Historical Brewing Techniques

The world of beer has two parts: modern brewing and farmhouse brewing. Of these, farmhouse brewing is by far the oldest, has had far more brewers, and is much more diverse. But people today know virtually nothing about it.

This book tries to change that by explaining farmhouse brewing techniques. Because these will seem strange, even crazy, to modern drinkers, the book also describes the culture of farmhouse ale, and why these beers are the way they are.

If you want to know more about kveik, raw ale, oven-based brewing, boiling the mash, fermenting in the mash, traditional brewing herbs, keeping your own yeast, or making farmhouse malts, then this is the book for you.

It covers farmhouse brewing in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, England, Wales, and Scotland.


"The most important beer book since Michael Jackson"

Jeff Alworth, Twitter, 5 September 2019

"WOW! Talk about killer research ... It’s an amazing study. Truly impressive."

Maureen Ogle, Twitter, 22 January 2020

"While reading I find myself shaking my head at how a whole swath of European brewing history was overlooked, nearly forgotten, and is now reappearing to challenge much of what we thought we knew about brewing."

Joe Stange, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, 27 May 2020

"A new philosophy of brewing wrapped in a tale of adventure. [...] It puts beer into broader, deeper context, as if the view has suddenly expanded into widescreen and 4D, and gives us permission to break the rules."

Boak & Bailey, blog post, 13 July 2020


Publication date: April 30 2020.

Order from the publisher. Unfortunately, shipping to Europe is expensive.

Bookshops.org lets you buy through local bookstores, thus supporting them.

Book Depository has free worldwide shipping and a good price, so they may be a good option.

Country Bookstores
US Amazon, Barnes & Noble.
UK Amazon UK
Germany Thalia.de
Norway Adlibris, Tanum
Denmark Saxo
Sweden Adlibris
Finland Booky.fi, Adlibris
Belgium/Netherlands Bol.com
Italy Amazon.it
Estonia Krisostomus
Latvia Krisostomus
Lithuania Krisostomus
Australia Booktopia

Table of contents

  1. Understanding farmhouse ale
    1. The world of yesterday
    2. Kaupanger: First meeting with the tradition
  2. History
  3. Malt
    1. Stjørdal: malt-making hotspot
    2. The types of grain
    3. Barley varieties
    4. Maskin, portrait of a barley variety
    5. How the grain was grown
    6. Steeping and sprouting
    7. Drying methods
      1. Very pale, unsmoked malts
      2. Lightly smoked, hot-dried malts
      3. Heavily smoked malts
      4. Caramel malts
      5. Strong, uneven heat
      6. Undried malts
  4. Yeast
    1. Voss: Discovering kveik
    2. First lab analysis
    3. Yeast, wild and domesticated
    4. The yeast revolution
    5. Yeast on the farms
    6. Origins of the yeast
    7. Yeast species
    8. The family tree of yeast
    9. Kveik, what we know
    10. The non-kveik farmhouse yeasts
    11. Bread yeast
    12. Dying out
    13. Kveik renaissance
    14. The word “kveik”
  5. Brewing process
    1. Hornindal, Norway
    2. Stone beer
    3. Raw ale
    4. Boiled ale
    5. The mash boiled
    6. Complex mashes
    7. Keptinis
    8. The great stove
    9. Vsekhsvyatskoye, Russia
    10. Understanding oven-based beers
    11. The mash fermented
    12. The evolution of brewing processes
  6. Beer in the life on the farm
    1. Harvest ale
    2. Ritual beer
    3. Superstition
    4. Brewers or brewsters?
    5. Equipment
    6. Preparations
    7. Grinding
    8. Water
    9. Carbonation
    10. Oppskåke
    11. Cellaring
    12. Drinking vessels
    13. Serving beer
    14. Beer flaws
  7. Spices and adjuncts
    1. Hops
    2. Juniper
    3. Sweet gale
    4. Grand wormwood
    5. Caraway
    6. St. John’s Wort
    7. Bitter orange peel
    8. Yarrow
    9. Tansy
    10. Bay laurel
    11. Wild rosemary
    12. Heather
    13. Others
    14. Adjuncts
      1. Potatoes
      2. Bran
      3. Carrots
      4. Peas
      5. Honey
      6. Other adjuncts
    15. Filter materials
      1. Straw
      2. Alder sticks
      3. Other
  8. The drink problem
    1. Small beer
    2. Rostdrikke
    3. Kvass
    4. Birch sap beer
    5. Juniper berry beer
    6. Mead
    7. Sugar beer
  9. Brewing like a farmer
    1. Carbonation
    2. Working with kveik
    3. Working with farmhouse yeast
    4. Brewing with juniper
    5. Making your own malts
  10. Styles and how to brew them
    1. What is farmhouse ale?
    2. Recipes
    3. Raw ales
      1. Brewing raw ales
      2. Kornøl
      3. Sahti
      4. Island koduõlu
      5. Kaimiškas
      6. Danish landøl
    4. Dark, smoky ales
      1. Stjørdalsøl
      2. Gotlandsdricke
      3. Landøl from south Funen
    5. Brown boiled beers
      1. Heimabrygg
      2. Telemark, Norway
      3. Hallingdal
      4. Swedish farmhouse ale: Öxabäck
    6. Oven beers
      1. Seto koduõlu
      2. Oven-mashed Russian farmhouse ale
      3. Chuvashian farmhouse ale
      4. Sur
      5. Keptinis
    7. Fermented mash
      1. Luumäki-style
      2. Vanylven-style
    8. Stone beer
    9. Other regions
      1. Corn ale
      2. English farmhouse ale
      3. Welsh farmhouse ale
      4. Westphalian farmhouse ale
      5. Aludi
      6. Oat beer
  11. Today and tomorrow
    1. Baltic time capsule
    2. The Baltics today
    3. Status in the west
    4. Farmhouse ale in the 21st century
    5. Into the future


A map showing one dot for each of the individual descriptions of farmhouse brewing in specific locations that I collected while researching the book. These are collected partly from archive sources, open literature, and travels and interviews. The colours indicate the datasets. Black and gray were collected by me, the rest are different archive collections.

Reviews/media coverage

Lars Marius Garshol, 2020-11-03.