NZ Hops Ltd. Unveils Superdelic Hop

SuperdelicTM is the brand-new hop cultivar released into market this 2023 season by leading co-operative NZ Hops Ltd. After more than 10 years of breeding work, the early brewer trials suggest it will deliver like no other.

“This exceptional hop is a playful number, with red fruit, candy, citrus and tropical fruit characteristics, offering brewers something totally different to use in their craft. We’re excited to release this unique hop and expect it will create a frenzy,” says Blair Stewart, general manager of NZ Hops.

NZ Hops values its highly successful hop breeding partnership with Plant & Food Research where SuperdelicTM was developed. Scientist, Kerry Templeton, leads the hop breeding programme.

“It’s an amazing milestone to see a new variety enter market after our years of breeding work and SuperdelicTM has winning strengths. Its excellent yield potential will allow growers to produce high-quality hops more efficiently and sustainably. And in the brewers’ hands, new and interesting beers will come from Superdelic’sTM unique flavour and aroma profile,” says Kerry.

Dr Ron Beatson, who led the hop breeding programme at Plant & Food Research before his retirement in 2021 added, “The use of both European ancestry and New Zealand stocks when breeding SuperdelicTM has resulted in flavours different from others in the portfolio, complimenting other varieties when used together. It will be a significant player.”

Several of the co-op’s 27 Master Growers, have been involved in early grower trials for SuperdelicTM, including Wilson Matthewson of Glenrae Hops. “We’ve been impressed with Superdelic’sTM vigorous bine growth. It promises to yield well, and it looks spectacular out in the field. We’re hopeful for an excellent harvest and can’t wait to see it performing well for the brewers.”

Through NZ Hops’ Bract Brewing Programme, select, global brewers trialled SuperdelicTM in special craft brews to explore the hops’ characteristics, aromas, and brewing performance.

“From the very first brew we knew it was something special. In a Hazy IPA it revealed its ripe mango, sweet berry, and citrus notes. We also noticed its unique performance, with great biotransformation properties from dry hopping during active fermentation. It is an incredible addition to our brewery. We were lucky to be one of the first to try it,” says Mike Sutherland, Director at Sawmill Brewery.

Commercialisation of a new variety is a vital part of NZ Hops’ commitment to innovation as the leader in this country’s hop industry. Over 85% of New Zealand-grown hops are exported, with a turnover of around $40 million. SuperdelicTM follows Nectaron® in the growing NZ Hops Ltd brand family. 

“Nectaron® brought a whole new flavour profile to the market in 2020, with its full tropical notes. Demand for Nectaron® grows every year and we expect the same with SuperdelicTM,” says Blair Stewart.

The launch of SuperdelicTM comes during the midst of the 2023 harvest and before NZ Hop’s two-day festival – ‘HarFest’ on 20 & 21 March. During ‘HarFest’, NZ Hops will showcase hop growing and the breeding programme to visiting brewers from Australia, United States, United Kingdom and from around New Zealand – a tribute to the global demand for high-quality New Zealand hops.

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