Have a beer in hop country

Nelson-Tasman has a reputation for fabulous craft beer. This is no surprise given it is New Zealand’s hop growing capital.

The Great Taste Trail circumnavigates New Zealand’s hop country - a triangle formed by Riwaka, Tapawera, and Brightwater.

Hops thrive here, thanks to the unique combination of soil types, sunshine, rainfall, and temperatures. It has been said hops will even grow on the side of the road!

Harvest happens from early autumn and lasts for about six weeks. Bines are cut, the flowers removed, and dried. It is the flower that goes into the beer making process.

There are now many hop varieties grown in the region, each giving a different flavour profile to the beer, for example, Riwaka’s ‘tropical passionfruit’ character.

Trademarked hop plant variety names like Riwaka, Kohatu, and Motueka tie them firmly to the towns of Tasman.

You can find some great spots to sample Tasman’s craft beer. There is even a Craft Brewing Trail for those keen on trying them all!

From the Great Taste Trail some of our recommended spots, not too far off the trail, include: