Episode 20 - Top of the Hops
On the next episode, screening 22 July 2018 at 7pm on TVNZ 1:
It’s spring time at the McGlashen family’s Motueka Hop Garden and Brent McGlashen is checking the baby hop plants in his glasshouse.
“This year we've got eight or nine new growers coming into the industry. They all want new plants, and we'll be supplying those.”
Hops are used during the brewing process to add flavour and stability to the beer.
The global craft brewery boom has given the New Zealand Hops Industry confidence.
Brent says New Zealand hops are highly sought after in brewing circles around the world, despite making up just under one percent of the world production.
“The taste and the flavor profiles we produce in our hops down here are unique. We're the small fish in a giant ocean, but we make a big splash.”
Brent’s propagation house can fit close on 200,000 plants at once, and this season they’ll propagate about 450,000 cuttings.
Brent co-owns the family business, Mac Hops, with his brother-in-law, Owen Johnstone. After growing hops on the same block of land for five generations, they’re now expanding up the Moutere Valley.
The new development will give them another 60 hectares of hops - to total around 180 hectares across all their hop gardens. And they’re also building a brand new processing shed at the same site.
The highly specialized machines can process five to six tonnes of dried hops a day, and run six days a week throughout harvest season.
Mac Hops are sold through the New Zealand Hops co-operative. All hop growers have a share in the co-op, which takes care of all the processing, storage and world-wide distribution of the hops.
“People think co-op is a bit of a swear word but not in our industry. We want to get as much product as we can to the world and the best way to do that is to help each other along the way.”
The McGlashen family has been growing hops for five generations, but Brent is still driven to improve what they do.
“I want to grow the best hop plant I can every time; and we can sell everything we've got at the moment, so it's exciting times” says Brent.
“Hopefully that wave continues for a little bit longer before it hits the beach!”
Read more about New Zealand Hops co-op here.
Find out more about ParrotDog Brewing here.
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