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Gorst Valley Hops Team Meet the Team

James Altwies, Director and HorticulturistJames Altwies - Director, Horticulturist

James is a horticulturist by education, obtaining his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison focusing on energy balance within high value crop production. This led to a position with an agricultural chemical compay where James designed and executed field research studies on dozens of high value crops all over the world.

His time spent in commercial agriculture granted James years of experience in working with growers directly, understanding the practical and technical aspects of high value crop production as well as the business and financial side. He learned early on that no matter how innovative or technically successful an idea may be if it cannot be translated into value to the grower it has little chance of success.

In his travels James studied various crop production and distribution systems, making note of what provided the most value to the growers while minimizing energy inputs and promoting sustainability. Eager to impliment his ideas at home, he spent a great deal of time researching high value crops that could be grown in the Upper Midwest. It was during this period that the hops market underwent a large fluctuation and numerous brewers in the region were having difficulty securing the raw materials they needed. James knew that hops were once produced in Wisconsin and could be once again.

James has a bachelors degree in biology with a focus in molecular chemistry from the University of Toledo, in Toledo Ohio.

Dan Dettmers, Engineer and Process DesignDan Dettmers - Engineer, Process Design

Dan is a Wisconsin boy through and through. Growing up in Jefferson, WI Dan attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, obtaining his degree in engineering. Soon after he found himself working in the industrial refrigeration and food processing industry where he quickly became a foremost expert in industrial-scale heating/cooling.and it goes without saying, as a native Wisconsinite, Dan has a passion for beer.

Dan brings years of experience to Gorst Valley, designing processing systems that never existed for the small scale grower. Drying, pelletizing, and packaging as very critical steps during which quality is always at risk. Dan applies his expertise to ensure that quality is top notch while creating brand new processing procedures.

As it turns out, Dan is also the Gorst Valley Historian (together with Christine) often being called upon to give presentations to regional groups regarding hop production in the 1800's.

Joseph Wegner, Formulation Chemist and AnalysisJoseph Wegner - Formulation Chemist, Analysis

Joe is a formulation chemist having spent years in both the agricultural and pharmaceutical industry designing various blends from pesticides to hand sanitizer. He has the unique balance of technical accumen and real-world practicality which makes him a great resource for Gorst Valley. Joe and James spent several years together working in agricultural research, oftentime with Joe neck deep in a cotton field helping on a research project.

Joe spends a good deal of time reviewing journal articles and research around hop chemistry and what practices impact chemical qualities. Dan and Joe are oftentimes team members on production systems projects. He has a broad range of experience in various industries that translate well to Gorst Valley.

Joe has a bachelors degree in chemistry and a masters degree in polymer chemistry.

Christine Molling, Agriculutural Researcher and Outreach SpecialistChristine Molling – Agricultural Researcher and Outreach Specialist

Christine possesses a MS in Geosciences from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee with more than a decade of experience in agricultural research, agricultural modeling and scientific communication. She has worked in research roles at the National Oceanographic Data Center and at the University of Wisconsin – Madison Space Science and Engineering Center. Christine is published in a variety scientific journals and is the key researcher for projects involving nutrient runoff and buffer zones. Christine is also an avid gardener.

Thad Molling, Hydrogeologist and IT Specialist
Thad Molling – Hydrogeologist, IT Specialist

Thad possesses a BS in Geosciences from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Thad has a degree in hydrogeology but has spent the last ten years as an Information Systems Network Engineer. Thad travels extensively to Asia, Australia and Europe designing and supporting computer and networking infrastructures for a global biotechnology company. Thad develops documentation and training material for both English and non-English speaking audiences.

Gregg Baimel, Finacials and Market DevelopmentGregg Baimel - Financials, Market Development

Gregg possesses a MBA from Carnegie Mellon. He is a mathematician with over twelve years of experience in database marketing specializing in demand forecasting, customer segmentation and database design. Gregg focuses on building comprehensive supply chain management systems that are critical to ensuring the highest quality product and complete customer satisfaction. He and James work closely on building data analysis and capture abilities into each step of GVH procedures. Their wives also happen to be sisters!


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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