Lervig, Farmhouse IPA
Norway probably has Europe’s most restrictive alcohol sales laws and it is despite this that Lervig Aktiebryggeri have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with amongst the nordic beer scene. If not world-wide.
Originally from Philadelphia, Lervig brewmaster Mike Murphy is responsible for their direction (and tripled sales) since 2010. We’re going to let Mike tell the rest of the story.
“Lervig was born out of protest for Ringnes (aka Carlsberg) buying our little town’s once thriving brewery and closing it down only to produce it 800km away and sending the profits abroad and selling it as the town’s ‘local’ beer. In 2003 the locals got together and decided to make a new brewery to replace the loss. But, due to a hard fought battle and competition, the brewery struggled as a Pilsner brewer.
In 2010, I [Mike] stepped in as the current brewmaster and proceeded to turn our focus from Pilsner to craft beer. Six years later we are growing into a large (for Scandinavia) craft brewery, yet we remain completely independent from corporate overlords and want to keep it that way. We are producing everything from pilsner- session beers, IPAs, Imperial stouts, sours and Barrel aged Barley wines. We like to keep an open mind and eye to what’s going on in the market beyond Scandinavia. We export to many places around the world and we like to maintain a balance between our local beers that don’t travel so well and big beers that grab attention. One of those being our Collab with Magic Rock.
Rich, Stu [Magic Rock founders] and I have met a few times in Spain and again in Norway at some festivals and developed a liking. They make great beers and they are great guys! So naturally I invited them to come make a beer with us. Rich and Stu wanted to make a farmhouse IPA. We put our minds together and came up with our version which if you ask me is one of my favorite beers we produce still today. Not many collabs get brewed more than one time I think I’m up to the 10th brew already on this one people keep asking for it and I am happy to make it. Rich hasn’t minded that we do and use their name on the label so we do it!
The beer itself is a simple recipe with light base malts a touch of Special B and Melanoidin malt, lots of late addition hops (Citra and Centennial) the blend of Saison yeast and Brett give it the funk. At first it’s quite IPA but over time it evolves into a beautiful and complex yet super drinkable beer which has both the bitterness, some hop character and spiciness from the brett . It’s the only IPA that gets better with time!”