Larsblog - beer

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)

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)

Norwegian craft beer 2012

A year ago I posted an analysis of craft beer in Norway, where I concluded that craft beer had taken off in Norway, and that the growth would continue in 2012. It's now 2013, so it's time to take a look at how the year turned out. ...

Read | 2013-01-20 17:32 | 2 comment(s)

Lithuanian beer, again

I've written before about how Lithuania has a beer tradition of its own, different from any other country on earth, but back then I didn't really know very much about it. I'm still far from an expert on Lithuanian beer, but by now I've learned a bit more, which I want to share. One reason is that I find that although Lithuania is just a short (and cheap) plane ride away, people don't seem to have any interest in exploring this world of beer unknown to just about everyone. ...

Read | 2012-11-18 20:36 | 17 comment(s)

Ichinoseki - sake and beer

Basho passed through Ichinoseki on his journey, but failed to mention it, focusing instead on Hiraizumi. Today Ichinoseki is much the bigger of the two towns, even if Hiraizumi is culturally more important. To us, however, Ichinoseki held an important attraction: the Sekinoichi Shuzo sake brewery, which also makes the Iwate Kura beers. ...

Read | 2012-10-28 10:11 | 0 comment(s)

Ringnes Imperial Polaris

For years now everyone's been wondering when Ringnes was going to wake up and realize that the old days of selling cheap industrial beers were over. Overall beer sales have been down consistently year after year for many years, while craft beer sales have boomed. Surely the biggest brewery in Norway had to sit up and notice at some point? Particularly when their owners, Danish Carlsberg, have already started two craft beer brands in Denmark (Kongens Bryghus and Jacobsen). ...

Read | 2012-10-04 20:25 | 3 comment(s)

Nøgne Ø Red Horizon

I don't normally do straight beer reviews, but this is not just any beer, and I think it deserves much more attention than it's received so far. It's both wildly unsual and one of my all-time favourite beers. And now that Nøgne Ø is brewing Red Horizon 2 and 3 the time seems right for a little write-up. ...

Read | 2012-02-25 14:02 | 2 comment(s)

GlavPivTorg — a window onto history

GlavPivTorg is not just a brewpub. It is also a theme restaurant. The name is a Soviet-style acronym meaning "Main Beer Cooperative," and the place is designed to look like an elite Soviet restaurant from the 1960s. This is the sort of place where the high-level Soviet apparatchik would dine. Even the menu is designed according to the state cookery manual for restaurants. ...

Read | 2012-02-19 18:17 | 0 comment(s)

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