Archive for March, 2009

I’ve never heard about Aussie rules football, and I don’t intend to go deeper into the matter, either. (Feel fre to comment on the post if you’re dying to share information on the topic!)

This photo shows that the main focus is not on a round (or oval) ball, but on the refreshements connected to the event. I don’t think we are talking about enjoying quality brews in moderation here.

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Beer coverage in the New York Times again, this time it’s New Orleans breweries in focus. They call it the once — and possibly future — beer town of the South.

I like the no nonsense approach of the article. This is not beer as an afterthought: Visitors come for a number of things that the city does like nowhere else: the music, the food, the architecture. I, however, was in town with just one thing in mind — beer.

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Norwegian maverick brewery Nøgne ø will be the first in Europe to start brewing sake. There have been rumours before, but now it’s official. They will use Italian rice for this.

Brewer Kjetil Jikiun says to nrk.no that they will consider to start growing rice in Norway for their sake production. Sure. There are readers (and journalists) who will believe anything.

If they make limited releases of sake, I’m sure the beer geek market will pay handsome prices for the bottles.

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Norwegian micro Ægir – named after the brewer of the Norse Gods, has an excellent writeup in the Dagbladet newspaper today. Available online, too, and the photos are even better in the web version.

The coverage is enthusiastic, and the journalist seems to have gotten the facts right, too. Looks like he spent some time on the web researching.

I really hope to make a visit to Flåm this year. While Evan’s beers are avaialble bottled, I’d like to try them on the spot – on tap.

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A new alliance of regional brewers has been formed with the long-term aim of funding a generic marketing campaign for cask beer, according to the Publican.

They have picked the rather cumbersome name Why Handpull? Marketing Group, and include marketing staff from Wells & Young’s, Greene King, Fuller’s, Marston’s and Caledonian.

One can always discuss the merits of the beers from some of these breweries compared to the smaller ones on the British market, but I find such an initiative a valuable contribution to a noble cause.

The photo is from Ye Olde Mitre, one of my favourite London pubs, which has just been aquired by Fuller’s. Let’s hope they let them continue their guest beer policy.

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Educating the palate

Some of my drinking buddies are qualifying as beer judges in order to assist in homebrewing competitions. It is probably a good idea for me to do this as well, maybe I can expand my vocabulary a bit when I am writing about beer.

tasting-beerThere is a new book coming up that hopefully can help us along, too, Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher.

I haven’t seen anything but the promotional material over at amazon, so I cannot vouch for the quality as yet. The book is out in the US already, the British edition is due in a month or so. I think I will be ordering a copy. Anyone had a closer look?

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Ølbutikken in Copenhagen, one of the best beer shops on the planet, has four new Mikkeller beers on sale:

  • Funky (e) Star – their Easter beer.
  • Drikkeriget DIPA – A double IPA.
  • Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA –  beer number four in their single hop series.
  • Oatgoop – a colloboration with  Three Floyds, which they call an oatwine .
Funky Easter

Funky Easter

What else? Cantillon Blåbær Lambik 2009.

And a dozen premium American beers. Southern Tier, Lost Abbey, Alesmith….

One of each, please. When private import of beer is legalized later this year, we’ll have to convince Ølbutikken to do mail order!

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The Norwegian daily Dagsavisen reports that the major Norwegian breweries see a dramatic fall in their turnover. In January and February this year they sold three milllion liters less than the same period last year, and the trend continues in March.

Spokesmen for the industry are praying for a hot summer, and mention several factos affecting thir sales:

  • Consumers are switching to cheaper, supermarket label beers
  • They travel less and eat less in restaurants
  • The opening hours for bars and nightclubs have been restricted in a number of towns.
  • Young people (what the industry calls first time drinkers) tend to go for wine and sweet drinks.

I don’t have any figures for the most important micros, Haandbryggeriet and Nøgne ø. They export most of their production, and I suppose they are more vulnerable to what happens in Denmark rather than at home.

No rush for the chairs in Bergen

No rush for the chairs in Bergen

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Danish Easter

Two, well, enthusiasts, from the Danish Beer Enthusiasts, the people who gave us the European Beer Festival, have tested ten Danish Easter beers for the daily Politiken.

The best beers are from Ørbæk and newcomer BeerHere, while Ølfabrikken and Nørrebro also have decent scores. At the bottom of the list? The Tuborg Easter brew.

Somebody said that the Nørrebro bar in the arrival hall of Copenhagen airport has closed, but I haven’t checked myself. I hate airports that give one beer brand a monopoly….

Another good beer from Nørrebro

Another good beer from Nørrebro

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Farmers’ market

Farmers market, Trondheim

Farmers' market, Trondheim

We flew up to Trondheim last weekend, but, as there were family festivities, there was no time for beer drinking. We went into town on Saturday lunchtime and had a look at the farmers’ market, with lots of interesting stuff from the region. Cheese, bread, herring, salmon. Lemonade and cakes, reindeer meat, wild boar sausages. Pickles and preserves. Honey and jam.

It’s the same around the globe, I suppose. In season it would be filled with fruit and vegs.

I’m very pleased that they have managed to revive this tradition in the nick of time 97& of the food we eat in Norway is sold through four chains who are laughing all the way to the bank.

But what was missing at the farmers’ market to supplement the food was beer and ciders  from farmhouse producers. Would it be too much to ask that beer could be legally sold in setting like these? Probably. It would lead our children into ruin and all that. Sorry I asked.

The beer is missing

The beer is missing

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