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When sourcing hops from New Zealand, the brewer is assured of wholesome, high quality hops free from contamination. The ongoing research and development being undertaken by New Zealand Hops Ltd is a crucial part of the commitment made to seeing the best possible hops available to brewers locally and internationally.


Predaory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis

Dr Ron A. Beatson

New Zealand hops has worked closely with Plant & Food Research (formerly Hort Research) on a plant breeding programme for more than 50 years. The programme is managed by Dr Ron A. Beatson at the New Zealand Hop Research Centre at Riwaka, Nelson Province.


The plant breeding work carried out at Riwaka under Dr Beatson’s direction has been recognised by brewers and other industry experts from many parts of the world. They have brought interesting and new varieties to the brewing world and continue to do so at the present time. Dr Beatson's work has produced hop varieties with high alpha acid, and with retained aroma qualities found to be very acceptable by many brewing companies, as well as new triploid lines derived directly from the European Hallertau and Saaz type hops.


New Zealand is virtually free of the normal hop pests, the only exception being the two-spotted mite. Following a research programme at Plant & Food Research, a natural answer to this problem was developed in the form of a predator mite Phytoseiulus persimilis for use in their hop gardens (link to description of the predator mite programme). In this way, New Zealand Hops remain pesticide free and answers the growing concerns of growers around the world.


As part of the ongoing efforts to maintain the environmental integrity of NZ Hops, sheep are grazed in the hop gardens as natural defoliators of the lower part of the hop plant.