Larsblog

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)

Stone brewing in Latvia

The small town of Aizpute, in western Latvia, is home to SERDE, which calls itself an "interdisciplinary art group." Their focus seems to be mostly art, but they also study traditional culture, including traditional brewing. They've travelled around Latvia finding and interviewing traditional brewers, and then brew recreations of these traditional beers now and then in the summer. So I invited myself along to see what I could learn. ...

Read | 2016-03-13 12:03 | 7 comment(s)

Oppskåke

In older times there were a whole host of detailed social customs around the drinking of beer, but the only one I'm aware of that has survived into the present day is oppskåka. Oppskåke is a party for friends and neighbours held after primary fermentation, when the beer is transferred from the fermenter to the cask. When Terje invited me to brew with him, he also invited me to stay until oppskåka, since that was only 48 hours after the brewing. ...

Read | 2016-02-14 12:45 | 11 comment(s)

Hornindal: interviews and collecting kveik

Terje learned to brew from his uncle when he was 16, while helping him on the farm during the summer. While we were waiting for the beer to finish fermenting, we drove off to Hornindal to meet him. His uncle lives in the tiny valley you see in the photo above. It's essentially a small notch in the sheer cliffs along the north side of the lake (Hornindalsvatnet). The only inhabitants there now are Terje's uncle, Rasmus, and another family. ...

Read | 2016-01-03 14:15 | 8 comment(s)

Brewing raw ale in Hornindal

I tried a Hornindal raw ale at a tasting with friends, and was blown away, for two reasons. The first was that the flavour was nearly indescribable. The second was that it was so good! The consensus was that it felt like a step up from the Cantillon we had before it, and the top-notch Belgian we had after it felt like a step back down. So this really was a world class beer, fit to compete with just about anything. ...

Read | 2015-12-26 11:35 | 14 comment(s)

Telemark: the world of yesterday

Driving through the pass after Notodden, I could see the landscape changing. The hills had given way to real mountains with snow on their caps. It was the last day of May, and the fresh snow was almost blindingly white in the sunshine. I was leaving flat, prosperous eastern Norway for the mountainous region of Upper Telemark, a part of the country that used to be quite remote. ...

Read | 2015-12-01 16:35 | 0 comment(s)

Traditional malting in Morgedal

The guys I visited in Morgedal were definitely brewing traditional farmhouse beer, but they bought the malts. I'd read a lot about the old techniques for malting, but hardly ever seen any of the old malting equipment. So before going to Telemark I'd tried calling various museums to see if they had anything I could look at. That didn't really lead to anything, and I told Terje and Halvor about how disappointed I was. Terje then offered to show me his malt house, because there's one still standing on his farm. ...

Read | 2015-11-21 13:09 | 1 comment(s)

Brewing in Morgedal

The farmhouse survey showed that brewing in Telemark was still alive in the 1950s, but for a long time I thought it had died out. Then I found a video from the 1980s showing a recreation of farmhouse brewing. And then, on Facebook, I found something called "Morgedal susle og ølbryggarlag". In other words, Morgedal brewing association. Their photos of steaming wood-fired kettles full of juniper left no doubt: farmhouse brewing was still alive. So to learn what was going on and how they were brewing I contacted them via Facebook and invited myself to come and brew with them. ...

Read | 2015-10-29 14:00 | 4 comment(s)

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KennyW on Brewing with kveik

Martynas on Su Puta

Lars Marius Garshol on Brewing raw ale in H...

Jacob on Brewing raw ale in H...

Tailor von Schmitt de Martini on How hops prevent inf...

Lars Marius Garshol on Piniavos

Dan Pixley on Piniavos

Kukkopena on Traditional Nordic beer

Lars Marius Garshol on How hops prevent inf...

Tailor von Schmitt de Martini on How hops prevent inf...