We’ve been working on something pretty cool… we’re making a kveik farmhouse ale for the upcoming Kveikstokk event. On the evening of September 10 at Burdock (1184 Bloor St. W), Toronto will be welcoming Lars Marius Garshol to share his expertise on traditional Norwegian and Eastern-European farmhouse brewing techniques that have been taking the North American craft brewing scene by storm. In honour of this exciting event, we’ll be making a pseudo-traditional Norwegian Farmhouse Beer.
To begin, Kveik isn’t a style of beer. It is a highly complex yeast-like ingredient added to Norwegian farmhouse ales. Historically, Kveik has been brewed in small batches by farmers and passed along generationally through preservation and sharing methods. Since seeing some international interest, Kveik has been adapted in many forms, and contemporarily it has been used to create pale ales.
This is a pretty big deal for us, since we’ve decided to take kveik in a different direction by brewing this beer in a more or less traditional form. Don’t get us wrong – we’re not adopting the Norwegian tradition out of puritanism (as a matter of fact we usually do the opposite of tradition when it comes to brewing), but we’ve decided to pay homage to this traditionally complex farmhouse ale through a process of foraging (yes, literal foraging) and the use of authentic strains of Kveik.
First up, we acquired Voss Kveik, which is a traditional single strain of Norwegian Kveik sourced from Sigmund Gjernes (via Escarpment Labs). Throughout Norway, there are multiple strains of Kveik used by different farmers that bring different flavour profiles and brewing techniques. This strain is especially known for its clean notes of orange peel and its earthy, yet spicy aromas.
Next, our brewers did some foraging in the great wilderness of Ontario for some juniper branches (specifically – juniperus communis). Similar to its historical context, we infused all the mash and sparging water with juniper by having the water sit over night. We then boiled the wort for 3-4 hours. The result – a delicious brew that reflects the traditional Norwegian farmhouse beer and brewing processes.
Loki’s Garden will be available in 500mL bottles in our bottle shop on Friday, September 13, and at Kveikstokk on September 10!