If you saw our farms, you’d be forgiven for thinking we chose the locations on looks alone. The Ovens Valley in Victoria and the Derwent Valley in Tasmania are two of the most magnificent spots in the country.
True, there’s something pretty special about working in the stunning surrounds of a lush river valley. But for us, growing hops is about more than just appearances.
It’s the rich, fertile river valley floors, the deep soils and the abundance of water that make these places perfect for cultivating world-class hops.
In fact, it’s these conditions, and our finicky obsession with quality, that have allowed us to develop new varieties – like Ella™, Galaxy™, Summer™ and Topaz™ – that thrive on southern summer sunshine and minimal rain.
Bushy Park Estates, Tasmania
It’s 55km north of Hobart, and pretty close to the edge of the world. Welcome to Bushy Park, the birthplace of Australian hops.
Ebenezer Shoobridge, the son of a hop grower from Kent, first planted hops here in 1867. The old farmhouse he built is still standing and the original oast house (The Text Kiln) – inscribed with Ebenezer’s name and his favourite passages of text from the bible – is on site too.
Not surprisingly, we’ve made a few additions over the last 150 years. In fact, Bushy Park is one of the most technologically advanced hop producing sites in the world.
What hasn’t changed is the nature of the place. Set at the foot of Mount Field National Park, and bordered by the Styx and Derwent Rivers, we can see why Ebenezer chose to set up shop here.
Meet our Bushy Park Farm Manager Oliver Ward. Oliver’s the man in charge of growing, harvesting and drying of more than 500 tonnes or so from more than 230 hectares of land at Bushy Park. A tertiary-qualified Agricultural Scientist, he’s renowned for his scientific approach to hop cultivation, and his unwillingness to accept anything less than a perfect hop.
Rostrevor Hop Gardens, Victoria
When the Panlook Brothers first started growing hops here in the 1890s, business was tough. There was a theory going around that Australian hops weren’t suitable for making beer.
Things have changed a bit since then. At the foothills of Mount Buffalo National Park in the small hamlet of Eurobin, Rostrevor grows hops for brewers across Australia and around the world.
There are 185 hectares dedicated to hops. It’s a magical place, nestled in the Victorian Alps beside a sweeping bend of the Ovens River. The perfect spot to enjoy a fine ale after a hard day’s farming.
Allan Monshing is our Rostrevor Farm Manager. Hops are in Allan’s blood. His forebears have been involved in hop production in the Ovens Valley for generations.
Schooled in the art of hop production by his father Reg, Allan is rightly proud of his family’s work, and is known for a good ‘hop talk’ with anyone who’s even half as passionate about hops as he is.