Archive for November, 2010

The I might have a glass blog has a splendid piece showing some of the big names in beer writing are gobbling up press releases from big breweries without adding much critical distance. One of the writers in question has been particularly scalding when it comes to bloggers. Must be cold for the Emperor to walk around without clothes in this weather.

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Advent calendar

If I put doors on the new shelves, it would make a nifty beer Advent calendar. I have, however, not discussed this with the rest of the household.

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When I heard rumour that the Berentsen brewery at the Southwestern coast of Norway had a new, 15% ABV Christmas beer, I wrote them to ask for a bottle. They were pleased to send me one – and I was happy to get one, since this seems to be sold out at all the Vinmonopolet stores. The beer was limited  to just 1895 numbered bottles, and there seems to have been enough of a buzz for this to fly off the shelves. I think you still might find it in some of the better beer bars around the country.

It pours a very dark brown, with no carbonation to speak of.

Strong, almost meaty flavour. Like a beer extract. Smoke, liquorice, mint and spices.

A beer to be sipped like a brandy. Rather sweet, but it has a complexity to cope with that.

I’m very happy to report that there are breweries beyond the usual trinity of Norwegian craft breweries that dare to push the boundaries.

The brewery suggested to pair the beer with some blue cheese, and it proved a perfect match.

Let’s hope there is a new edition next Christmas.

Stelliger Divum bottle

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These are two of the new beers launched over the year from Nøgne Ø – Two Captains and #500. Two Captains is described as a Double IPA, and is brewed to a recipe from a homebrewing competition. A cloudy ruby beer, loads of aromatic hops, like a breeze from the forest. Sweet and dry, pines, eucalyptus. It is strong, full bodied – and very drinkable. A bit too much spearmint toothpaste in the tail to declare pure genius here, but a damn good beer!

#500 is even more intense, an Imperial India Pale Ale, no less. Low carbonation, pines and spruce. Sweet seducing malty body, a bit oily. Sweet and dry, intense, for slow contemplation while you slowly work your way towards the bottom. Nothing easy drinking here, you need to focus and concentrate. Like a beer elixir. Very hoppy, and, I assume, this will mellow into something quite different over time. I can’t wait for #1000!

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I honestly try to avoid buying beer books I’m not totally convinced I’ll read.

If you have more space than I have, there are 2577 items in the Randy Carlson collection up for sale right now. American beer and brewing history. Something for Ron?

Let’s hope this finds a good home and that it will be accessible to researchers.

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The good people at KLM are giving away free personalized luggage tags. Though I’d have a few for my beer suitcase, but no:

 The picture you upload must meet our terms and conditions:
  Any photos that you submit must be yours (and yours only).
  You must have the rights to all content in your submitted materials.
  Nothing obscene, offensive, or discriminatory; no nudity, profanity, violence, or religious symbolism.
  Nothing that depicts or promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons, or any political agenda.

Sorry for even thinking about it. How about small furry animals?

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 There is no Santa

It’s that time of the year again. Christmas beers from near and far. Some of them elusive, some more common. Lots of online buzz about what might be found where. Regional rarities might be found in Oslo – but only until the keg is empty. Too bad I don’t have time for pub crawling now.

Any foreign tickers who have just won the lottery should book a ticket.

Availablility is one thing. The price level is something else.


The Christmas beer list at Tilt

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Ølfestival posterFor those of us who like to plan ahead, the dates for the Copenhagen Beer Festival 2011 have just been published. 26-28 May, meaning Thursday-Saturday. The venue is Tap1 in the old Carlsberg brewery just as this year.

Tickets will go on sale 1. December.

If you buy your tickets in advance, you’ll get in one hour earlier than if you buy them at the door.

And the organizers promise better food than this year.

Thanks to beerticker.dk for the tip.

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Closer to home

I have never profiled this as a Norwegian beer blog or a blog about Norwegian beer. The Pan-European profile is what makes it different, but that does not mean I don’t have an interest in the domestic scene.

I have beer writing a fair bit about the Oslo scene lately, but there are lots of new beers from the micros around the country. I have received a few bottles over the last few weeks which I will try to give some comments on.

Lets start with Haandbryggeriet Bestefar (meaning Grandfather – nice name). It pours a deep brown with a chocolate sponge cake head. The aroma is very English, packed with maltiness, and the flavour also has an English profile. Some smokiness, juniper twigs, liquorice. Wheat malt giving some softness. A little sour smoke. Caramel, charcoal, vintage port. A complex beer for slow sipping.

Their current label design is a nice retro style, far removed from the Shelton Brothers design I belive they still use for their main export beers.

Haandbryggeriet Bestefar

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The Oslo beer scene

The major local daily Aften has comprehensive coverage of the Oslo beer scene, this must be really good for business. In a country where alcohol advertising is banned, getting this type of writeup in mainstream media is really getting the jackpot. Try Google translator to get a version in your favourite language.

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