The story behind Hop Federation is one that’s easy to relate to: moving from the stress of the city to the idyllic countryside; turning a passion into a liveli- hood and spending more time as a family.
In 2013, Simon and Nicki Nicholas left their high-pressure Auckland life behind and, with daughter Lily, moved to rural Riwaka, in the heart of the Tasman District’s hop-growing region. In September that year, Hop Federation opened its doors, a small independent brewery with an initial offering of four New Zealand style ales.
With steady growth in national sales and exports, and multiple awards, the pair are proud of what they have managed to achieve in a few shorts years.
Simon is chief brewer, with a wealth of experience gained as head brewer at Hallertau in Auckland. He has a great sense of smell, finely tuned taste buds and a passion for experimenting, all of which he combines with a commitment to consistency and an appreciation of the traditions of brewing.
Nicki is in charge of sales and marketing. Together with Simon they run the business jointly. Although she initially managed the front of house tasting room, you will often find her working behind the scenes these days on managing the business. Although, if you are lucky enough during the winter months you may capture her serving up tastings in the Tasting Room.
3 beer enthusiasts make up the rest of the Hop Federation Team.