Larsblog

Joalda, an artist in yeast

I've already told the story of how the "tasting" at Joalda went somewhat off the rails, but there's so much left to say I need another blog post. From the outside the brewery looks like a private dwelling, with a normal house, a little garden pavilion, and something like a combined barn and garage. That, of course, is the brewery. (This is part 5 of the Lithuanian brewery tour.) ...

Read | 2013-08-30 15:44 | 6 comment(s)

Biržų alus, "craft" lager brewers

We roll into Biržai, a small, slightly run down, provincial town in northern Lithuania. It's famous in Lithuania as "the capital of beer", both for all the home brewers, and for the commercial brewers in the town. Biržų Alus, which we're visiting, is clearly no small brewery, since it's housed in a cluster of older buildings around a big yard. (This is part 4 of the Lithuanian brewery tour.) ...

Read | 2013-08-26 20:37 | 0 comment(s)

Ramūnas Čižas, farmhouse brewer

Suddenly, we turn off the road, to stop next to a white-brick barn, decorated with beery graffiti text and drawings. We pass through an opening into a kind of roofed terrace with wooden tables and benches, walls made of woven branches. It's simple, rough, and so pleasing to the eye that I involuntarily say "wow", and not for the last time. (This is part 3 of the Lithuanian brewery tour.) ...

Read | 2013-08-16 14:47 | 7 comment(s)

Vasaknų Dvaro, a manorial brewery

"The 'dvaro' in 'Vasaknų Dvaro', means manor house," the interpreter explains. I try out the concept, asking if a big wooden house we see by the road is a dvaro. "No," she says, "it's big enough, but a dvaro must be fancier than that." The roads turn narrower and bumpier, signs of habitation grow sparse, and then the road turns into a dirt road. Eventually, we turn up a wooded drive, to stop before two large stone buildings in a peculiar style. Now I see what she meant. (This is part 2 of the Lithuanian brewery tour.) ...

Read | 2013-08-12 14:51 | 2 comment(s)

Gintaro, a neighbourhood brewpub

We pull into a parking lot and stop. Everyone looks at each other: why are we stopping? Vidmantas sets off to what to my untrained eye looks like a private house. As it turns out, it is a private dwelling, but also the brewpub of one Gintaras Jucevičius. Hence the name of the brewpub: Gintaro. (This is part 1 of the Lithuanian brewery tour.) ...

Read | 2013-08-09 21:34 | 0 comment(s)

A whirlwind tour of Lithuanian brewing

I took a guided tour of Lithuanian beer and was so blown away that I can only describe it as a whirlwind tour. You'll see why. As readers of this blog know, I've been to Lithuania twice before, and discovered that Lithuanian beer culture is something completely unique. Learning more than that turned out to be very, very difficult, however. ...

Read | 2013-08-06 20:59 | 3 comment(s)

Bitcoin: promises and problems

Following on from my explanation of how Bitcoin works I wanted to go deeper into to what degree it works as promised, and what its future is likely to be. We'll go through the points one by one. ...

Read | 2013-06-23 17:18 | 7 comment(s)

Bitcoin: how it works

Imagine an alternative digital currency based on cryptographic principles, designed and launched by persons unknown, running as an uncontrolled and uncontrollable peer-to-peer network. The network has no central authority, and no single point of failure. It is, simply, made up of a self-regulated network of computers connected to each other, speaking the Bitcoin protocol between one another, and nothing more. ...

Read | 2013-06-12 17:03 | 2 comment(s)

Durian, King of Fruits

We were visiting my father, who lives in Hong Kong, and went shopping for food in a shopping mall in Hang Hau. The mall was a typical Hong Kong mall: all gleaming marble and glass, so clean you could eat your dinner right off the floor. For some reason we went down into the basement, into a corner, and through some big steel doors. ...

Read | 2013-02-24 20:52 | 7 comment(s)

Norwegian craft beer production

Following my analysis of the Norwegian craft beer market some people were wondering what the graph of total craft brewery output would look like. Well, that's not an easy thing to come by, given that there's almost 60 breweries in Norway now. However, I was able to get figures for the main craft breweries, and a couple of smaller breweries. ...

Read | 2013-02-17 11:14 | 2 comment(s)

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