Larsblog

Hunting Lithuanian white whales

On the morning of the second day of the Lithuanian brewery tour 2015 we stopped by a small and little-known brewery called A. Grigonio. It's literally just a few hundred meters from Jovaru Alus. As far as I know, it's a farmhouse brewery in the same vein, but I never got to see it. Vidmantas said the owners were not at home, and so a tour wasn't possible. ...

Read | 2016-09-28 14:54 | 1 comment(s)

My book on Norwegian farmhouse ale

Yesterday I finally got a copy of my new book on Norwegian farmhouse ale. I've written books before, but this one is different. So many emotions, such hopes and dreams, now suddenly materialized as a lump of pulped wood and glue. It's been my baby for a long time, and now it's suddenly going to be flung out to the public. ...

Read | 2016-09-17 12:03 | 18 comment(s)

Kupiškio - underground brewers

Eventually we ran out of breweries to visit in Pakruojis, and started discussing where to go next. I told Vidmantas I've always wanted to visit Kupiškio, but he didn't want to go there. I explained that the very first Lithuanian beer I had was from them, and it really blew me away. It's what really kicked off my interest in Lithuanian beer. Vidmantas looked at me queerly, then said, "well, let's try," and started the car, heading east. (This is part 7 of the Lithuanian brewery tour 2015.) ...

Read | 2016-09-11 13:41 | 5 comment(s)

Analysis of farmhouse yeast (kveik)

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim started doing research and courses on brewer's yeast a little over a year ago. I figured this was good timing, and asked them if they wanted to do research on kveik (Norwegian farmhouse yeast). The answer from professor Per Bruheim was immediate. Yes! They would love to have some Norwegian yeast to work on. So I've been sending them all the yeast I could get my hands on. ...

Read | 2016-09-06 16:30 | 14 comment(s)

Davra

About a kilometer from Jovaru Alus, in Pakruojis itself, lies another brewery, called Davra. The moment we pull into the brewery yard I see that this is something else entirely. We're looking at a modern brewery building, not a barn, and clearly much larger than the farmhouse breweries we've been visiting. We're met by two men, probably father and son, in modern business suits. These are the owners, ready to take us on a tour of the brewery. (This is part 6 of the Lithuanian brewery tour 2015.) ...

Read | 2016-08-28 14:12 | 2 comment(s)

Jovaru Alus

As a favour to me Vidmantas had left the most interesting brewery as the last of the day, so that we could spend more time there. We stopped the car in the yard between the brewery/barn and the house, and got out, to be greeted by angry barking from a tiny little dog tied to a doghouse made from a wooden beer keg. Another dog, looking exactly like it, came to peer at us curiously, but didn't bark. Then the brewer herself, Aldona Udriene, came out of the house to greet us. She immediately explained about the dogs. The one chained up was the "angry dog". He doesn't like visitors, but the other dog was the "good dog," which is never rough with anyone. (This is part 5 of the Lithuanian brewery tour 2015.) ...

Read | 2016-08-21 14:14 | 13 comment(s)

Dundulis

From Panevežys we drove to Biržai to visit a completely different type of brewery. This was Širvėnos bravoras, one of the two breweries producing the Dundulis brand beers. We got out of the car and poked around, trying to find someone to talk to. Eventually we entered the brewery and found the brewer, Simonas Gutautas, busy measuring out juniper berries for a beer they were brewing. It turned out to be the festival beer for the Mėnuo Juodaragis culture festival. (This is part 4 of the Lithuanian brewery tour 2015.) ...

Read | 2016-07-31 12:01 | 6 comment(s)

Su Puta

The breweries are pretty close together here in Panevežys. Ten minutes after leaving Piniavos we arrive at the next brewery, Su Puta. And let me at once add that in Lithuanian the name means "with foam." I ask Vidmantas whether he knows what it means in Spanish, and he answers with a sigh that "Yes, I know. Everyone keeps telling me." So I shut up and follow him through the gate. (This is part 3 of the Lithuanian brewery tour 2015.) ...

Read | 2016-06-19 13:21 | 1 comment(s)

Piniavos

Vidmantas stops the car outside a nondescript gate bearing a small faded sign with the single word "Alutis." It means beer, but with an affectionate diminutive ending. "Alutis," echoes Vidmantas with a satisfied sigh. I assume he's thinking of his online moniker, "Vidma Alutis." Beyond the gate a fierce growling and barking breaks out. Vidma tells me all Lithuanian farmers kept dogs, to guard against strangers and intruders. (This is part 2 of the Lithuanian brewery tour 2015. Yeah, I'm a year behind. Sorry.) ...

Read | 2016-06-09 15:11 | 2 comment(s)

Apynys and Apynys

Until recently, the city of Kaunas in Lithuania was home to three breweries all named Apynys. The name means "hops," which is probably why it's so common. Now, however, there are only two breweries named Apynys left, a few kilometers apart on the outskirts of the city. I visited them on a guided tour with BeerTourism.lt, in an attempt to learn more about Lithuanian beer so I can improve my guidebook. ...

Read | 2016-05-01 18:11 | 0 comment(s)

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