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Archive for June 7th, 2010

The Norwegian Brewers had, amid some controversy, a launch of their new web site this afternoon, focusing on both beer, water and soft drinks. Norwegian authorities, namely the Directorate of Health, claim that such a web site is in violation on the ban of promoting alcohol.

Norwegian Brewers dispute this, saying that they have the right to give factual information about their products, especially as long as the wine monopoly promotes wine on their web site. Their new managing director, Petter Nome, is not afraid to speak his mind.

They are, nevertheless, on good speaking terms with some of the people in power. The Minister of Agriculture and Food, Lars Peder Brekk, has, as I have mentioned previously, been very positive to micro breweries. He has called for a revision of the laws, allowing for small scale producers to sell directly to the consumer.

Mr. Brekk was therefore named Årets Ølhund 2010, literally Beer Hound of the Year. In his acceptance speech, he stressed the need to think of beer and food as a whole, often adding a glass of aquavit as well. He was particularly pleased to see micro breweries among the ones gathered for this launch. He claimed not to have found any favourite beer as yet, but hs is still searching for it.

To mark the event, a dozen producers of beer and soft drinks were gathered. I’ll come back to updates on some of them over the next few days.

Petter Nome giving the award to Minister Brekk

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Guests at Olympen

It’s very convenient to have a decent beer bar just a few minutes’ walk from where I work, it means that I have mostly, well, to the extent I hang out in beer bars, been visiting Håndverkerstuene here in Oslo.

But there is still a great restaurant/beer bar, the one that really kicked the Oslo scene into something worth visiting, that’s in the same league, Olympen (or Lompa among friends).

I happened to be in the area recently, after a splendid meal at Oslo Spiseforretning.

Olympen has been running newspaper ads boasting of a broad range of Scandinavian beers, but some of these have been delayed by a strike in the transport sector. No need to worry about that, there are lots of other options in their beer list.

Saison de Lente from new American star the Bruery. Who would dream of getting beers like this around here a few years ago?  Citrus, light malty body. Grapefruit, Some barnyard or stable. Apricots, spices. Lovely, complex beer. Some brett character, but not overpowering.

What else? A fine range of Mikkeller beers, including five of their Single Hop IPA series. I had never tried their Centennial or Tomahawk varieties. Interesting showcases of the hops, none of which would be used alone in an optimal IPA, but here they were allowed to shine in their own right. Someone should have a grand tasting of the whole series.

Pricey? Sure. But when you compare with what they charge you for industrial fizz in more hip places, it is worth every penny.

Saison de Lente

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