Hop Products Australia’s annual harvest is heading online this year as COVID-19 puts a stop to them hosting brewers at their Tasmanian and Victorian farms.

In a normal harvest season HPA welcomes brewers to their Victorian farm Rostrevor Hop Gardens and their Tasmanian location Bushy Park Estates in early March.

“Unfortunately the past year has been anything but normal, so we’ll be keeping our farms closed to anyone non-essential to protect the health of our team and ensure the farms remain COVID-free and fully operational,” HPA said in a statement.

“It’s been a rough year for the brewing industry, and we want to show our support by inviting brewers and beer lovers around the world to take part in a virtual hop harvest from the comfort and safety of their own home. We’re excited to offer everyone the opportunity to get to know HPA and the team behind our Aussie hops.”

The virtual experience will include tours of their farms and breeding facilities, technical advice on brewing with green hops and maximising hop flavour in beer, insights into HPA’s no-nonsense approach to quality and sustainability, tourism recommendations for when people can visit their growing regions, and the chance to connect and learn from fellow brewers.

“We’re proud of our collaborative relationships with brewers, and will feature them heavily throughout the event, including appearances from legends of the US, UK, New Zealand and Australian brewing scenes.”

The free sessions are scheduled across the month of March, with the option to attend sessions live and participate in the real-time Q&A, or view recordings retrospectively to accommodate a global audience.

Register for updates and view the event schedule at: hops.com.au/virtual-harvest

Some highlights of the schedule:

Wed 3/3, 8.00am Meet Eclipse®: HPA introduce their newest proprietary hop to the brewing world. Eclipse®, formerly known as experimental variety HPA-016, is bursting with sweet mandarin, zesty citrus peel and fresh pine needles.

Fri 5/3, 8.00am Breeding Facility Tour: Go behind the scenes to see what it takes for a hop to climb the ranks from an experimental variety to a commercial variety.

Wed 10/3, 8.00am Maximising Fruity Hop Flavours in Beer: Both hop growers and brewers can work to maximise fruity flavours and aromas in beer by better understanding several key classes of hop compounds and how they behave through the brewing process.

Fri 12/3, 8.00am Brewers around the world backing hops from Australia: Brewers from around the world chat about their favourite hops, innovative brewing techniques, new product development and more.

Mon 22/3, 8.00am Brewing with Green Hops: Follow the crew from Hobart Brewing Company as they collect whole, wet cones from the farm and hurry them back to the brewery in pursuit of fresh, vibrant flavours and aromas characteristic of green hop beers.

Mon 29/3, 8.00am Forward Contracting: The importance of forward contracts from the perspective of a hop grower and a brewer, as well as techniques to use forward contracts responsibly.

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