Larsblog

The beer revolution comes to Norway

When I first got seriously interested in beer, roughly ten years ago, Norway was a miserable place for a beer enthusiast. Norwegian beer was pretty much limited to four styles of lager from the industrials plus two half-decent brewpubs. As for imports, they were not very impressive, either. Two pubs had some Belgian beers, but that was about it. I used to memorize which pubs in Oslo had Erdinger, so I could get something decent to drink while out. ...

Read | 2012-01-26 19:44 | 6 comment(s)

Lambic

I can still remember my first sip of lambic. I was sitting in the tasting room of the Cantillon brewery in Brussels after completing the brewery tour, all eager to try the final product. The shock of actually tasting it was all the greater. It was sour! So sour it almost burned. And what's more, it was thin and tasted of metal and grain. This was lambic? ...

Read | 2012-01-13 17:37 | 1 comment(s)

The beer bars of Vilnius

Lithuania may be a small country today, but once the joint Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth included much of present-day Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belorussia, and Ukraine. This is why Vilnius has one of the largest surviving medieval towns in Northern Europe, covering well over three square kilometers. So Vilnius is well worth visiting just for the sights, but it also happens that you can find a very rare beer style here: kaimiškas, or Lithuanian farmhouse ales. ...

Read | 2011-05-14 10:40 | 10 comment(s)

Are macro lagers really all the same?

Beer enthusiasts like to say that people who argue over which industrial pale lager is best are missing the point, because they all essentially taste the same, and none of them are very good, anyway. I personally agree with that, and that now that there are so many good craft beers available everywhere, there's really no reason to drink this stuff at all. ...

Read | 2011-05-08 16:23 | 11 comment(s)

Traditional Norwegian homebrew, finally

I was recently invited to give a presentation on Topic Maps at Vestlandsforsking in Sogndal, as part of their 25-year jubilee seminar series. I first tried to fly there in December, but because of fog the plane was never able to land. Ironically, the flight itself was absolutely beautiful. The little propeller plane flew over an endless expanse of snow-capped mountains in blazing sunshine. Just before arriving in Sogndal we could clearly see the Jotunheimen mountain range in the distance, sticking up over the smaller mountains. ...

Read | 2011-04-03 10:18 | 6 comment(s)

Bayesian identity resolution

Stian Danenbarger has been telling me for a while about entity resolution (as he and many others call it), or identity resolution (as Wikipedia calls it). Basically, it's the process of working out which records/entities/objects actually represent the same real-world things by comparing their properties. Once Stian confirmed that Bayesian inferencing was a common method for this, I suddenly saw how you can actually do a poor man's version of this with just a little basic scripting. ...

Read | 2011-02-11 13:23 | 20 comment(s)

What's up?

While RSS and Atom are a great way to stay up to date on what is published around the web, I think the feed-centric approach taken by most feed readers is suboptimal. For some feeds I want to read everything that is posted, but for others I want to read only those few posts which are about subjects I care about, or by authors I like particularly. Another problem is that some feeds (for example those of newspapers) have hundreds of posts every day. Staying on top of that is just too much manual effort. ...

Read | 2011-02-03 19:50 | 11 comment(s)

The applications of SDshare

Graham Moore a few years ago came up with the idea of publishing changes to topic maps using Atom, and a CEN project has now developed and published a specification for it called SDshare. Work is also underway to make SDshare a full ISO standard. ...

Read | 2010-11-21 14:29 | 0 comment(s)

Europe's best-kept beer secret?

A flood of industrial lager has swept away the native beer traditions of just about every country in Europe except, famously, for the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, and the UK. Oh, and, it turns out, Lithuania. If you haven't heard about Lithuanian beer traditions, don't worry, because nobody else has, either. ...

Read | 2010-09-18 21:09 | 10 comment(s)

Ægir, Flåm

It's far and away the most spectacular brewpub I've ever seen. Part of it is the location, at the end of a Norwegian fjord surrounded by tall mountains that seem to tower over the little village. But it's just as much the brewpub itself, a dark, bulky wooden structure looking vaguely like a stave church that's lost its tower, decorated with wooden dragons on the roof, in true dragestil. Inside it's no less unusual, as we'll get to in a moment. ...

Read | 2010-08-05 20:33 | 5 comment(s)

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Lars Marius Garshol on A family tree for kveik

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Lars Marius Garshol on Norwegian farmhouse ...

Lars Marius Garshol on Norwegian farmhouse ...

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