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.