Markets around the world have continued to soften since late 2022. Rising inflation and interest rates are causing beer drinkers to curb their discretionary spending, while increasing overhead costs are placing breweries under immense pressure. As a result, sales of our Aussie hops have slowed significantly. It’s important to note this situation is not specific to our Aussie hops, the sales of all hops have slowed in the current market. We still have a very strong base of contracted sales. Crop 2023 is over 98% contracted, and shipments to international markets passed 500,000kg at the start of June.
We recently published the 2023 crop report, proudly sharing the results of our latest hop harvest with staff, distribution partners, brewing customers, and the broader industry through a series of emails, social posts, and media coverage from the likes of Beer & Brewer, Brews News, Crafty Pint and Landline.
We picked 847 hectares across Victoria and Tasmania, which resulted in 1,821 tonnes of hops. This was a 37 hectare (4.5%),164 tonne (9.9%) increase year-on-year. Oil content came in equal or above the 5-year average for all proprietary hops, with a particularly strong showing from Eclipse that should lead to an exceptional year of performance in beer.
Craft Brewers Conference
Enriched pellets were the flavour of the month at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by hop extracts and experimental varieties. Even though the hop and brewing world seems to be going through a realignment of supply and demand, the outlook for Aussie hops remains strong.
Our distribution partner, HAAS, showcased Eclipse in a delicious Hazy Pale Ale brewed with T90 pellets and Spectrum – a liquid dry hopping product. HAAS also showcased HBC 1134 in a lager, which could indicate the year of the craft lager is coming.
Galaxy, Vic Secret and Eclipse Spectrum will also be showcased at BrewCon on the Gold Coast in August. This is a keystone event for the Aussie beer industry where our sales team will network with hundreds of current and potential brewing customers.
We’re collaborating with Black Hops and Revel Brewing to demonstrate the performance of liquid hop products in beer, and hosting a Hops Academy to offer an educational and entertaining introduction to hop sensory, recipe design, and process efficiencies. Brewers have a big challenge keeping up with it all, but the rewards are there in terms of flavour, quality, creativity, and cost management.
Australian International Beer Awards
The Australian International Beer Awards is the largest annual beer competition in the world. It’s a valuable benchmarking opportunity for breweries of all sizes to secure internationally recognised credentials that will help their beer stand out in a crowd. We presented two trophies on the night – Best Modern Pale Ale which was awarded to Esker for their Hazy Pale, and Champion Small Australian Brewery which was awarded to Moffat Beach.
For the second year in a row Moffat Beach was awarded Best International-Style Pale Ale for Shadow of the Moon featuring Eclipse. We also successfully executed a collaboration beer with the 2022 champion breweries – Golden Coldie by Moffatt Beach, Hawkers, Stomping Ground & Dollar Bill featuring Rakau, Sabro Lupomax, and Galaxy Spectrum. The beer was served with a coaster promoting Aussie hops in Spectrum.
We recently partnered with Felons Brewing Co to keep Galaxy flowing hard and fast. They’ve launched a new core range beer called Galaxy Haze. The light and bright notes of passionfruit and citrus (boosted by an addition of Eclipse) make it a strong contender for most refreshing hazy.