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Archive for March, 2010

The Mikkeller bar

The address is public now, it’s in Viktoriagade 8. Halfway between the Central Station and Hotel Sct Thomas.

15 beers on tap.

Closed for renovation, opening 29 April, in time for the festival.

Beerticker.dk even has the Google Street view.

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There are brewpubs popping up in various parts of Norway now, some in quite small communities, and I suppose there is more passion than profit involved in most of these places. If you just what to brew to sell for consumption on the premises, the paperwork is not too much of a hassle.

There is, however, a special application now being scrutinized in the Ministry of Health. An application to start a micro brewery in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

There is a law, passed on 29 May 1928, banning the production of alcoholic beverages in Svalbard. There is a loophole, though:

The King may, to the extent and on conditions he might decide, make exemptions to this ban.

The King in this context means the Ministry. The King will probably make up his mind some time this summer.

And if the King approves, the beers will hopefully be moderately priced. There are low taxes up there, the important thing will be to ship in the ingredients before the fjord freezes.

You’d still to finance your plane fare up there, though. If you have bonus miles, it is the place to go!

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I’m usually busy with meetings of the European kind plus beer when I happen to be in Brussels. Next time, though, I intend to visit the new Magritte Museum.

From their web site:

As well as imaginative sandwiches for those most pressed for time, visitors can also choose from a range of soups, Belgian chips served in paper cones, Italian pasta, a genuine Belgian steak and chips plus a selection of salads prepared to order and assembled in front of each customer by hand (wearing gloves!).

They say nothing about the beer list. Maybe you have to wear a scarf for that?

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While I am lazy busy doing other things doing whatever I might be doing instead of blogging, there are other places to go. the reluctant Scooper has started a Hops A-Z series on his blog.

Or you could go have a beer. The sun is back.

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A lovely poster this year, isn’t it?

You can order copies to promote the event in your home town -probably limited to Scandinavia.

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The other story about beer in Norway is connected to Hurtigruten, what used to be the coastal steamer along the Western coast of Norway, now a fleet of cruise ships doing the Bergen-Kirkenes round trip in two weeks. These ships are filled with well heeled tourists during the summer season, enjoying the fjords, the coastline and the towns.

The restaurants on board take pride in presenting the best of national cuisine, which includes buying supplies from companies along the route.

According to the newspaper Dagbladet, they have provoked Norwegian producers of fruit wine by a recent press release, stating that « Hurtigruten wants to serve the best of Norway to our guests,  including both travel and taste. Without any Norwegian wine production, we had to go abroad to find wines that are appropriate for the most beautiful voyage in the world..»

I won’t go into the polemics concerning the fruit wines on offer, I have not tasted the products in question and cannot say if they are more than a novelty than a serious alternative to wines made from grapes . What caught my eye was a comment from the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Lars Peder Brekk:

– It’s great that Hurtigruten say they will serve the best of Norway. They ought to present Norwegian alcohol products for foreign tourists. In addition to the cider and wine producers we have several outstanding Norwegian micro breweries.

I don’t think any member of His Majesty’s Government has mentioned micro breweries in an official capacity. Ever. So full credit to Mr. Brekk.

And I think I know one area where the reborn Norwegian Brewers association should focus – Hurtigruten, the ferries to Norway and the hotels who claim to take pride in Norwegian cooking with domestic ingredients. I don’t think they will have problems getting press coverage, either.

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Going to the beer festival in Copenhagen? So you thought the rather short opening hours of the festival meant you had some time to stroll along in the city, visit the Little Mermaid, visit the National Museum of Arts….

Nope.

 Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, yes, that’s the Mikkel of Mikkeller fame, will open a beer bar. In Copenhagen. In early May. Obviously the Mikkeller beers, including rarities, will be prominently featured, but there will also be beers from his friends in the business: Scottish

BrewDog, Dutch Brouwerij de Molen, norske Nøgne Ø and Belgian De Struise Brouwers and De Dolle Brouwers.  And American beers. And lambic on tap.

The precise opening date is not clear. The address is not public, either. But it will be on Vesterbro. Good thing I booked a room at Sct Thomas for the festival, then.

All this, except the hotel information, is stolen from beerticker.dk

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