Sprig + Fern Brewing Co. are today, in collaboration with NZ Hops Ltd, releasing the first beer in New Zealand to bring the intense aromatics and flavours of Nectaron® Cryo Hops™ to a brew.
Nectaron®, a hop variety released in 2020 after seventeen years of innovation by Plant & Food Research, brings highly sought-after tropical fruit, citrus and stone fruit notes to a brew. The CRYO™ version, created in partnership with Yakima Chief Hops®, takes the resins and aromatic oils from the whole hop cones and super-concentrates them into pellets. These aim to deliver maximum aroma and flavour compounds while reducing grassy and vegetal characteristics, in a smaller form factor – reducing wastage, storage space and transport costs, among many other benefits.
Dr. Ron Beatson, Brand Ambassador at NZ Hops Ltd, says:
“When we opened up the first bag of Nectaron® CRYO™, it just blew our minds with the array and pungency of the aromas. There was big bold tropical fruit, citrus, passionfruit and, of course, the stonefruit it’s known for. It really was very intense.”
The first New Zealand CRYO™ varieties were showcased by Dr. Ron at the Craft Brewers Conference, held in Nashville in May 2023. They included four of NZ Hops’ best sellers; Nelson Sauvin™, Motueka™, Riwaka™ and Nectaron®. Following a whirlwind tour of North America introducing brewers to the new products, NZ Hops began planning the introduction of CRYO™ to the New Zealand market, starting with a shipment of Nectaron® CRYO™ to Sprig + Fern Brewing Co.
Tracy Banner, Owner and Master Brewer at Sprig + Fern Brewing Co., says:
“Three years ago we were very privileged to brew the first beer containing the newly-trademarked Nectaron® hop. We’re flattered that NZ Hops Ltd have entrusted us once again, this time with the CRYO™ version.
“On brew day, Dr. Ron Beatson and Dave Woods [from NZ Hops Ltd] joined us with the special, air-freighted delivery of Nectaron® CRYO™. As soon as the bag was opened, we knew they were on to something special. We love brewing with Nectaron®, and this was a greatly intensified version of everything we enjoy about the hop.”
As a showcase for Nectaron® CRYO™, Sprig + Fern Brewing Co. have released Nect Level Hazy, a 5.4% hazy pale ale, which is available from today in limited quantities at all Sprig + Fern and Little Sprig Taverns, in select stores and online.
The beer boasts bold passionfruit, peach and grapefruit notes, with the CRYO™ pellets bringing an additional herbaceous hit and a pip fruit sweetness. As the description of the beer reads, “this is everything you love about Nectaron®, taken to the Nect Level”.