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Good Beer Hunting

Oct 24, 2020

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Lars Marius Garshol for the first time. Before then, like much of the internet, I had followed along with Garshol's adventures via his eponymous website, Larsblog, where he has been documenting his beer travels and curiosities since the early 2000s.

Though he works as a software engineer, Garshol is particularly devoted to the subject of farmhouse brewing in Europe—so much so that he has written several books on the topic, including this year's award-winning release, "Historical Brewing Techniques — The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing." In his spare time, he also helps organize Norway's primary farmhouse beer festival, the annual Norsk Kornølfestival; collects yeast samples; and even collaborates with researchers on scientific papers.

His work is varied, but Garshol is probably best known for spreading the word about kveik, Western Norway's farmhouse yeast family, now celebrated across the world for its extraordinary abilities—and that's how I came to meet him. Lars was a major source for both of my long-form features on kveik and farmhouse brewing for GBH, the first of which came out in the summer of 2019, and the second of which was published last month. That most recent article arose out of a trip I took to Voss, Norway in February, and that's where Lars and I finally crossed paths, when I attended a talk he gave as part of a kveik symposium.

Today's conversation kicks off when I ask Garshol about this year's edition of the Kornølfestival, which was held entirely over Zoom. We also discuss his book, chat about why even seasoned beer drinkers might be perplexed by farmhouse beer styles like Vossaøl and Stjørdalsøl, and he sheds light on how vast the world of farmhouse brewing really is. There's a lot to dig into here—and a fair amount of jargon—but this conversation was illuminating to me in at least 10 different ways, and I hope it is for you, too.

This is Lars Marius Garshol, author and blogger. Listen in.