Category Archives: News

hops-flower

Highly Effective Habits of Successful Hop Growers

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I’m often asked “what makes a small scale hop grower successful?” Passion? Vision? Love of craft beer? While those attributes can help I’ve found that they generally get in the way and cause delusions that end up driving your enthusiasm into the ground deeper than your trellis poles. But I think these habits are also important for any small business, especially agriculture-based enterprises. So To help answer some of these questions I built this list that encompasses the habits of very productive and quality-focused growers (at lease in our group). And obviously as all good dictators proclaim, I reserve the right to change, alter, omit or expand at my pleasure (It’s good to be the king…in my on mind). #1….

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Gorst Valley developing database on state beer hops

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Wisconsin State Journal – Madison, WI Gorst Valley Hops already has reignited small-scale hop farming in Wisconsin, selling its hops to places like New Glarus Brewing Co. But now, the company plans to get locally grown hops even more street cred. James Altwies, president of Gorst Valley, headquartered near Mazomanie, is developing a voluntary database that will work to ensure quality control among small hop growers. And while he’s starting with hops, Altwies envisions this database being applied to any crop, building confidence in locally produced food and expanding the buy-local movement. “Our analysis shows the biggest barriers to central food production and consumption … is confidence and quality systems,” he said. Gorst Valley Hops expects to receive $30,000 in…

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Wisconsin Foodie makes a stop at Gorst Valley Hops

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In this episode of Wisconsin Foodie we travel from Sauk County, WI to Barvaria, Germany to profile one of our favorite ingredients – the Hop. First we visit Gorst Valley Hop farm and meet up with James Altwies to get a tour of the farm and also some insight into the resurgence of local Wisconsin Hops. Then we take a trip of a lifetime and tag along with Dan Carey of New Glarus Brewing as he travels to the Hallertau region of Bavaria Germany to source hops for some of their brews as well as meet the farmers responsible for growing the best Hops in the world.

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Small-scale hop growing a big business

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Wisconsin State Journal – Madison, WI Owners of Gorst Valley Hops continue to make small-scale hop growing a big business. This month, the company will ship its first 12 small-scale hop harvesters — the only machine of its kind, they say, made to mechanically harvest hops grown on 10 acres or less. Most farmers growing hops on less than 50 acres are forced to harvest by hand, said James Altwies, president of Gorst Valley, headquartered near Mazomanie. While it takes six workers an hour to harvest from two bines (the vines on which hops grow), Gorst Valley’s harvester, operated by three people, can harvest 30 to 60 bines an hour. The Bine 3060 — a combined hop picker and sorter…

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GVH Passes Food Processing Plant License Inspection

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Gorst Valley Hops is now a licenced food processing plant, after passing inspection from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). According to DATCP, this makes us the first licensed hops processing facility in the Midwest. We are very proud of the fact that our growers and brewers can rest assured that at GVH we take quality control and cleanliness standards extremely seriously. Check out the official press release here.

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Furthermore and Gorst Valley Hops announce release of an all-Wisconsin hops beer

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The Agri-View – Madison, WI The brewers at Furthermore have teamed up with the farmers at Gorst Valley Hops to bring an India Pale Ale (IPA) with a uniquely Wisconsin accent…Hopperoblic India Pale Ale. This new selection is being masterminded by Furthermore Beer in anticipation of a late October release. While Furthermore is known for nontraditional beers, the only deviation from a traditional India Pale Ale in this beer is the focus on using only hops that have been grown within 20 miles of Furthermore’s hometown in Spring Green, instead of the Pacific Northwest, Europe or New Zealand. Gorst Valley Hops has provided a selection of Nugget, Cascade and Mount Hood hops to meet Furthermore’s needs in a pelletized form…

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Bringing hops production back to Wisconsin

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Wisconsin State Journal – Madison, WI TOWN OF BERRY — Hop trellises stand tall in this western Dane County valley where harvesters have spent about 10 hours every day this week picking and sorting the largest crop yet for this local hop operation outside Mazomanie. “It’s been a very good year,” said James Altwies, director and horticulturist for Gorst Valley Hops. “A very productive hop year.” Altwies launched Gorst Valley Hops in 2008 by bringing together a group of friends willing to take an ownership stake in the company — each with an area of expertise who could address specific elements in the process of reintroducing hops as a cash crop in Wisconsin. They include an engineer, a chemist and…

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Wisconsin Beers Brewed With Local High-Quality Hops

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The Agri-View – Madison, WI Stretching almost 20 feet tall, the hops plants at Gorst Valley Hops are beginning to bloom, with their harvest being just a few short weeks away. These locally-produced hops will eventually find their way to Wisconsin brewhouses to make fine, artistic beers to then be sold to satisfy the thirst of many Wisconsinites throughout the state. Before the bottle reaches the hands of its consumer, the experts at Gorst Valley Hops invest their time to monitor the plants and help growers ensure a high quality yield, to create the highest return possible while also satisfying the need of Wisconsin brewmasters. “We’re trying to produce ultra-high quality hops, that our craft brewers have been exposed to…

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Grants aim to boost agricultural innovation

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The Business Journal of Milwaukee – Milwaukee, WI Eleven agriculture innovators will share $225,500 in grants for projects designed to strengthen, build or restore sectors of the Wisconsin agricultural industry. The Agricultural Diversification and Development Grants build on the state’s efforts to encourage innovation and diversity in agriculture, Wisconsin’s signature industry. “Agriculture is the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy and these innovative projects ensure that agriculture will drive our state economy for years to come,” Gov. Jim Doyle said. “These grants build on Wisconsin’s nation-leading agricultural diversity by encouraging investment, growing jobs and creating new products.” Wisconsin leads the nation in dairy production and diverse agricultural commodities. The state ranks among the top three states for 12 commodities outside the dairy…

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Jumping on the Hop Crop Bandwagon

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Wisconsin State Journal – Madison, WI A team of hop enthusiasts is reaching out to Wisconsin landowners, offering the chance to become part of what they hope will become the state’s hop-growing revival. All you need to jump on the hop crop bandwagon — the product that provides the characteristic bitter taste to beer as well as its flowery aroma — is an acre of suitable farmland anywhere in Wisconsin or upper Midwest and about $10,000. “The mission of Gorst Valley (Hops) is to provide farmers with a new high-value crop that they can produce on small acreage within a system that returns the majority of the value of the crop back to the grower,” said James Altwies, the company’s…

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hop-pellets

Hail to Small Scale Hop Farmers

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The Country Today – Eau Claire, WI Let’s face it: a hoppy beer is a happy beer. Homebrewers and commercial brewers alike know the range of nuances using “just the right hop” can add, whether bold or subtle, or in aroma or flavor. That’s why the recent world-wide hop shortage sent shock waves through the beer industry as a whole. From brewers, to sellers, to drinkers, nearly everyone felt the impact of a more meager variety selection and higher costs. However, the sudden shortage also served as an opportunity for one industrious segment of the population: small-scale farmers. This group quickly stepped up to the plate, intent on filling the void of the coveted Humulus lupus from larger-scale farming operations….

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