My fascination with Scandinavian yeast rings let me to meet Lars Marius Garshol, online, several years ago. It was refreshing to meet someone, even if only online, who, just like I, enjoys the practical aspects of enjoying and brewing a good home brew as well as being deeply fascinated with its traditions and history. We shared research, compared notes, and had lively discussions, even though one of us lived in the US and the other in Norway. His logical way of thinking guided by fact and not assumption made for a very valuable discussion partner.
You cannot imagine my happiness when I heard he was working on a book about traditional brewing! I knew it would be something special. All too often books on brewing are published by brewers who are great at practical brewing information but a bit lacking in fact-checking their quotes. Or they are published by academics who excel in the details of their subject, but are a bit lacking in the practical application of their findings. But this is not the case with Lars Gashol! His brilliant writing style smoothly blends personal stories, detailed facts as well as practical advice and recipes - well cited and referenced. Lars Garshol presents a perfect combination of history & ethnography, travelogue, and of practical how to - a mesmerizing blend of the academic prowess of Odd Nordland, the enthusiasm of Michael Jackson, and the out of the box recipes reminiscent of Mika Laitinen and Jereme Zimmerman. And every other page is colorfully illustrated with wonderful images of historic origin, as well as personal photos of historic methods in modern settings.
And this is not all why I am so excited to share this new publication with you. My own research into western European medieval herbal ales suggests an intriguing overlap with early modern Scandinavian and Baltic brewing methods. Garshol comes to the same conclusion in this book: boiling wort might be the standard now, but it is starting to look like the raw ale tradition had a much larger historic footprint in the European beer brewing landscape then modern historians and craft brewers would ever have suspected. And it is due to works like Historical Brewing Techniques, destined to become the bible of farmhouse brewing just as Odd Nordland's long out of print publication Brewing Traditions in Norway was for the past 60 years, that we are afforded an eye opening glimpse into the practices, processes - and tastes - of brews from times of yore. So Keep Calm, pour a home brew - and let Lars Marius Garshol take you away with his captivating mix of intimate personal experiences with just the right level of academic precision, to learn all about the nearly lost art of Farmhouse Brewing.
Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing by Lars Marius Garshol, 2020
ISBN: 9781938469558; EISBN: 9781938469619; Cover Price: $24.95