This week I headed to Nelson (with a bunch of other brewers from around New Zealand) for the day (and night) for a visit to “The Hop Lab” at Plant & Food Research in Motueka. The focus was on the new 50 litre trial brew plant (manufactured by Chris Little Engineering) which is now being used to brew beers with the trial hop varieties to see if they show promise for brewing.
It was a good time of year to do this, as it is a week before the New Zealand Hop harvest begins. The plants have hops on them, the hop growers aren’t too busy to be able to spend the afternoon with the brewers.
I look forward to this becoming an annual event for the brewers and hop growers to catch up and have a chat over a beer. (without the full-page release form having to be signed to taste 90 mls)
Below is a photo gallery showing a bit of what happened. It’s a lot of hop photo, but that’s what I’m into.
It was more than just the hop. Even though our main focus was the 2014 New Zealand hop harvest, and looking at the Waimea hop crop for our Fresh Hop beers, we managed a few other activities.
Between the visiting New Zealand Hops and the hop gardens in Wakefield, we stopped in at the Moutere Inn for lunch. We did a small IPA tasting, thanks to the hospitality of Dave Watson. I love this place. If I could have I would have stayed all day, and then the night as well (they have rooms). Also a visit to Liquid Alchemy to see what Fritz & Maria are up to with their spirits. Finally a pint and a bite at The Free House. Monday isn’t the best day of the week to go out in Nelson. Everything is closed. It did mean it wasn’t a late night.
A little video from our visit to the Hop Fields of Nelson.
Monday was a super early start, flying to Nelson. Out to NZ Hops. Lunch a the Moutere Inn. Hop farm visit (huge thanks to Peter for taking time out of his day during harvest to show us around the hop gardens, the kiln, and of course his brewery and the sampling of his beers). Checked out Liquid Alchemy (everyone seemed to really enjoy the Gin, and great to see what Fritz and Maria are up to), then some beers and dinner at The Free House. With so many photos, I thought it would be easier to upload a small gallery, than write about each moment of the day. (another gallery will be uploaded as part two, which will include the non-hop related photos). (videos to follow also)
This photo, and this link gives you a list of the brewers involved in the Auckland brewers Beervana Fresh Hop mini festival. Beers will be brewed in the next week, and the launch date for the festival is 24th April
Thought it would be fun to include this video below. Kelly Ryan and myself actually visited Peter and his hop gardens in 2011 during the NZ Craft Beer TV filming. It was awesome to see how much the gardens have grown with new plantings.
ADDED 12 March 2014