[10 October/Stuff]

Taxpayer funds will be used to develop top quality hops for New Zealand’s craft beer business. They want to replicate the success of the wine industry, and make New Zealand craft beer sought after globally. Garage Project and Freestyle Farms have partnered together with the aim to develop the hops. Their partnership is called Hapi Research. It would invest $7.95 million in the project, with the $5.3 million balance coming from the Government. Freestyle Farms Director, David Dunbar, said the funds would go towards research into precision agriculture practices and processing methods. Mr Dunbar added they had initiated the programme, however other like-minded businesses and partners would join. Only New Zealand growers could grow the hops from the project. Garage Project Chief Executive, Tom Greally, said Hapi Research wanted to create a point of difference for New Zealand grown hops and craft beer.