Podcast Episode 306: Celebrated Hop Breeder Ron Beatson Discusses the Unique Characteristics of New Zealand Hops

The scientist behind storied varieties such as Nelson Sauvin and up-and-comers like Nectaron shares insights into the process of developing impactful hops.

Jamie Bogner Jun 3, 2023 - 7 min read

Podcast Episode 306: Celebrated Hop Breeder Ron Beatson Discusses the Unique Characteristics of New Zealand Hops Primary Image

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New Zealand’s climate, latitude, and singular terroir offer the right environment for hops of unique expression, but it’s their longstanding breeding program that has made possible so many of the signatures aromas and flavors we’ve grown to love. Ron Beatson of NZ Hops is the plant geneticist behind many of these beloved varieties. On this episode recorded at the recent Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, he discusses the complex genetics and processes behind developing hops such as Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka, Nectarine, Superdelic, and more.

Beatson covers:

  • the impact of triploid genetics
  • the evolution of hop breeding with a focus on aroma and flavor
  • using a California-grown Late Cluster parent for many popular crosses
  • effects of terroir on popular New Zealand hop varieties
  • developing new cultivars for early and late season harvest
  • impacts of high-UV energy on New Zealand hop crops

And more.

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].