Archive for December, 2008

Christmas reading

It is still Christmas, and if you haven’t read the Beer Nuts wonderful tale  of shame and redemption, it’s about time.

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I will not do any lengthy “year in review” posts, just a few subjective highlights of the beer year, starting here in Norway.

  • Inderøy Gårdsbryggeri have established themselves. They cater for the local market, so their beers are hard to find, but they are definitely worth tracking down.
  • Some of us finally managed to visit Lillehammer Bryggeri, and had a very warm welcome and some splendid beers. Their brews are also only to be found locally.
  • We have visited Haandbryggeriet in Drammen several times, and have had very good discussions with them. Their Rodenback-style Haandbakk has established itself as one of my favourites, but it is not easy to find, either. Look forward to some outstanding brews from them in 2009, they should be available in North America and other export markets, too.
  • Splendid new beers from Ægir and Nøgne ø, too. There are new micros establishing themselves around the country, so there will be. I’m happy to say that the distribution of craft beer has taken large steps this year, and I think the increased visibility in the bar/restaurant market will pay off.

I have a few hopes for 2009:

  • That the legislative work in progress on allowing private import of alcohol will speed up a bit
  • That the government Vinmonopolet stores will start taking beer seriously
  • That there will be adjustments to current regulations making it possible for beer and cider makers to sell their brews to visitors on a limited scale.

I’m afraid none of this will happen.

But I think the range of beers available in bars will continue to increase, expect Carlsberg to enter the high end of the market with imports via their House of Beer concept.

Lillehammer brews

Lillehammer brews

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The new beer year looks promising already. The Mikkeller/BrewDog collaboration will be available – a 12.5% barley wine called Devine Rebel.

Here is the draft label (from the BrewDog blog):

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Sometimes the conveyor belt at the airport seems to be filled with suitcases just like yours. And, admit it, despite the new glasses you are unable to spot the nuances ten meters away.

There are solutions. Retro style stickers that declare your interest in faraway places. Multi-colored string attached to the handle. Buying a suitcase in a day-glow color.

Or you can get your luggage ID handle wrap, showing your preference for your favourite tipple. If we buy enough of those, maybe they will feature various types of beer, too.

On the other hand, this will probably not be the thing to make your bag stand out from the crowd if you are flying to or from Munich during the autumn. But they have other designs.

A Swiss flag showing you’re neutral, a Norwegian flag showing you’re rich or an Icelandic flag to show you’re bankrupt. Or maybe a skull and crossbones?


I found the wraps via the Another passport stamp blog.

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Merry Christmas!

I will be summing up the year later, for now I am running around like a Duracell rabbit. The presents are sent off in all directions, the tree is bought, the pork and turkey and salmon has forced the beers out of the fridge. I see that we still need coffee, milk, carrots and some other bits and pieces, so I’m off again.

I think I have enough beer to get thorugh the holidays, including some Dark Horizon 2, which I really look forward to.

Merry Christmas to all the readers of this blog, thanks for all the feedback, both on the site and though e-mails and even personal meet ups during the year.

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My kind of town

The English town Melton has a novel idea for getting men to do their shopping in the town centre. According to the BBC, the Leicestershire town has offered men a free pint if they do their shopping on its high street. It looks like  you get a voucher in each shop where you buy somethng, so I think this could turn into a quite merry evening.

Before you pack your bags, this offer was only valid on Friday.

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Sad news on the Norwegian scene – the brewing side of  the business at Møllebyen Mikrobryggeri in Moss is closing down. Some time after Christmas, the house brews will be replaced by the usual range from the Antichrist the major player on the Scandinavian field.

I don’t think they have been losing money, but the owners have decided to close down the brewing for economic reasons.

Brewer David has been doing a good job there for several years. The customers have been fairly conservative, so most of the turnover has been lagers and wheat beers, but there have been very tasty seasonals and one offs, and it is sad to see the place go.

It might be that Moss is a bit small to host a brewpub, but there is certainly room for one in Oslo. And David has a good CV, he has been working in various breweries both there in Norway and in the US. Some of you met him at the festival in Copenhagen in September.

But if you want to sample his beers at Møllebyen, you’ll have to head down to Moss as soon as you can. Maybe we should arrange an excursion to make a proper event of it.

David showing how its done at Møllebyen

David showing how it's done at Møllebyen

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