Hāpi Research Ltd has partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to deliver Hāpi – Brewing Success, a $13.25 million, 7-year Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme.
Hāpi Research Ltd is a joint venture between Garage Project, a leading Wellington craft brewer, and Freestyle Farms, a leading Nelson hop farm. While the programme was initiated by Garage Project and Freestyle Farms, it will grow as more like-minded businesses and research partners join the industrywide efforts.
"Our programme will pursue research to enhance and differentiate super-premium hop and craft beer markets and boost the growth of both industries," says Freestyle Farms director David Dunbar. "By collaborating across industries we'll accelerate development of unique Kiwi hops, promote uniquely New Zealand craft beer, and open up new areas to hop growing."
Hop growing will be supported by research on new precision agriculture practices and processing methods, and licensing for the hops will be limited to New Zealand growers.
Tom Greally, chief executive officer for Garage Project, says the programme intends to support entry into new markets for New Zealand craft brewers and enable new grower and brewer business models.
"We want to create a sustainable point of difference for New Zealand grown hops and craft beer," says Mr Greally. "Through the programme, we want to understand the unique chemical compounds of our hops that produce New Zealand flavours, and how to best accentuate them in finished beer."
Garage Project co-founder Jos Ruffell adds, "Our aspiration is to develop the resources and tools for domestic and export success along the lines of what our wine industry has achieved – elevating New Zealand craft beer to a sustainable global brand that commands premium pricing across all markets."
MPI director-general Martyn Dunne says: "The Hāpi – Brewing Success PGP programme will create a cross-industry research and development programme that's commercially viable, sustainable in the long-term, with strong commercialisation pathways driven by the market.
"The collaborative efforts will strongly support development of high-value, premium products from regional businesses.
"The Hāpi – Brewing Success PGP programme will help growers and brewers to explore new possibilities for our hop growing and craft beer industries."