Genys stands for woodpecker in Lithuanian. In Kaunas, it also stands for a microbrewery that literally opened its doors a few months ago. The beer has been in the market for a little longer and has already proved itself as a quality product. You can taste a few different beers by Genys Brewing Co. in various pubs, bars and cafes in Kaunas and Lithuania.
This is the logo you should be looking for
On June 17th, the brewers are holding the first Craft Beer Day – in their brand-new brewery, of course! The event will be visited by a bunch of local and foreign brewers that believe quality always stands first and like to share their philosophy with the world. We sat down with Laurynas Lisauskas, one of the team members of Genys Brewing Co., to find out what’s brewing.
How’s the newest brewery in town doing?
Growing fast! No beginning is an easy one but we’re already past the initial phase and the smiles have returned to our faces. We do believe in the craft beer revolution and the signs are showing it’s around the corner. People are showing more and more interest in bolder tastes, natural materials and beer with character. It’s obvious when barhopping – pubs tend to offer the production of contemporary independent breweries much more often than before.
The brewery is located in a former war machine factory in Šančiai.
You’re based in Šančiai, a neighbourhood in Kaunas with a very interesting and colourful history. How do you like it there?
It’s a pretty rare choice for a brewery to be based in a city. We’d like to call ourselves the cultivators of urban beer culture so it was our first choice, really.
Šančiai, especially the lower part, is like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Renewed streets, lots of artists and young people moving in, businesses of all sizes – it seems that Šančiai are becoming a modern and innovative district of Kaunas. We’ve met loads of very interesting people. Our favourite lunch spot is Toto Bistro on Drobės street – definitely recommending that one!
A mural in Šančiai commisioned by NYKOKA Street Art Festival
Do you believe Kaunas can become the capital of craft beer in Lithuania or even the Baltic region?
We believe we are certainly adding up to the expectation. We’re young and new but we’ve received a lot of compliments from both beer lovers and professionals of the industry. Kaunas will be associated with innovative craft beer as soon as we start exporting. We’ll make sure everyone knows it’s a great spot for a weekend getaway, too. A lot still needs to be done, of course, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
A bright interior detail of Genys Brewing Co.
What sorts of compliments have you received from foreign beer lovers?
It starts with the pronunciation that can be very close to ‘genius’! On a more serious note, I just spoke to a Californian US army official who said Genys is a great example of craft beer which he always recommends to his visiting colleagues. A wine sommelier from London dropped by last week. He loved he Tattoo Lager and Baltas Melas Witbier.
Laurynas Lisauskas and Jonas Miežys
Tell us more about the Craft Beer Day. Who’s in?
It will be the first craft beer micro festival in Lithuania, to begin with. There have been similar events but we’re offering a new format and a unique location. The tickets are all inclusive which means the visitors will be able to try everything on display (more than 100 beers, in fact) and participate in tastings hosted by brewers. It’ll all be happening in our brewery which a lot of people haven’t had the chance to visit yet. They’ll get to keep the tasting glasses, too.
We looked at the new trends in brewing when choosing the participants. There’ll be no industry-sized factories and no traditional folk beer in our event. We’ve invited the most interesting young indie breweries in Lithuania (Black Light Brewing, Kuro Aparatūra, Sakiškių alus and us) and their colleagues from Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. We call the event a micro festival as only 10 breweries are trending. But, hey, less is more, and who would even want to try more than 10 in one day?!
What else is on the menu?
Street food and music, of course! And a lot of amazing stories.