Waimea West Hops

NZ Hops Admin @ 2020-05-21 11:41:04 +1200

The very first time Willy Macdonald noticed numerous little hop burrs forming on the bines, he jumped onto his farm-bike and raced back to the farmhouse, excitedly calling out to his wife - “Edi! – quickly, come and see what has happened!”  “She got onto the bike with me and I took her out to the hop garden to see what had grown virtually overnight. We were like little kids,” Willy laughs. “When the burrs developed into hop cones, it was just as exciting and I went to fetch Edi again.” “Some mornings, Willy will come out to the kitchen to...

Kentishman Hops

NZ Hops Admin @ 2020-05-21 11:39:20 +1200

The night before harvesting begins in Guy Coddington’s hop gardens, master brewer Tracy Banner is feeling as excited as a child anticipating Christmas morning. Tracy will have already visited ‘Kentishman Hops’ in the Upper Moutere Valley three or four times to ‘palm rub’ a few hops. Once she has found the aromas and potential flavours she wants for her special brews, Guy tags her chosen rows; their crop destined exclusively for Tracy’s Sprig and Fern Brewery.  “We’ll text back and forth until nine or ten o’clock at night while Guy’s assessing the hops and deciding if he will go ahead...

Holmdale Farm

NZ Hops Admin @ 2020-05-21 11:37:15 +1200

It’s unlikely a beer-brewing kit will ever make the list of the 10 most romantic gifts a bride could present to her groom. However, a kegerator was precisely what Cameron Ealam needed in his quest to become a better hop-grower. The 29-year-old rural banker turned hop farmer was just one harvest down and preparing for the next when he married his partner Laura, last January. Her wedding gift for Cameron was duly purchased, unwrapped and installed in a corner until the busy 2019 harvest was over. Converting the family’s Wakefield property from a dairy farm to hop gardens in 2017...

Hinetai Hops

NZ Hops Admin @ 2020-05-21 11:35:45 +1200

As a boy, Dean Palmer could never resist running after the trucks as they headed off from the neighbouring hop farm, tightly packed with freshly-cut bines bound for the picking sheds. He’d pull the fresh green hops from the few bines which inevitably bounced onto the road and save them in a plastic bag - only discarding them when his mother questioned the strange odour in his room several months later. “Harvest time was always a period of high activity, of course, and I’d often go next door to watch it all happening,” Dean remembers. I was only a kid...

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