I have written about this concept earlier – the long term plan is to start brewing, but there are some logistics meaning this is not happening for a year or two. This establishment is just a few minutes walk from Schouskjelleren, and it is more or less next door to some of the other parts of the Jan Vardøen restaurant empire.
It’s a nice place with a central seating area as well as a few tables and stools on a mezzanine where the bar is. The beer list is at a blackboard at the far end of the room, while close tot he bar there are no signs of what is on offer. The selection is not that inventive. A specially brewed steamer from Haandbryggeriet, a single hop IPA from Nøgne Ø. The rest are mostly boring macros, nothing daring in this range at all. There is no list of bottles available, but I expect one fairly soon.
As I arrive, there are problems with the beer engines. The valves in their fake hand pumps are giving them trouble, and there are several brewery representatives working to sort this out.
Five on a Friday afternoon it is almost full, I can only envisage how it must look at midnight.
This is also a place for eating. It’s not fine dining, but you can have oysters, fish and chips, sausges, home cooked crisps or Scotch eggs.
With the beer pumps not being very helpful and a slightly chaotic system for ordering food, there are lines of people trying to order drinks.
Sure, this is a welcome addition to the Oslo beer scene, and is seems quite successful already. On the other hand, I think they might have slightly wrong ambitions.
I’d reconsider the offering of fried food. If the waiters have to fight their way through the crowd to serve the food before it gets too cold, it is perhaps not the way to do it. Perhaps serving cold plates of cured meat, a selection of cheese or salads could be alternatives?
They should, however, be more ambitious about the beers. More Scandinavian micros instead of the global names, one rotating beer that could be more challenging, be it a Belgian sour ale, a monster from Mikkeller or a German smoked beer.
But the more the merrier, and I fully understand that there is a need for beer places that appeal to other market segments than grumpy old men like me.