in five towns around the country through August and September, kicking off in Nelson then heading to Auckland.

Several brewers have recently launched Nectaron into market, including Tracy Banner of Sprig & Fern Brewery, who has chosen to name a Pale Ale Nectaron, embracing the colourful brand on the label.

“This one is going to take the brewing world by storm,” she says. “The aroma is like nothing we’ve experienced before. Brewers and beer drinkers alike will be wowed.”

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