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Archive for March, 2010

Spot on!

Today I just want to applaud the following paragraph from The Pub Curmudgeon:

And I continue to believe that if a beer is to be produced and sold in bottle-conditioned form, it needs to show evidence of having actually enjoyed a secondary fermentation in the bottle. It should have a dense head and obvious natural carbonation, whereas all too many supposedly bottle-conditioned British ales nowadays just seem to be a bottle of rather flat beer with some gunk in the bottom. Duvel is an excellent example of how it should be done.

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From the breweries in Oslo. 1936.

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Recent Norwegian figure show that the attitude of the Norwegian alcohol monopoly Vinmonopolet towards beer is of vital importance. In January this year they has a special focus on beer, adding a fine range of domestic and imported beers to their range, giving them prominent shelf space and even a writeup in their in store magazine.

With a ban on all advertising of alcohol, this gives results. Sales of beer in Vinmonopolet were up 43 per cent from January last year to January this year, and this trend has continues in February.

These figures are from one of the biggest dailies, Aftenposten, who found  this interesting enough to do a two page spread yesterday. Let’s hope this is the beginning of more beer journalism.

The statistics show that the Christmas beers are dominating the market for stronger beers, but if the current trend continues, we will see more craft beer on the list for 2010.

One thing puzzles me: Why does Singha Lager feature so prominently on the list?

They have also included a table once again showing the price differences between Norway and Sweden.  I won’t go into that again today.

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Funny name for a new brewery, a micro run by the Meantime brewery.

But it’s certainly in a historic location. The Royal Naval College, Greenwich. londonist has photos. And the Old Brewery has a web site of its own, too.

There is no longer a Queen Mother to pour the first pint, but they seemed to be happy enough to have Boris do the honours.

A return visit to Greenwich the next time I’m in London, then. I don’t mind that at all.

Meantime van

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An old freind of mine, who’d like to be known as The Scots-Irish tippler, har promised to do the occational post for my blog. Here is the first contribution:

The Royal Hotel in Blairgowrie, just north of Perth, has a guest beer policy with a regular change of one tap to a smaller Scottish beer. No doubt a welcome change to Tennants, Carling and McEwans.  The most recent one on tap was PERTH 800 ALE, celebrating 800 years of Perth’s Royal Charter, presented in 1210 by William the Lion, and confirming Perth as a Royal Burgh.  The claim for the beer is as a Traditional Scots’80/- deep amber ale with a rich malty palette and a gentle bittering finish.  It doesn’t mention just how smooth this is; malty certainly, and with the sweet just cut by the bitter to leave a lingering after-taste that is not at all unpleasant.

PERTH 800 ALE is a product of the Inveralmond Brewery which you can find at www.inveralmond-brewery.co.uk and for up to date news check http://www.inveralmondbrewhousenews.blogspot.com/ and some musings by the head brewer at http://www.mashtunmusings.blogspot.com/  The Scots-Irish Tippler is not a big beer drinker, more tippler than connoisseur, and knows what he likes. On a five star rating, this one gets a four and a bit.

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Haukur has a comprehensive post. And I have booked tickets.

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Adrian Tierney-Jones writes about CAMRA’s dilemma at his Called to the Bar blog. He sums up the present British beer scene brilliantly:

Keg isn’t the devil, it’s bad keg that’s the frightener.

Go over there and read!

As long as the beer is good!

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The Mikkeller bar

The address is public now, it’s in Viktoriagade 8. Halfway between the Central Station and Hotel Sct Thomas.

15 beers on tap.

Closed for renovation, opening 29 April, in time for the festival.

Beerticker.dk even has the Google Street view.

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There are brewpubs popping up in various parts of Norway now, some in quite small communities, and I suppose there is more passion than profit involved in most of these places. If you just what to brew to sell for consumption on the premises, the paperwork is not too much of a hassle.

There is, however, a special application now being scrutinized in the Ministry of Health. An application to start a micro brewery in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

There is a law, passed on 29 May 1928, banning the production of alcoholic beverages in Svalbard. There is a loophole, though:

The King may, to the extent and on conditions he might decide, make exemptions to this ban.

The King in this context means the Ministry. The King will probably make up his mind some time this summer.

And if the King approves, the beers will hopefully be moderately priced. There are low taxes up there, the important thing will be to ship in the ingredients before the fjord freezes.

You’d still to finance your plane fare up there, though. If you have bonus miles, it is the place to go!

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I’m usually busy with meetings of the European kind plus beer when I happen to be in Brussels. Next time, though, I intend to visit the new Magritte Museum.

From their web site:

As well as imaginative sandwiches for those most pressed for time, visitors can also choose from a range of soups, Belgian chips served in paper cones, Italian pasta, a genuine Belgian steak and chips plus a selection of salads prepared to order and assembled in front of each customer by hand (wearing gloves!).

They say nothing about the beer list. Maybe you have to wear a scarf for that?

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