Great title. Great cover. Check out her web site (though I cannot see any beer there!)
Archive for April, 2010
I first saw James Watt just a few months after they had started BrewDog. They brought along some unlabeled bottles to a ratebeer gathering in Glasgow, and, thanks to their present London sales rep Tom, they had some of their beers on cask at the Blackfriars for the event.
The rest is, of course, history. Cunning marketing, strong salesmanship, supernatural ability to make newspaper headlines – and a long line of great beers.
Which leads to sell out houses at beer tastings, a phenomenon we’ve never seen around here before.
James visited Håndverkerstuene earlier this week, which was only one of the stops on a tour of Norway. And James delivers. He has developed his presentation to an hour of excellent entertainment. A representative range of their beers with tasting notes, a number of anecdotes and jokes, ending up with samples of Sink the Bismarck!, their latest freeze distilled super strength beer, which was the world’s strongest the last time I checked.
The last time he was in Oslo, the audience was mostly people from the restaurant industry, some of which seemed fairly bored. Now it’s getting to be more like a religious revival, or, perhaps a better cliché, a rock star on tour.
I think there are more Meet the Brewer events to come here in Norway. Another sign that the market has mutated into something bigger and more sophisticated.
And how was the Bismarck!? I think you should find out for yourself. Rumour is there will be a few bottles for sale at Vinmonopolet. At 600 kroner or so.
Thanks to Lars Marius for the photos.
Arriving in Norway next week:
Southern Tier IPA, Gemini
Captain Lawrence Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA
Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, Bam Noire, La Roja, Oro de Calabaza
The Bruery Saison de Lente
Lost Abbey Angels’ Share
Ale Smith Horney Devil, Yule Smith
Shortly arriving from Italy:
Birrificio Italiano Bik Bok, Amber shok, Cassissona, Vudu
Unfortunate events led to a visit to Trondheim earlier this week, which meant a 1000 kilometer drive. I managed, however, to find a little time to pop in at Den Gode Nabo, by far the best beer pub in that part of the country. Located in one of the old riverside warehouses, it seems to be doing a brisk business while taking pride in its broad range of national craft beers and imports from around the globe. I won’t estimate the number of beers available, but there should be something for everyone. There will be a change of management in the near future, let’s hope they will keep up the good work.
So. Haandbryggeriet Norse Porter is draft beer of the month, there is a long range of Nøgne Ø bottles, De Molen, BrewDog, even a few of the Japanese beers Nøgne Ø imported in limited quantities earlier this year.
The reason I had fitted in a visit was that the brewer of the new Kinn brewery on the West coast had planned an appearance to launch his new Vestland IPA. Well, due to the volcanic ashes swirling around, neither the brewer nor the beer were present. But there were compensations. Two of them to be exact.
Two Kinn beers were available on hand pump, a stout and a brown ale.
The stout, Svart Hav, has a fine aroma of ashes and soot, with a little sourness. Easy drinking, fairly light. Very decent stout, but not really outstanding.
Sjelefred, the brown ale, was probably my most pleasant beer surprise this year. A hint of smoke, prunes, sweet malt, a little yeast, some pleasant sourness. Fruity, grassy hops, a fine bitterness in the finish.
I believe the Kinn beers will be available in bottles soon, they are well worth seeking out. With beer of this quality, I would expect Kinn brews to be available in the better bars in Oslo as soon as they have the capacity.