I had other plans last Saturday. The morning was spent trying to tidy the apartment recently well, as there will be a photographer coming in today. I had planned an overnight trip with my eldest from Saturday to Sunday. But then I suddenly had something else to squeeze in.
I opened my e-mail to see if there was anything urgent, and there was an invite from Amund at Håndverkerstuene. It was their last day before closing for the summer, and they had not one, but two special treats.
Nøgne Ø Pilsener and Nøgne Ø # 500. Both on tap.
So, when I opened the door at about six, the bar stools were filled with friends and acquaintances. Sebastian behind the bar gave me compliments for my Dugges t-shirt and Amund immediately poured a glass of each of the two specials.
Nøgne Ø runs a summer restaurant in a harbour on the Southern coast of Norway, not far from the brewery. Correction (thanks Erik): They deliver beer to a summer restaurant not far from the brewery. Pils is the tipple most of the customers want, so they decided to brew their own, competing with the also local Arendals Pils. A few kegs are turning up elsewhere, luckily one of them in Oslo.
It has a full malty body, moderate carbonation. Well hopped, but not excessively so. Herbs, grass and flowers. Lots of flavour. Personally I would prefer a cleaner, crisper beer, but this could really appeal to the broader market they are aiming for.
# 500 is an Imperial IPA, no less. Glowing brown. This is raw hop juice, mint, herbs, white pepper. A solid malty body underneath giving a kind of balance. Lovely when it is fresh, I wonder how this will develop if you give ti a few years in the cellar? There is lots of malty sweetness underneath which might come more to the front when the hops mellow a bit.
I had to make my excuses, even if I’d love a second round. Wishing everyone a lovely summer I went back out in sunny Oslo.