Hot Hops Weekly Hop Highlight: Motueka


Want to use a punchy aroma hop that doesn’t taste like common citrusy American hop varieties? Give Motueka a try.

Motueka is a moderate alpha acid (6.5-8.5%) variety from New Zealand that was released in 1997 with Saaz parentage and is starting to gain popularity. Whereas American hops are cultivated to highlight orange, tangerine and grapefruit flavours, New Zealand Motueka hops showcase more exotic flavours like lemon, lime, passionfruit and hibiscus. Motueka is typically used as an aroma hop complementing other robust hops like Amarillo and Citra, however some brewers will single hop using this variety to provide a soft, tropical depth to their beer.

Motueka was first selected for commercial use by a “notable” Belgian brewery and was actually called Belgian Saaz until it was later renamed Motueka, after the region in New Zealand where the majority of the hops are grown. Production of the hop remains fairly low compared to other New Zealand varieties such as Nelson Sauvin, although it is growing.

Brewers recommend using this hop to punch up a traditional continental lager or Belgian ale, although since this hop is relatively new many homebrewers have been using it in a variety of different ale and lager styles.

Notable commercial beers using this hop:

– Sierra Nevada’s Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale

– Hill Farmstead Brewery – Motueka Pale Ale


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