Straja - Bottle


Wild-Hopped Ale

Homebrew Series

Named after an early 20th century Romanian song, "Straja" is an homage to my home region of Bucovina. Brewed with wild hops that were hand-picked from that very same region, this beer has been fermented with a potent blend of saison yeast, Lactobacillus, and three Brettanomyces yeast strains, making it about as wild as the bison that once roamed the hills of my homeland.

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  • Last brewedJanuary 1st, 2022
  • Alcohol5.5%
  • MaltsPilsner, Vienna, Munich
  • HopsWild Romanian Hops
  • YeastImperial Yeast Wild & Sour F08 Sour Batch
Straja - Label Design

After discovering wild hops growing in the countryside near my hometown of Suceava, Romania in 2016, I was curious of their variety and what kind of beer I could brew with them. Despite being well past their harvest season, the samples I took went into a first experiment the following year with my "Dust N' Bones" pale ale out of which half was dry-hopped with these, giving it a very interesting piney aroma. The following season I was fortunate enough to have my family's help in harvesting even more wild hops, this time packed and sealed in proper vacuum bags. This was the harvest I used to brew the first batch of "Straja" in early 2018, out of which 25% was dry-hopped and 25% was double dry-hopped. The double dry-hopped one was too grassy, while the single dry-hopped one barely had any extra aromas, so it was the regular batch that made the final cut. Later that year I brewed an entire batch using that same pale ale recipe followed by a few more iterations in the years after, trying to see just how much I could get out of those wild hops. Eventually though I decided to make this a truly wild ale by changing the yeast to a blend of low attenuating Belgian saison yeast, Lactobacillus, and three Brettanomyces yeast strains.

Straja - Pencil DrawingStraja - Ink IllustrationStraja - Digital Print

The Artwork

The concept behind the illustration has been stuck in my head for well over a year until finally being inked on paper. Once a common sight across the plains of Bucovina, this almost extinct bison is the spirit of my homeland and carries with it the weigth of mountains on its ancient back, depicted here by the legendary "Pietrele Doamnei" cliffs of the Rarău Mountains in the Northern Carpathians.

Straja - Labels
Straja - Mountaintop View
Pietrele Doamnei in Rarău • 1,634m
Carpathian Mountains, Romania


This is a homebrewed beer that is not available for sale or distribution of any kind. It was brewed at home in small quantities to be shared only with family and friends simply out of passion for the craft and as a tribute to the music that inspired it.


If you dig the label artwork and would like to get your hands on some merch that features it, then check out the Hopsylvania web shop and snoop around for something you might like. All orders and manufacturing handled by Spreadshirt.

Gear up!
Straja - T-Shirt

Other Beers

Check out some of the other things I brewed that might be similar to this one, or alternatively just explore the full range regardless of their style.

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