We were privileged to have Lars Marius Garshol and Simonas Gutautas take time to give us an in-depth presentation on Lithuanian Farmhouse Brewing over 2 sessions.
Without repeating everything that Lars explained, Lithuania has for a number of historical reasons preserved a farmhouse brewing tradition that has all but die out across the rest of Europe. This includes stone-brewing, raw ales and a unique baked beer called keptinis.
This session was primarily led by Lars who gave us a presentation on how he came to discover Lithuanian Farmhouse Beer, the path it led him. He also covered the historical context of these beers as well as some of the techniques used in making them. After his presentation our panel had a discussion on the beer styles.
The whole session was 2-hours long but flew by.
It's no exaggeration to say we had a true all-star panel for these events...
Lars Marius Garshol is a true expert on traditional brewing. His interest began during a trip to Lithuania where he was blown away by beers he had never encountered before. This led to a 10-year investigation of Farmhouse Brewing across Northern Europe, which he documented on his blog and which in turn led to the brewing world discovering kviek. Lars has recently published Historical Brewing Techniques, a truly masterful description of old brewing methods and their cultural and historical context in a very readable manner.
Simonas Gutautas is an archaeologist and project manager of Dundulis Brewery in Lithuania. His historical interest has led him to research traditional brewing techniques and in addition to modern beers Dundulis also produce a selection of beers brewed according to and inspired by traditional methods.
Dr. Christina Wade is an historian and archaeologist as well as being an international beer judge and the founder of the Ladies Craft Beer Society of Ireland.She is currently researching a book on historical Irish brewing. You can read her blog about the historical role of women in brewing at Braciatrix
Maurice Deasy is the owner of Canvas Brewery an Irish farmhouse brewery that grows it's own hops and grain, sources it's own water and provides it's own power. His history and ethos was covered by Good Beer Hunting.
Richard Sibelly is the owner and brewer at Black Donkey Beer. Focused on producing traditional beers such as Saisons in a sustaniable way and with local ingredients, Richard has recently featured on the A New Brew podcast.
Lars has two books. A free one specifically on Lithuanian Farmhouse Brewing and a recently published masterpiece that covers farmhouse brewing across the whole of Norther Europe. Full of detailed information but, just like his presentation, very easily presented.
As you've seen Dundulis produce a range of traditional beers. They also produce more common types and ones influenced by traditional techniques.
These are all available on their website for shipping across Europe. Be sure to check them out, even with the shipping cost I guarantee that they're cheaper than you think!
Surprisingly given the uniqueness of the beers and their production there are not a lot of organised tours.
However Vilnius In Love provide such tours among their other tours. Check them out for your trip to Lithuania. And tell Laura you found them through us!