There are things happening in Oslo. As I wrote recently, there is a need to educate both bar staff and drinkers. Until recently this was not a problem at all, a we couldn’t get anything more exotic than stout from St. James’ Gate.
Looks like the breweries have had some capacity for domestic marketing. I am primarily talking about Nøgne ø, Haandbryggeriet and Små Vesen. Their beers are now available at a number of hand picked bars around Oslo. Nøgne ø and Små Vesen are even installing beer engines in some places, and Haandbryggeriets wheat beer is available on cask.
Having craft beer on tap is probably not a brilliant business plan in itself at the moment, particularly not for the breweries, who will have to do things by hand. But it is a great way to profile your brewery and your beers, so I hope it will give dividends in the long run.
As for us beer drinkers, we now see the outlines of the promised land. Come January, I think I’ll organize a pub crawl in Central Oslo, focusing on craft beer. Three bars are on my list so far: Bar & Cigar, Parkteatret and Olympen.
Bar & Cigar are having beer events and offer both Nøgne ø and Haandbryggeriet beers on tap. Their fridge has a nice range of domestic and import beers.
Parkteatret has a craft beer list prominently displayed, and the prices are very fair compared to the state monopoly stores.
Olympen had the lovely Ægir Christmas brew yesterday, and I was happy to see people drinking craft beers during my brief stay. They have decent prices, too.
(Sorry about the photos – both taken by my mobile phone!)