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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Pic(k) of the Week: Hourglass 'Lithuanian Farmhouse' Ale

Hourglass Lithuanian Farmhouse Ale

The day I visited the Hourglass Brewing taproom in Longwood, Florida, there were 38 beers on tap. This 'Lithuanian Farmhouse' ale was one of them. Can there be too many?

According to the website, the beer is prepared by:
  • Mashing (heating with water) malted barley, wheat, rye, and oats.
  • Lautering (washing and straining) the wort (a sticky solution of malt sugar derived from the mash) through a bed of hay and hops.
  • "Pasteurizing" the wort in the kettle —but not boiling it.
  • Cooling and then fermenting it with yeast from a "famous Lithuanian brewery."
Reddish-brown and very hazy (as would be expected), but not murky. A long-lasting head, if not spumous. For aroma: apricot and white pepper. For flavor: slightly sour and definitely funky with a suggestion of toffee, lemon rind, and apricot. The finish: abrupt, slightly astringent, and, again, slightly sour, but with a green pepper aftertaste. 5.7% alcohol-by-volume (abv).
"Yeast from Švyturys or Utenos?," I asked the bartender. *
"I'm sorry?" he replied, puzzled.
"Those are two famous Lithuanian breweries," I remarked.
"Oh. I'm not sure," he answered.
"Who among the staff is Lithuanian," I wondered. "No one," he replied.

Hourglass Brewing facade

I took these photos on 17 June 2019. I didn't spy a farmhouse nearby.

-----more-----
  • * Švyturys and Utenos, two of the most famous (and largest) breweries in Lithuania, produce beers in the international light lager style (I.L.L.). Since Hourglass bills its beer as a "Lithuanian farmhouse ale," it seems more likely that their yeast was this commercially available yeast sourced from Jovaru Alus, an actual farmhouse brewery in a small town about 120 miles north of the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius.
  • Lars Marius Garshol is a Norwegian beer historian who has done much original source research into Lithuanian farmhouse beers. A lot of what he has discovered he posts to a blog called Larsblog and reveals in his 2014 book, Lithuanian Beer: A Rough Guide.

  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of images posted on Saturdays, and occasionally, but not always, with a good fermentable as the subject.
  • Photo 26 of 52, for year 2019. See it on Flickr: here.
  • Camera: Olympus Pen E-PL1.
    • Lens: Lumix G 20/F1.7
    • Settings: 20 mm | 1/50 | ISO 200 | f/3.2
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

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