Archive for August, 2011

As my regular readers know, I have a particular fascination for Berlin. A city for all seasons, a city for contemplation and for amusement. A city where I can get by with my rusty German. The beery delights may not be as evident to the casual observer as in other German cities, but they are there.

A guidebook to the brews and bars of Berlin is therefore very handy, and the format of Cogan & Mater’s Around xxx in 80 Beers is just the thing.

The author, Peter Sutcliffe, is a British civil servant with a solid knowledge of the Berlin scene, an ideal gude.

The book covers bars great and small, smoke filled Kneipen and airy beer gardens, restaurants and small stalls. The style is personal without being too private.

The concept of this series of books is a positive one, it gives recommendations without wasting space on places to stay away from. (I try to have a similar outlook in this blog) That does not mean it is uncritical, there are beers mentioned that are judged as uninteresting, too sweet etc. But there is at least one pick for every bar included.

Most of the brewpubs of the city are in there, and there is also a fine range of regional restaurants and bars offering beer from the rest of Germany. There are handy maps and indexes, and each entry has details about U-bahn stops etc. There is also a useful introduction to German beer styles and a suggested pub crawl route.

Anything missing? Well, there are a few bars in Friedricschain I have covered that could have been included. But the book is highly recommended. And I have one place I’ll seek out at the first opportunity: The Rollberg micro set up in the old Berliner Kindl brewery.


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Beer everywhere

USA Today has asked restaruant guidebook publisher Zagat Survay about this year’s five hottest dining trends.

Among them:

Beer, beer and more beer.  An unusual amount of beer-centric eateries have opened thus far, leading Zagat Survey to dub this year “the year of the beer garden.”

The article is about the US market, but I think the same goes for quite a few European countries as well.

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In a typical Austrian supermarket, you’ll find about 30 beers from 10 breweries. On the other hand, in the country as a whole, there are 172 breweries producing 1000 beers.

Two enthusiasts have decided to do something about that. They are launching myBier.at, offering the best beers from local breweries online.

No list of beers yet, they are currently establishing partnerships with breweries. I don’t know if they will be shipping beers to the rest of Europe – let’s hope so!

(Thanks to Lieblingsbier.de for the tip)

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On our way north from Trondheim, we had planned a stop at Inderøy, a very scenic farming community. They have their own brewery, but it is not open on Sundays, so no opportunities for stocking up on their beers.

We had booked room at Husfrua – a bed and breakfast located in a traditional farmhouse, and we were made very welcome. The view from the front porch is one of the most picturesque in the country.

The beds are comfortable, the menu is home cooking based on local ingredients, partly from their own far. We did not try their dinner menu, but there were plenty of temptations.

There is an honesty bar for the guests on the ground floor, including beers from Inderøy Gårdsbryggeri. I enjoyed a bottle of Soddøl, which has a full malty body well balanced by a fresh hoppy bitterness.

I’m sure you can find cheaper accommodation and food in the area if you go for the most basic motels. but if you want true quality and a feeling of Inderøy, Husfrua is well worth a stop. The photo at the bottom was taken at about 11 in the evening – not bad, eh?

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The food festival in Trondheim two weeks ago seemed to be a success, an important factor was probably that people needed a positive event to attend.

This was just a few tents when first arranged ten years ago or so, now it gathers lots of food producers from the Trøndelag region.

They are still not able to sell beers to take home – but at least there are designated areas where beer and wine is sold. The beers from Inderøy and Ølve seemed to be selling well, and so did the two beers from newcomer Røros Bryggeri, who currently brew their beers at Atna.

Johannes Konstknekt is a Kölsch-style beer. True to type, fruity and refreshing. As far as I know, it is regularly available in Røros.

They were giving out awards for the best micro breweries in the region, and they were shared by Inderøy Gårdsbryggeri and Klostergården. The Klostergården beers are not for general sale, I have to find a way to visit the island of Tautra where they are located.

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