Perfect Pairings Amongst the Best of New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest

Harvest in the Southern Hemisphere is wrapping up, and people around the world can rejoice in the abundance of fresh, punchy hops from New Zealand!  
Present-day brewers are blessed with access to a rich array of hop varieties and aromatic profiles. Between the diversity of contemporary hops and the advancement of modern hop products, there is a bounty of creative avenues to explore. In celebration of another successful harvest, and as a global partner for NZ Hops Ltd., we are delighted to offer some vibrant combinations of New Zealand and Pacific Northwest hops to ignite your imagination!  

Nelson Sauvin® & Citra®

Nelson Sauvin®, the gateway NZ hop, pairs beautifully with the North American smash hit, Citra®. This may be the original PNW and NZ mashup due to the ubiquitous nature of these hops, but it truly is a match made in hop heaven. Tessa Schilaty, Technical Marketing Manager for Yakima Chief Hops, calls out this pairing as a zesty explosion of citrus. “It has the ability to produce beers with a complex aroma profile, blending Citra's citrusy, fruity qualities with Nelson Sauvin's distinctive white wine and berry notes, which is likely driven by its high thiol content. The result is a refreshing, layered, fruity hop character ideal for IPAs and pale ales.” For the seasoned brewer, a Nelson/Citra coupling transcends style, elevating everything from an American amber to a double dry hopped hazy. 

Motueka™ & Mosaic®

Tessa also has the combination of Mosaic® and Motueka™ high on her love list. This pairing isn’t just fun to say out loud; it will delight your taste buds from the first sniff to the last sip! “Mosaic’s tropical, berry, and pine notes combined with Motueka's lime, lemon zest, and tropical fruit can create a vibrant and juicy hop presence in the beer, perfect for a burst of juicy fruit flavor in something like a hazy IPA,” says Schilaty. Try this combo with some restraint to put a new world spin on a traditional lager, or dive boldly into a bigger style like a double (or triple!) IPA. 

Riwaka™ & Mosaic®

Mosaic embodies versatility, earning its name for its ability to impart a diverse range of aromas based on selection and utilization methods. It can lean from blueberry to dank, from juicy orange to overripe blackberry. Ghost Town Brewing in Oakland, California rolls deep in Mosaic. Notably, they use a combination of Mosaic and Riwaka™ (with a delightful splash of Columbus Cryo®) for their popular West Coast IPA Dank and Deceased. “The Riwaka adds a diesel character which helps make our Mosaics scream. For Mosaic, I like to select it with more armpit and less of that soft berry” says Head Brewer Justin Burdt. “So, we’re already dank from the Mosaic and have some fruit in the back. Then the diesel from the Riwaka comes in with an added layer of fruit, and then we sprinkle in some Columbus Cryo”. If you’re looking to double down on dank, write some Riwaka into the recipe. 

Nectaron® & HBC 586

What are New Zealand growers most excited about this harvest? Nectaron® continues to hold the spotlight as a Kiwi favorite, and it’s not hard to see why with its electric stone fruit and big pineapple attributes. NZ Hops is teasing a brand refresh for this ‘little rockstar’, alluding that Nectaron will be a Southern Hemisphere showstopper for a while to come.  
Devin Biondi, Director of Sales at NZ Hops Ltd. loves the marriage of Nectaron® with trending HBC 586. “They are my two favorite hops on the market right now from each country. When used together, they produce huge tropical notes with Pineapple, Guava, and Mango. I am impressed with their ability to match the others’ punchiness while still allowing balance in the beer.” Brewers familiar with Nectaron have all been captivated by its spell. HBC 586 has been an excellent blending addition, thanks to subtle woody undertones that help prop up a tropical peachy pairing. “It’s just a perfect match for those big tropical flavors with that slight NZ funky undertone,” Biondi goes on. “I need to see this combo in some WC Pilsners this summer!”  

Superdelic™ & Citra®...and more!

The NZ Hop sensation, Superdelic™, made a splash in North America last year despite its limited availability. This crop year, the variety will be easier for brewers to get their hands on. With pronounced red fruit and candy qualities, this unique hop holds great biotransformation potential when applied to an early fermentation. Roadhouse Brewing, part of NZ Hops’ Bract Program, has had access to Superdelic since its early trial stages, and prominently features the hop in their ‘Kush’ series. “We had been playing with Superdelic on our pilot system and just loved it with whatever we paired it with - Citra, Mosaic, Cascade, Chinook… you cannot go wrong pairing Superdelic,” says Brewmaster Max Shafer. “Ultimately, I love using NZ hops. In beers fermented with lager yeast, the sulfur and minerality from those fermentations enhance the tropical dankness of the hops. Right now, my absolute go-to is Superdelic and Citra put into a crisp, 5% lager. I could drink that combination all day!” 

With so many choice hops to play with, we look forward to seeing spring and early summer beer menus stacked with creativity! The YCH team is here to help you find the perfect hops for your brewing needs with comprehensive sensory data available for each lot. Reach out to your sales rep or contact us at to get started on your trans-Pacific pairings!