Australia’s largest hop grower, Hop Products Australia (HPA), has planted the first 50 hectares at their new farm in Victoria’s Buffalo River Valley. The $35million expansion project aims to increase HPA’s total hop production by 50% over a period of six years, further increasing supply of their proprietary hop varieties to Australian and international brewers.
It is anticipated that 150 new hectares will be planted during phase one of this project, as well as the construction of a new harvest complex comprising 6 kiln floors and space for two Daunhauer pickers. Phase two will see an additional 150 hectares planted plus an extra 6 kiln floors at full production by 2024.
This latest expansion follows the successful $15 million project completed between 2015 and 2017, which resulted in a 75% increase in HPA’s production. The new land will bring HPA’s total farming operations to 900 hectares across Victoria and Tasmania.
HPA’s Managing Director, Tim Lord, has overseen the unprecedented expansion. “It is important that HPA remains responsive to industry trends. With the Australian Brewing Industry booming, the expansion will allow us to sustain supply locally, and go some distance toward fulfilling the global demand for our proprietary hops.”
20 new fulltime positions are planned as part of the expansion, as well as an estimated 130 casual positions to support the annual harvest once mature.
“Our hops are featuring in great beers here in Australia and all over the world. This expansion will help us ensure our proprietary hops are available to the brewers who choose to use them.” says HPA Sales and Marketing Manager, Owen Johnston. “The new acreage will allow us the opportunity to continue hop supply surety, increase varietal diversity, and enable flexibility to meet future brewing trends. We’re acting on brewers’ needs and additional productivity will help us support their success.”
The first commercial hops from HPA’s new farm will be harvested in 2020.
HPA is a privately owned and independently managed Australian company, part of the Barth-Haas Group of companies; the largest hop trader in the world, founded in 1794.
The farms – Bushy Park Estates (TAS) and Rostrevor Hop Gardens (VIC) – are amongst the oldest continuously operating hop farms in the world. They’ve both been dedicated to growing hops since the late 1800s. Today, from these farms and selected growers, HPA handle around 80% of the hops grown in Australia, about 1.5% of the world’s production.
Through their dedicated hop breeding program and incessant drive to bring brewers the best hops; they have introduced a number of proprietary flavour hops, in addition to their aroma and bittering varieties.