There are lots of new beers being brewed around Norway at the moment, and I’m talking about quality micro brews, not new versions of thin summer lagers or low carb mediocrity. But brewing good beers is one thing, getting it to the market is something else. The distribution system for all types of illegal intoxicating substances seems to be doing quite well, at least it seems so if you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Oslo Central Station. But just forget about getting a bottle of Haandbryggeriet Dark Force or the IPA from Ægir.
There is a network of Scandinavian small brewers, who have a yearly gathering, and I think they need to sit down and discuss how to set up a distribution network. But first of all I think they should try to set up a flagship pub in Oslo.
This pub should focus on beers from Norwegian micro breweries, with a rotating selection and a commitment to sell all new beers, provided they have a decent quality. This would not need to be a closed shop, if Mack or Hansa wanted to supply beers from their micro operations, they should be welcome, and guest beers from other countries, primarily our Nordic neighbours, could also fit in.
But, first and foremost, this should be a showcase for the new wave of Norwegian breweries. Nøgne ø and Haandbryggeriet, sure, but also Inderøy, Møllebyen, Ægir and Lillehammer. This place could be used for launching new beers, one could have tastings, this could be an outlet for more experimental beers before deciding on regular production. The brewers could have evenings of presenting their beers, this would be a fine place to bring visitors from near and far.
The location? It would ideally be in walking distance from downtown Oslo. And it would be the total opposite of Lorry, with 100 types of pale lager and no serious interest in beer whatsoever. I’m not sure if having knowledge of what you are serving and being proud of what you can offer is a viable business model in Oslo, but I wish someone would give it a try.
Me? No money, and too fond of beer to be able to spend my evenings on the other side of the bar!