The most established music venue in Oslo is Rockefeller, an old public bath which has been staging concerts and other events for a few decades. It comfortably fits in about a thousand, and, if the guy next to you can keep his mouth shut, the sound and light is superb.
The question is always where to meet up for a beer before the concert. Sure, there are dozens of pubs and bars in the area, but the beer range has not been very impressive.
Problem solved. Just around the corner from the Rockefeller entrance, in what I’m told used to be the shower rooms of the bath, there is a new bar. It is so new they don’t have a sign outside, no web site, hardly a phone number.
In addition to the liquids on offer, they have a game arcade in one of their two rooms. Not fruit machines or other forms of gambling. No, about twenty classic pinball machines as well as a vintage jukebox. All of them were not operative when I popped in, there were a few mechanics still making the last of them ready, doing their magic to produce the classic sounds and colors.
But there is beer, too, lots of it. Draft beer from Haandbryggeriet and Danish micro Svaneke, as well as taps with Old Speckled Hen, Erdinger and Paulaner.
The bottled range has a mix of lagers from faraway places and really good stuff. Smoked beer from Bamberg, Anchor Stream, Duvel, BrewDog. More Danish micros, too. If they top up this with the best of the Norwegian micros, they will have at leas one loyal customer!
The guys behind the counter know their stuff and have their background from Parkteatret and other places with serious beer selections.
A had a glass of Haandbryggeriets new Blondie, a Belgian style ale that is only available on draft in selected bars. Layers of fruit and malt, a hint of yeast. A bit short finish, perhaps, but compared to the industrial lagers that is standard fare in Norway this is great stuff!