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Waimea West Hops Booster member day Nelson hops
BoosterFebruary 1, 20242 min read

PLPF Booster Member's Day - Waimea West Hops

In late October, Ben Giesen hosted a comprehensive tour for Booster members at Waimea West Hops, located near Nelson. The highlight of the day was the new DKFab hops processing machine. 

This state-of-the-art equipment, which significantly increases the facility's processing capacity, took three months to build and is a testament to Waimea West Hops' growth and innovation.

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During the tour, investors explored various sections of the Waimea West Hops facility and listened to Ben's insightful talk on the hops industry in New Zealand. Thanks to its unique microclimate, shielded from strong winds, the Waimea region is an ideal location for cultivating hops. Harvested in March, these hops, used by both home brewers and large-scale breweries, contribute a distinct flavour to beer. Notably, New Zealand hops, including popular varieties like Nectaron, are acclaimed globally.

The visit allowed investors to observe the entire hops production process – from the initial growth stages to the final product, prepared for international shipment. Reflecting on the change since Booster first invested in Waimea West Hops in 2021, the transformation of a once barren gravel lot into a vast warehouse that now houses the new DKFab machine was significant. This machine, which has already demonstrated its value in one harvest season, is a vital component of Waimea West Hops' strategy to increase production.

Hops cultivation in Nelson dates back to the 1840s. The facility's original machine from 1952, while not quite as ancient, was becoming a bottleneck for expansion. To keep it operational, parts from other outdated machines were used, a challenge that grew as new hop gardens were developed. With the property expanding from 29 to 62 hectares since PLPF's involvement, the new DKFab machine is crucial for supporting this ambitious growth.

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The demand for New Zealand hops, which positioned the country as the world's fourth-largest hop exporter in 2020, partly drives this expansion. For New Zealand to keep its place at the forefront of the global hops industry, new varietals are also being tested. Additionally, Waimea West Hops has been innovating in other areas too. For instance, they are trialing advanced moisture sensors for hop drying – a critical process in ensuring consistent high-quality produce.

Booster is proud to support businesses such as Waimea West Hops, which help build on New Zealand’s agricultural heritage while looking to the future. And it’s thanks to investors, as well as partners such as Ben, that Booster can continue our mission to back New Zealand businesses and help them grow and prosper.

The tour concluded with a casual session of refreshments, featuring beers infused with locally grown hops, and a Q&A with members invested in PLPF. The only sour note was New Zealand's close loss in the World Cup final that morning.

Booster Members Days are our way of thanking members and giving them a unique opportunity to see firsthand the enterprises supported by Booster funds. If you're interested in joining one of these tours in 2024, watch your inbox for announcements!

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Booster Investment Management Limited is the issuer of the Private Land and Property Fund (Fund). The Fund’s Product Disclosure Statement is available at www.booster.co.nz or by contacting your financial adviser. 

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