Established growers, enterprising new growers or homebrewers with gardens, you’ve all come to the right place.  We are also available for speaking engagements with custom content tailored to your audience.

The June 24th Field Lab is now open for registration. 

Hops 301 – Field Lab Workshop:  Join us on-site at our 20 acre hop yard for this continuation of our popular Hop Production workshop series.  We hold our Field Lab only once a year, during the height of the growing season in late June.  This year’s workshop will be held on June 24th.


Can I Come for a Visit?  One of our most common questions is from people who want to stop by and see one of our hop yards; unfortunately, due to logistics and time constraints, it’s just not something that we can accommodate on a casual basis.  For that reason we have introduced an annual Hops 301, a continuation of our workshop series and full Field Day session.  301 is held in the field at the 20 acre GVH flagship farm near Sauk City, WI.

During this day you will experience:

  • Hands-on field scouting techniques
  • Disease, water and nutrient deficiency identification
  • Trellis engineering
  • Irrigation layout and water supply specifics
  • Fertilizer injection practices
  • Essential hop production equipment and operation
  • Harvesting equipment design and operation (including an up-close and personal interaction with a Wolf harvester from Germany)
  • Dryer design and operation (including a look at a full-scale prototype computer controlled dryer designed by GVH)
  • Interaction with other existing and aspiring hops producers
  • This is a chance to experience the REAL world of hop production.

Who Can Attend?  Prior attendance at our workshops is recommended though not required. This will be a hands-on working day for experienced growers, so the basics of hop production (i.e. yield per acre, basic horticulture, profitability) will not be addressed. If you are just starting out we recommend taking our 101 Intro Workshop before our yard tour.

Can I Just Show Up That Day?  Please don’t! We are have a strict attendance cap, anyone who has not pre-registered will be turned away.

What Are the Details?

Date: Saturday June 24th.

When/Where:  We begin promptly at 9am at our farm near Sauk City.  The program will run until approximately 4pm.

I need to Stay Overnight:    Nearby hotels include the Super 8 Verona/Madison, Holiday Inn Express Verona/Madison and Fairfield Inn Madison/Verona.  There are no group rates associated with our workshop.

Cost: $275 per attendee.  Registrations are non-refundable.  There are no group/family discounts available.  Space is limited and registrations are required; walk-ins will not be admitted.

Fine Print:  This is a working farm and hazards do exist. Attendance is at your own risk. Failure to follow safety protocols may result in dismissal from the event. Photography and video will be allowed in some but not all areas.


Hops 101 – Introductory Level:  This workshop is an introduction to small scale hop history, production, and processing.  It will provide a great overview for new hop growers or serious home brewers.The 101 Workshop is held twice a year, in February and October.

Topics Include:

  • Comprehensive financial template to weigh the pros/cons of going into hop production
  • History of Hop Production in the Midwest/East Coast
  • Botany and Horticulture
  • Market Analysis
  • Plantation infrastructure, trellis designs, hardware, material costs
  • Plant nutrition, soil, and irrigation essentials
  • Proper Hop Drying
  • Hop Processing Overview

Attendees will learn:

  • How/why the hop industry collapsed in the Midwest and East
  • How to design and install a plantation trellis
  • What the economic potential is for hop production
  • What hops require for high yield and high quality
  • How to harvest and dry hops properly
  • What a plantation operation will cost to establish and operate

Who should attend?

  • Farmers looking for high value niche crops
  • Serious home brewers looking to raise their own hops
  • Brewers interested in a local market
  • Extension agents, educators, etc

Our next 101 workshop will be held in late September or early October; please join our mailing list to stay informed!

Hops 201 – Technical Production Workshop:  After 101, this next step gets into the weeds on pest management, soil science and advanced horticulture.  Bring your calculators!  The Technical Production Workshop is limited to attendees who have attended our Intro to Small Scale Hop Production course or have prior experience growing their own hops.The 201 Workshop is held twice a year, in February and October.

Topics Include:

  • Detailed plant physiology and development
  • Plantation operation by the calendar
  • Soil chemistry and plant nutrition calculations (workgroup problem sets)
  • Integrated pest management strategies
  • Disease identification and remediation
  • Irrigation scheduling and evapotranspiration calculations (workgroup problem sets)
  • Detailed hop drying and oast construction (workgroup problem sets)

Attendees will learn:

  • How to accurately calculate plantation irrigation needs on a daily, weekly, monthly basis
  • How to determine plant nutrient requirements based on soil chemistry
  • Proper nitrogen credit calculation from biological sources
  • Pest identification, scouting, and threshold calculations
  • How to develop an operations schedule calendar
  • How to design and operate an oast
  • Physiological plant changes during development

Who should attend?

  • Growers new to hop production
  • Current hop growers that need a refresher
  • Extension Agents, educational outreach specialists
Our next 101 workshop will be held in late September or early October; please join our mailing list to stay informed!

Custom Course Design: We can custom design a course to fit any group or region’s need. Whether it is strictly an introduction to hops or a more complex processing seminar, Gorst Valley has the experience and the know-how to address the most pertinent topics.  In the past our custom offerings have included:

  • Hops History
  • Hops Quality Impact on Brewing Results
  • Condensed Intro to Hop Production
  • Organic Hop Production
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Participation in panels with growers and brewers
  • Full 101 and/or 201 Workshops

Contact us for more information and references.