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Let's drink to new beer prize

Release Hort Research

Raise your glasses to the HortResearch class L Dark Ale Australasian Draught prize - a new category in this year's New Zealand Hop Marketing Board International Beer Awards.

The trophy, a miniature malt mixing barrel in timber and brass, will be presented by Dr Ron Beatson of Nelson Research Centre during the awards dinner at the Rutherford Hotel, Nelson, on 15 April.

HortResearch scientists play a vital part in NZ beer-making. The hop industry is based on top quality cultivars from HortResearch's breeding programme at Motueka. Just last month a new hop variety, Nelson Sauvin, was used for the first time by McCashin's to make AroMac, a new pilsener-style lager for the boutique beer market.

Only 15 hop cultivars have been developed in the last 50 years, so HortResearch is extremely excited about Nelson Sauvin. Dr Beatson says it has confirmed New Zealand's position as a world leader in hop growing and development.

"New Zealand produces less than one per cent of the world's hop crops, yet major international brewers such as Coors and Guinness select and buy our hops each year," he said.

"Because of our long-standing involvement with the development of New Zealand hop cultivars, HortResearch is pleased to be involved with the Beer Awards."

ends

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