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19th April 2022


NZ Hops Ltd.’s Newest Hop Cracks Brewers Association’s Top 5 in its First Year   

American brewers have ranked the NZ Hops Ltd. co-op’s brand-new Nectaron® hop fifth in a list of specific varieties they want more of. It’s a rare level of reverence and recognition for a first-year hop – the next youngest to make the list went to market 13 years ago.

Nectaron® received the distinction in a 2021 member survey by the Brewers Association, who released results under the headline, “What do brewers want more of?”

BA Chief Economist Bart Watson described its position as having “room to grow based on craft brewer demand. Basically brewers would use more of it if they could get more.”

Passionately crafted over 17 years in collaboration with New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research, NZ Hops Ltd.’s most playful hop displays high levels of tropical fruit character, namely pineapple and passion fruit, as well as stone fruit (peach) and citrus (grapefruit). Nectaron® lends itself perfectly to a range of beer styles including NEIPA, IPA, pale ale and lager and is best used late or when dry hopping. This proprietary triploid aroma type is a full sister to Waimea.

Bursting with youthful spirit, Nectaron® is celebrating numerous applications and accolades:

First New Zealand Hop in a Hop Water

Displaying its versatility to star across a wide variety of beverage products, Nectaron® became the first hop from New Zealand to flavor a non-alcoholic hop water. Described as having a “piney, citrusy, resinous and tropical fruit aroma … with notes of orange and pineapple (that) deliver a faint sour and sweetness and finish(es) with a slightly resinous and piney bitterness,”   Nectaron’s® debut as part of Hoplark’s monthly limited-release Explorer sparkling hop water series sold for $39 per 12-pack … and sold out almost immediately! The beverage is about as clean as it gets: not only did it contain no caffeine, alcohol, calories, carbs or sugars, it can be enjoyed by vegans and those following Keto and non-GMO diets.

Brewers As Avid Fans

Nectaron® inspires such excitement and reverence from some of the world’s top brewers that they’re designing high-profile beers around it.

After sampling Nectaron® in its experimental stages during successive harvest trips to New Zealand, Firestone Walker Brewing brewmaster Matt Brynildson regularly uses it in some of his most most heavily promoted beers, including in the single-hop hazy IPA Propagator series.

“My faith in the Nectaron® hop was happily rewarded,” Brynildson says. “This is just a beautiful IPA loaded with tropical New Zealand style.”

Sean McClurg, head brewer at Jackson Hole’s Roadhouse Brewing, favors the Kush NZIPA he brewed using Nectaron® as its base above any other he’s brewed during his four-year tenure at the brewery.

“This first one (in the brewery’s new Kush IPA series) is just so good. I really hope the remaining ones will be this good,” he says. “So far the feedback from avid regulars in the tap room is they love it. When our entire staff likes something … well, I don’t think anyone has had anything bad to say.”

Harvest Harvested Top-Quality Cones

Growers are raving about this year’s fresh Nectaron® crop, which they harvested in February and March (New Zealand’s seasonal calendar sits opposite North America’s). Both first-year planted fields and mature plantings yielded good crops, with quality manager and grower liaison Lauren Yap noting, “The quality of the crop has been exceptionally high, with great aromas, a lot of cones harvested off of the bines abundant with golden lupulin.”

Operations and Supply Manager David Woods adds, “The early indications for crop quality across the board are very good and we expect the brewers will be very happy with any 2022 product they receive.”

Nectaron® yields were high but the forward contract demand on these varieties is also very strong and there will be very limited availability for spot sales. North American sales director Devin Biondi has already sold the 2022 crop and is taking pre-orders for 2023.

NZ Styles Have Style

Brewers who love Nectaron® will have their second opportunity to showcase it in their entries to the Great American Beer Fest later this year. In 2021, the Brewers Association recognized the distinct influence and popularity New Zealand-grown hops enjoy in the marketplace when it added New Zealand-style Pale Ale and New Zealand-style IPA to its list of official styles.

BA guidelines for NZ-style Pale Ale state, “Overall impression is a well integrated easy drinking, refreshing pale ale style with distinctive fruity hop aromas and flavours exhibiting attributes such as tropical fruit, passionfruit, and/or stone-fruit, cut grass and diesel.”

The BA defines the aroma and flavor parameters for NZ-style IPA as, “High to intense, exhibiting attributes such as floral, fruity (tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur/diesel-like, citrusy and grassy. …Hop attributes are dominant and balanced with malt character.”

The Sound of Nectaron®

While they’re brewing up their award-winning beers, beer professionals can brew their own sonically delicious Nectaron®-infused playlist with The Sound of Nectaron®. The sound of what, you ask? The Sound of Nectaron® inspires creativity with an interactive online experience where listeners can experience Nectaron® with their ears as well as their tastebuds. After the listener answers a few fun questions, NZ Hops Ltd. harnesses the power of Spotify’s API (application programming interface) to create a custom playlist by blending the listener’s favorite music with the unique flavor notes of Nectaron®.

Presenting and Exhibiting at CBC

US brewers can rub and sniff this year’s fresh crop for themselves, as well as taste beers brewed with Nectaron® pellets and natural hop oil extracts, at the upcoming Craft Brewers Conference in May. NZ Hops Ltd. will be showing off their supremely sought-after hops in several locations throughout the conference:

  • Sponsored Seminar (Save Your Money and Save Your Planet with Natural Hop Oil Extracts): Tuesday, May 3, 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM, Trade Show Room 206A-B.

  • Beer Tastings: Schedule TBD, BSG Booth #919

    • Wholistic Hazy, Whole Foods Brewing, Austin, TX (Brewmaster: Chris Shelton)

    • Nectaron® Pale Ale, Sapwood Cellars, Columbia, MD (Brewmasters: Scott Janish and Michael Mondesire)

    • Kush NZIPA, Roadhouse Brewing, Jackson Hole, WY (Brewmaster: Max Shafer)

  • Private Sensory Demos and Samples at Exhibitor Booths: Trade Show Hours

    • NZ Hops Ltd. – #3437

    • Charles Faram – #1345

    • Totally Natural Solutions (for natural hop extract oils) – #1053

About NZ Hops Ltd.

NZ Hops, Ltd. (NZH) is a co-operative of Master Growers whose legend and cultivars have been crafted for over 150 years with creativity, sustainability and passion. The co-op’s 25 farms, many of which are intergenerational family owned, dedicate themselves to the cultivation of hops in the famed growing region of Nelson Tasman, on the upper South Island of New Zealand. Dating back to the 1950s, NZ Hops Ltd. boasts growers whose ancestors have planted and harvested hops for five generations, beginning in the 1840s. Though it’s rooted in tradition, NZ Hops Ltd. is committed to both its position as leader in innovation and its mission to supply the world’s most revered hops domestically and to its 17 international markets. For more information, please visit To inquire about purchasing hops in North America, please contact North American Sales Director Devin Biondi at or 206-612-6885.

Press release from NZ Hops Ltd