November is a time for dark and strong ales – traditional Christmas beers and more experimental craft beers.
There is a historic occasion at Bar & Cigar here in Oslo on Saturday, as they will have a Nøgne ø beer on tap, either Porter or IPA. There will be cask conditioned Ardenne Blond from Haandbryggeriet as well, and for those who prefer lager, they offer Czech Budvar on tap. The address is C.J.Hambros plass 2c, (You have to walk up the stairs.)
On Friday 14 we have the annual Christmas beer festival in Oslo, where you can sample most of the range of both domestic and imported beers. Some of the beers have already arrived in the stores, but this is a fine opportunity to try some of the harder to find imports. The Nøgne ø stand usually attract quite a crowd, I hope they are present this year as usual.
The venue is completely devoid of atmosphere, but if you arrange to meet up with some friends there, you can have a good time. There is even ample seating if you’re not too late.
On 30 November, I have a dilemma. There are two beer festivals in London at the same time, and it is too much of a hassle to fit in both of them. I will be landing at Heathrow at about noon, and one of the festivals is actually just a short bus ride away, the Heathrow beer festival. Around 30 British cask ales, and some of them fairly obscure.
The alternative is at the White Horse in Parson’s Green, West London. They are having their Old Ale festival, it is actually the 26th of its kind. While Lars Marius, Stine and I had some mixed experiences two years ago – we switched to bottled beers after the waitress was able to keep track of which beers she was serving, they offer temptations like cask versions of Meantime beers (Coffee Porter, WinterTime and Old Smoked Bock). Add Sierra Nevada Chico IPA in cask, Brew Dog beer and Belgian seasonals, I think we have a winner. The question is mostly which beers will be left on Sunday after two days of the festival.
Looking further ahead, I’ve been asked to pass the word about The Celtic Rally Beer Festival, which will feature 150 real ales.
This takes place in Cornwall, England, 1-4 May. There is on site camping, there is live music from a broad range of bands, there are vintage cars and bikes, fireworks and laser shows. Looks family friendly, too.
What else? Nøgne ø’s Dark Horizon II is out now. I found it a bit rough whan I sampled it at the Copenhagen beer festival, so I really look forward to a proper taste now. It costs a fortune, though!