Archive for September, 2010

Sometimes I read something, usually in an ad or a press release, that makes me wonder if I’m really on the same planet as those guys. Like this, an ad from the newsletter of the British trade paper the Morning Advertiser:

Excitement is mounting throughout the drinks trade as the thrilling climax of the 2010 Stella Artois UK Draught Master approaches. Twenty of the UK’s best bar staff will be displaying their dispense skills using the iconic chalice branded glass when the Draught Master is staged in London on October 13. The eagerly-awaited event – the ultimate test of bar dispense and presentation skills – underlines the renowned brewing heritage and unrivalled product quality of Stella Artois.

Actually, it is hard to know if it is intended as an ad or an article. Either way, it is useful to know where I won’t be on October 13. And remeber, as all crap, it is 100% compostable.

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I know it’s the cask ale festival at Håndverkerstuene this weekend, but if you still have some time to spare, the terrace at Olympen is the best place to drink craft beer outdoors in Oslo. 

A fine selection of Norwegian and Danish micro brews some of them special imports, and food as well. 

I don’t know how long they intend to stay open this season – probably depending on weather and temperature. 

Al fresco at Olympen

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Enjoying the Aquavit Porter

Grünerløkka Brygghus will open early next month, if everything goes to plan. This will mean a welcome addition to the Grünerløkka scene, a lively area in Oslo where there are quite a few watering holes, but few really dedicated to beer.

The name implies that they will be brewing themselves, but that is still a year or two away. For the time being, there will be contract brewed beers from Haandbryggeriet and Nøgne Ø as well as other domestic and imported craft beers.

Beery food, too, like home made Scotch eggs, sausages and Cornish pasties.

They held an outdoor festival the other week, giving a taste of things to come. If this is an indication of their beer and food range, we have something to look forward to. Superb beers from Haandbryggeriet – their Hesjeøl on tap and a new batch of Aquavit Porter. An excellent Altbier and a hoppy Harvest Ale from Ægir. Home cooked, upmarket pub grub, by far the best Scotch egg I’ve tasted, and the fennel sausages with real sauerkraut were also worth a detour.

Evan from Ægir promoting his beers

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Beery gift

Having a reputation as a beer geek sometimes leads to pleasant surprises. While in Rome, we met up with ours friends Kari and Rolf, who had rented a car in Bologna and were driving the length of Italy. They had spent a week in Tuscany on their way down, and there they found two bottles of beer they brought along for me, both from the same local brewery.

La Petrognola is a sweet, malty beer, packing in a lot of flavour. It feels like a Belgian abbey style beer, despite an alcohol level of only 5.5% – it is more like an 8% beverage. Birra artiginale al Farro, according to the label. I had to check the farro bit on Google, and it turns out it is brewed with spelt. A wheat beer, then.

Some prunes and raisins, a little sourness, but low on hops. A dessert beer, I’d say. Sugary tail, not too balanced.

The other bottle is a chestnut beer – alle Castagne.

Chestnut flour aroma, clear golden beer with thin head. Sweet nuts, chocolate ice cream. Fairly strong chestnut flavour, some mint, even a hint of smoke. I’m sorry, but this did not appeal very much to me.

Italian beer gift

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I’ve been busy moving furniture, having heated discussions with my broadband supplier, raising children…

Things are getting back to normal, hope to blog on a more regular schedule from now on. Even a few trips abroad penciled in. Stay tuned!

My home is my castle

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