This program just keeps growing. From meeting in coffee shops with three dudes that thought hops was code for "pot", they're now showing people how to grow pot, er, hops, at the Monona Terrace. It's great to see so many Wisconsinites are interested in growing hops. It doesn't require a ton of land, they can be a little finnicky, but prices are good, it's a great use of open land, and it stabilizes our own prices and access to a key ingredient in the production of beer. Plus, sometimes you might get free beer out of the deal. How sweet is that?
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Introduction to Small Scale Hop Production workshops have filled up despite added space and dates to accommodate overflow attendance. Interest is still growing as over 250 currently registered.
The two workshops will be held at the Monona Terrace in Madison, WI on February 27 and March 6, 2010. A Hops Production Technical Workshop will be offered April 24 for attendees of the first class.
MAZOMANIE, WI (February 22, 2010) – Gorst Valley Hops of Mazomanie, WI has closed out registration for the two upcoming Introduction to Small Scale Hop Production workshops despite the addition of the second workshop and a change of venue to the Monona Terrace to increase class capacity.
“We are absolutely delighted by the interest in our courses.” stated Gregg Baimel, Gorst Valley Hops Director of Business Development. “Since the publicity we received in January, we’ve been fielding 5 to 10 contacts a day asking for additional information on growing or to register for the workshops. We love the enthusiasm and are doing everything we can to educate those interested in growing hops. For that reason we added the second course, increased the capacity and are looking at future dates for additional courses. We are also planning to roll out a web-based course in the near future.”
In addition to the workshops offered in Wisconsin, primary instructors James Altwies and Daniel Dettmers have just completed a second session in Michigan and will be leading a course on March 20th hosted by Cornell University and the Northeast Hops Alliance at the Saranac Brewery in Utica, NY. Much like the effort started in the Midwest, New England is working to restart a hop production industry to support their craft brewing market.
Daniel Dettmers, GVH’s engineer says, “The energy and enthusiasm at these courses is fantastic. The first courses were filled with brewing enthusiasts, homebrewers and those dreaming to put an acre or two to profitable use. They were not necessarily people from the mainstream agricultural community. Now our workshops are filled with farmers who have decades of experience growing corn, mint, tobacco, soybeans and other crops that are more common to the upper Midwest. The shift in the audience shows us that the prospect of growing hops in this region as more than a niche crop is gaining acceptance.”
To help speed the flow of information, the Gorst Valley Hops website (www.gorstvalleyhops.com) is in the process of a major redesign. The new website will offer access to a vast array of information from the history and chemistry of hops to growing and drying processes. The website will also continue to offer back copies of the GVH newsletter, All Hopped Up, and be a resource for those curious about hop production as well as seasoned growers. GVH Director James Altwies further explains, “To meet the rising need for education and training, we will be offering a web-based adaptation of the introductory workshop. Participants will be able to log into our website at their convenience and receive a self-directed version of our popular Introduction to Small Scale Commercial Hop Production course. ”
In addition to the introductory workshops, GVH is planning an intermediate level course, Hops Production Technical Workshop, for April 24th at the Monona Terrace. To attend, participants should have participated in one of the introductory workshops or have extensive knowledge and some experience with hop production. Registration information will be on the GVH website soon.
GVH will also be speaking at the American Homebrewer’s Association’s 32nd annual National Homebrewers Conference June 17-19, 2010 in Minneapolis.
Gorst Valley Hops is committed to providing high quality pelletized and leaf hops to everyone from craft brewers to home brewers while maximizing environmental stewardship through sustainable growth and processing of our product and that of other hop growers throughout the upper Midwest. Gorst Valley Hops can be contacted at:
Gorst Valley Hops
info at gorstvalleyhops.com