Norway being as it is, I have to go abroad for beer. Luckily there are several opportunities if you live in Oslo, and in the Summer season the ferries to Denmark are worth considering. If you have time and some money, you can take the Copenhagen ferry, if you want to do it more cheaply, you cross over to Frederikshavn in Northern Jutland. You embark in Oslo in the evening, arrive in Denmark the next morning, stay for a few hours before going back.
Which is exactly what I did last weekend. I went on board on Friday evening and went fairly early to bed. The beer selection and my fellow passengers did not entice me to do much partying. This meant that I was relaxed and well prepared for a round of the most interesting supermarkets is search for Danish micro beers.
The town of Frederikshavn has a fair share of Summer tourists both from Scandinavia and Germany, but they seem to profit more from the border trade with Norway and Sweden. In the morning they serve the Norwegian passengers, later on the Swedes arrive, as Gothenburg is only a few hours away by high speed boats. Most of them go for cheap Danish pork and cheese plus discount wine and spirits, but the beer range in some of the shops shows me that there is a market for that, too.
The most interesting beer range in town is in Mahlers Vinhandel, a wine shop in the street leading up from the harbour, so you don’t have to carry your haul too far. I managed to pick a dozen interesting Danish beers, despite some of them being a bit too expensive. There are several micros brewing in the region, one on the island of Læsø, one ut on the Northernmost tip of continental Europe, in Skagen.
Back on the ferry I poured myself a walnut beer from the Ærø brewery. This was an interesting beer, giving a nutty and quite bitter dimension on top af a bock-like bottom fermented beer. The bitterness is more pronounced than the nuttiness, butthe walnut flavour is clearly there in the finish. Full mouth feel, not much carbonation. More of a winter than a summer beer, perhaps, I reasoned before nodding off on a bench on the sun deck in the glorious weather.
I arrived home a nice tan, and the customs people seemed to look for stronger stuff than Danish ales as usual. But either my back or my backpack will break if I keep filling it up with bottles.