Otago Daily Times

Huge po­ten­tial in NZ hops, re­searcher says

- JOHN GIBB john.gibb@odt.co.nz Alcoholic Drinks · Oceania News · Beer · New Zealand · Dunedin · Victoria · University of Otago · Otago · United States of America · United Kingdom · Australia

A DUNEDIN re­searcher is hop­ing to help put a bit more fizz into New Zealand beer.

Vic­to­ria Purdy, a PhD stu­dent in the Univer­sity of Otago food science depart­ment, is in­ves­ti­gat­ing hop grow­ing with the aim to ‘‘sci­en­tif­i­cally prove that New Zealand is a fan­tas­tic place to grow hops’’.

‘‘I’m at the start, hope­fully, of a chain re­ac­tion which will lead to an in­crease in more in­ter­est­ing and ad­ven­tur­ous craft beers,’’ Miss Purdy said.

New Zealand had more brew­eries per capita than the United States, Bri­tain and Aus­tralia, but pro­duced ‘‘less than 1% of the world’s hops’’.

‘‘With craft beers and fes­ti­vals be­ing such a big trend at the mo­ment there is huge po­ten­tial for the in­dus­try to grow even big­ger,’’ she said.

She also hoped her re­search would help pave the way for fu­ture ex­per­i­men­ta­tion by craft beer mak­ers and sup­port ef­forts to grow hops in ar­eas away from the tra­di­tional Motueka­Nel­son area, in­clud­ing, po­ten­tially, in Cen­tral Otago.

Hops were well known for con­tribut­ing to the bit­ter­ness in beer, but her re­search fo­cused on their aroma com­pounds, and was break­ing new ground.

She was sci­en­tif­i­cally ‘‘fin­ger­print­ing’’ th­ese com­pounds in a range of New Zealand hops, in­clud­ing the coun­try’s most re­cent­lyre­leased hop cul­ti­var, Nec­taron, which was al­ready pop­u­lar with craft brew­ers.

This hop had ‘‘trop­i­cal pas­sion­fruit and cit­rus aroma char­ac­ters’’, and sam­pling a beer made from such hops showed the ‘‘great po­ten­tial’’ of our hops.

Miss Purdy is ex­cited not only by her re­search, but also by be­ing cho­sen to com­pete against overseas schol­ars in an in­ter­na­tional Three Minute The­sis (3MT) con­test, the 2020 Matariki Com­pe­ti­tion.

This con­test re­quires con­tes­tants to sum­marise all their doc­toral re­search on video in less than three min­utes. The re­sults are due this week.

There had been very lit­tle pre­vi­ous study of New Zealand hops.

‘‘We have some fan­tas­tic hops com­ing through so the more knowl­edge we can gain and share with others the bet­ter.’’

 ?? PHOTO: GRE­GOR RICHARD­SON ?? Dunedin food science hops re­searcher Vic­to­ria Purdy with a craft beer.
PHOTO: GRE­GOR RICHARD­SON Dunedin food science hops re­searcher Vic­to­ria Purdy with a craft beer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand