Džion Borna – boiled mash samogitian ale

Just quite a few have really ever heard of real Samogitian beer. Some, perhaps, might’ve tried “trakalis” made from toasted black bread and sugar, however, not everyone knows that the real malt beer has been brewed in Samogitia (an ethnic region in Northern Lithuania) just recently.

The process of malt beer brewing has been recorded by ethnologist A. Vaitiekūnas in Samogitia in 1935. Concerned about preservation of the authentic beer brewing traditions, the researcher describes in detail the process of genuine Samogitian beer brewing. The process itself is practically not much different from the one that has been used in Northern Lithuania, however, it is unique for one very important factor, since the mash for this beer is boiled for a good half hour at the end of steeping and only then the beer wort is lautered. More than that, it is very peculiar and intriguing, since such a rather strange way of beer brewing is also known in Norway’s Telemark region and in the Trodheim area. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, or perhaps, that tradition has been passed upon since the very Age of Vikings. Such ideas really did encourage us to revive this ancient Samogitian way of beer brewing. For the sake of experiment, we chose the usual basic malt of wheat and barley, and just to make the beer much tastier, we added a pleasant decoction of juniper branches; also, the way it was supposed to be in Samogitian manner, the mash was brought to boiling and we kept it brewing for half an hour. To a total surprise, this experiment has really paid off and the lush body of our beer came out certainly in no way inferior to German hefeweizen: The juniper aroma intertwines delightfully with the fruity, banana , and clove flavors typical to wheat beer.  Thus, in a way to confirm the Samogitian origin of this beer, we’ve named it after Samogitian occasional greeting – “Džion Borna!“ (Jyon Borrna) – “Mouth’s Drying!”.