The Process

It’s complex and we struggled to explain the nuances for years until we decided to sum it all up by saying AromaSmart. In a nutshell AromaSmart is a way of thinking about hop aroma that is contrary to typical hop processing. AromaSmart hops go through three distinct phases:

Phase One: NO HEAT

If you were making potpourri would you dry it in your oven? No way! Heat destroys aroma, period. Unlike other artisan hop growers who claim “low heat” during drying, Gorst Valley AromaSmart process uses NO ADDED HEAT to dry our crop.

Does it take longer? Absolutely it takes longer…almost 5 times longer than conventional drying. Is it worth it? Yup. But don’t take our word for it. We can show you gas chromatographs until your eyes cross but ultimately the Proof is in the Pint.

Phase Two: KEEP IT COLD

Once we’ve worked to save all those fabulous aromas the last thing we want to do is let them get away during processing. Our hops are stored cold in tight bales until processing.

Once they enter the food processing facility they are sent to the mill to be pulverized. The ground up hops (called mill powder) are extremely delicate and will begin spoiling immediately upon contact with oxygen. So we flood the mills with cryogenic nitrogen gas to push out the oxygen and eliminate any possibility of degradation.

Pellet temperature never rises over 100F thanks to the super cold nitrogen gas. The pellets are conveyed, under more nitrogen, to the packaging station where they are weighed into gas barrier bags, nitrogen flushed yet again, vacuum sealed, then frozen.

Phase Three: GET THEM INTO BEER

If this all sounds complicated it is really simple compared to the alchemy of brewing. We would never dream of letting our brewer customers handle these AromaSmart hops without our help. They are a premium product, like an Italian sportscar, and brewers should expect expert care when using AromaSmart. We help optimize the hop addition timings, quantities, varieties, etc. all to help our customers squeeze every last bit of aroma and flavor from our hops.

We don’t want to be just your vendor, we want to be your Partner