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Gorst Valley Hops Charter Grower Program Charter Grower Program

Gorst Valley Hops is bringing a new twist to the old idea of contract growing. Instead of relying on a traditional and sometimes inequitable cash-for-service arrangement, GVH invites growers to become more engaged with the entire hops production operation; from plantation design to hops pellets. We call these folks Charter Growers as they are personally invested in producing the highest possible quality hops with our help.

How Does it Work?

Gorst Valley works directly with the grower through every stage of production. Once the hops are harvested the grower delivers them to the GVH processing center to be pelletized, packaged, and delivered. The brewer pays for the hops at which point GVH pays the grower. There is no out-of-pocket expense to the grower for any GVH services.

So Am I On My Own?

Absolutely NOT! GVH will work with you every step of the way, from trellis design and plantation layout to management practices and business plan development. We work as a team.

What Does GVH Provide?

GVH provides the Charter Grower with the following Services:

• Plantation design
• Discounted trellis supplies
• Discounted Irrigation supplies
• Discounted rhizomes
• Nutrient management program
• Priority processing
• Discounted processing
• Gorst Valley Hops credentials
• Discounted analytical services
• Real time technical support

Is There a Contract?

Yes. Like any production arrangement there are contractual obligations. GVH is investing in the Charter Grower and desires to see them be successful. Contract details vary based on specific circumstances but revolve around multi-year working relationships instead of yield so the grower can focus on production quality, not quantity.

How Much Do I Have to Grow?

We request a minimum of one acre production scale and a maximum of 10 acres. Single sites larger than 10 acres require different production and processing techniques compared to smaller acreage. If you desire a large scale operation GVH can present you with options to meet your needs.

How Do I Proceed? 

Before applying to grow in 2015 (applications will be accepted from July to October), please make sure that you can answer "Yes" to these criteria:

  1. Day to Day Operations:  I live at the farm, close enough that I am there on a daily basis, or have an on-site farm manager.
  2. Irrigation:  I have an existing irrigation source other than my residential well, or plan to install one.
  3. Labor:  I am willing and able to invest the 20-25 hours/week needed for hop production.
  4. Communications:  I have Internet connectivity, and use email and web sites daily.  We do much of our communication and information sharing via the web. 
  5. Electricity:  There is an existing source of electricity within range of the intended hop yard, or plans to install one.
  6. Storage: There is an existing outbuilding (other than a residential garage) within range of the intended hop yard, or plans to install one.
  7. Background: I have already attended the Hops 101 workshop or other seminar presented by Gorst Valley Hops (i.e. MOSES conference), or I have prior experience growing hops (1/2 acre or more).  To learn more about our workshops, click here.
  8. Soil Sample: I have the test results of a recent (within the last 6 months) soil sample that can be included with this application.  Soil samples can be tested by your local Agricultural Extension office or any of these labs: UW plant and soil analysis labRock River LabDairyland Labs .

 If you can answer "Yes" to all of the above, download the application at this link.  Please contact us at charter@gorstvalleyhops.com with any questions.


Classes are full!

101/201 Workshops in February 2015

Registration Is Now Closed

The upcoming workshops are now full.  Our next sessions will be held in late Sept / early Oct.  Please join the mailing list at the top of the page to be notified when registration opens.


Hops Plants for 2015

2015??? That's right, it's time to start planning now. We have established a biosecure greenhouse facility and are taking deposits for live hops plants for your 2015 planting. Learn more about live hops plants and the ordering process here.

Hops 301: Field Lab Workshop

Registration Closed

Join us on-site at our 20 acre hop yard for this continuation of our popular Hop Production workshop series. Click here for more details about Hops 301.

Press Release: Best Practices Guide

We are happy to announce that the Hop Processing Best Practices Guide is finished and available for download.  Please see our Education page for more information and read the Press Release.

Brewing & Beer Styles

UW is hosting a two-day Brewing & Beer Styles workshop on 1/27 and 1/28, with instructors including our own James Altwies.  For more information please check out their website.


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