As the hustle and bustle of harvest seasons reaches its climax in the noble hop region of Hallertau it is time for the hops transformation and transportation to brewers around the world.
The recently harvested hop flowers are packed with powerful aroma and flavour oils as well as stabilising and bittering acids that are crucial to creating delicious and balanced beers. These components are fragile and are susceptible to ageing and staling with exposure to oxygen, high temperatures, water contamination and light. Brewers understand the fragile nature of hop’s treasures as they lose their bittering qualities, and their aroma and flavour compounds degrade and therefore brewing value. Efficient packaging and transportation is crucial to providing high quality ingredients for high quality beers.
Immediately after harvest the fresh hop flowers are dried in a kiln, powdered and compressed into pellet form. These small hop capsules are desired by brewers globally for their efficiency and practicality of use. It also allows for easier transport and extended storage times.
The hops are then stored in huge warehouses at about –3 °C and remain there until they are shipped to a brewer or hop supplier.
Controlling the environment of the hops is key during transportation and great care is taken as the commodity can be damaged by mildew and mould especially in tropical humid conditions experienced around the world’s equator, unless packed in airtight containers.
Airtight packages are transported via specialized satellite-monitored, state-of-the-art thermal vehicles from German’s hop heartland to coastal ports and airports, carefully packed onto refrigerated containers and shipped and air freighted internationally to hop suppliers and brokers that do not compromise on quality.