Norsk Kornølfestival is the only festival (as far as we know) that is dedicated to traditional farmhouse ale.
The beginning of the festival was in 2015 when William Holden decided there needed to be a festival for the traditional farmhouse ale. He thought right place for it had to be Hornindal, since Hornindal is a major centre for the traditional brewing in north-western Norway.
William started a Non-profit organization for the festival and recruited a board for the organization to help him arrange the festival. He chaired the board himself, and did most of the organization.
The first festival was held in 2016, and was relatively small. The demonstration brew in the hall was a local kornøl, demonstrated by Ståle Raftevold and Lars Andreas Tomasgård. There were only 10 home brewers, but a decent number of attendees, and the festival actually made a small profit. That gave the board confidence enough to try again.
The second festival was in 2017, and this time the profit from 2016 was used to invite Richard Preiss to talk about his kveik research, and Martyn Cornell to blog about it, in order to spread the word abroad. One demonstration brew was a stone beer, brewed by Simonas Gutautas and Vykintas Motuza from Lithuania. Another was a stjørdalsøl brewed by Jørund Geving, who showed how to use an old laundry machine to do a long, circulating mash.
Outside the festival there was even a demonstration of stjørdal-style malt drying, with a såinn custom-built for the festival.
The third festival was in 2018, and was the largest one yet in terms of the number of attendees and home brewers. The demonstration brew was a keptinis, brewed by Simonas Gutautas and Ričardas Počius from Lithuania.
About a month after the festival William Holden died of cancer, prompting some changes in the festival board. The board decided to carry on the festival without William
The festival is a non-profit organization, so any profit from a year’s festival is used to arrange the next year’s festival. The board is unpaid, but the members have some of their expenses covered.
Amund Polden Arnesen
Amund is the head brewer at Eik og Tid in Oslo. He is the festival’s accountant, and handles everything to do with money.
Lars Marius Garshol
Lars Marius took over as chair after William. He has written a little about this decision on his blog.
Eirik is a software engineer living in Ørsta, near Hornindal. He joined the board in 2019, and is responsible for the kitchen serving food at the festival.
Gard Severin Mek
Gard is William Holden’s brother. He lives in Ålesund and handles accomodation, the volunteers, and many other odd jobs.
Ståle works in the offshore oil industry. He lives in Hornindal, where he’s brewed traditional kornøl for several decades. (He’s the brother of Terje Raftevold.) Ståle takes care of setting up the hall for the festival and cleaning up the mess afterwards, as well as innumerable other tasks best handled by a local.
Roar is a freshwater biologist by day, and helps the festival with communications with the commercial breweries and much else. Roar is a farmhouse brewer and maltster in Stjørdal.
Stig comes from Hornindal, and has brewed kornøl since he was old enough to do it. He’s best known as the original owner of kveik #22 Stalljen. He joined the board in 2018, and helps Ståle with local tasks. He’s also responsible for the brewing demonstration held before and after the festival.