Gothenburg – Göteborg – is only three or four hours away from Oslo. The train connections are pretty bad, but there are several but companies offering a cheap and reliable service – lots of Swedes commute across the border to work.
With the rest of the family away, I bought a bus ticket and ordered a cheap hotel room. I know a few from the local beer crowd through ratebeer, so I would not be drinking alone.
My first stop was the well stocked shelves of the local Systembolaget, one of their three flagship stores with a particularly broad selection. Plenty of bland Octoberfest beers, sure, but also new offerings from the local Ocean brewery, from Sigtuna, Nils Oscar and others. No Dugges beers though, I found a shelf tag, but the beer was sold out. Some imported rarities, too, including a few of the limited barrel aged beers from Nørrebro Bryghus and Avery Seventeen.
So, back to the hotel with my haul, picking up my notebook, camera and map I ventured out to check the watering holes.
Bishops Arms is a well established chain of pubs, there must be dozens of them, three in Gothenburg alone. They have plans to expand to Norway and Denmark too, which could be a good idea.
Anyway, I have never visited their pub at Järntorget before, so I decided to give it a try. A British style pub, lots of macro beers, but also some micros and other guest beers on tap. Lots of bottles, too, Nøgne Ø, Southern Tier, Närke, Mikkeller and most of the Trappist range.
Oceanbryggeriet makes a special beer for them – Arbetarporter. The name – Working Man’s Porter – is a pun on the fact that the Swedish Social Democrat headquarters is just across the square, I assume some of the staff are regulars. The beer was served a bit too cold, but given a few minutes this is impressive stuff. Some smoke, a little salt liquorice, charcoal finish. No need to ask for a Guinness in this place!