Archive for the ‘hops’ Category

I know I’ve been lazy.

But I’m keeping quite busy elsewhere, particularly on the Facebook page of the blog, which has turned out to be a great success. But more about that later.

If you look on a map of the population density in Norway, you’ll see that we get more and more dispersed the further you go to the north. This means, obviously, that there are fewer breweries in Northern Norway as well, even with the present boom.

But there are some promising developments, notably Bådin in Bodø, which started brewing just over a year ago.

Bodø has some brewing heritage, with Bodø Aktiebryggeri established in 1897, eventually gobbled up by E.C. Dahls which today is a part of Carlsberg. They officially closed in 2000, though the Nordlandspils is still a brand name in the Carlsberg portfolio, misleadingly marketed as “local beer”.

There was also a brewpub in town, Bryggerikaia, which was rather short-lived. My guess is that they were five years ahead of their time, similar to Møllebyen in Moss.

This means there were no local beer available when Bådin started in 2013. They were a bunch of friends who did this for fun in their spare time. Two of the six founders actually live in Oslo, but they commute home to help out several times a month.

The local reception has been very positive, both in local pubs and in Vinmonopolet. They are slowly getting some national distribution, and, starting 1 February they have a full-time brewer. The capacity with the present setup is 800 liters six times per month.

The beers so far have been pale ales, IPAs and saisons, all of them of a very respectable quality.  My favourite so far is Moloen, a hoppy saison. PEaches and flowers in the nose. Well balanced with notes of grapefruit and oranges, just the right amount of funk. You should also look out for their Reinsåsen series of single hop IPAs.

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Sometimes you get to go to new places. Not new places on the top of your list of where you’d want to go given time and money, just mundane places. Places you have passed by on a train or in a car, places you would not consider as a destination in their own right.

Södertälje is one of those places. A commuter town for Stockholm, a traffic hub, industry, population about 65.000.

We went there last weekend for a youth sports event, and I did not expect much in the way of beer. But then I started googling.

It seemed there was one decent beer bar in town, and their Facebook page told me they even had their own beer.  Well, there is no lack of pale lagers where you can get your own label, but this looked more promising.  Photos showed the bottle and the label. The Fellowship of Hops Brewing.

A new google search gave me a blog of a home brewer, including an e-mail address. I sent of a question: -Do you brew beer for the 137:ans Kök  & Bar? I got a reply back from brewer Thomas, confirming that he had indeed brewed the beer. The beer was brewed in the pub, which has its own licence.

So. We have a new gypsy brewer and a new brewpub, not registered on BA or ratebeer. I like that.

!37:ans is located in the town center, just a few minutes from the railway station.  It is small, I’d estimate it is full with less than fifty customers. This is a sit down kind of place, and on an early Friday evening, most of the guests were eating. A very comprehensive beer list plus blackboards showing the more rare and exclusive offers – but also a few discount bottles.

The 137:ans India PAle Ale has an alcohol content of 7.4.

Light bodied, pleasant malt character. Nice blend of hops – Citra, Amariallo, Nugget and Hallertauer. Grass. white pepper and herbs. Bittersweet. A very decent all around IPA, not trying for the extreme. I hope to see more beers from Fellowship of Hops in the future!

There are plenty of beers to choose from, the list claims 500. Lots of exotic countries for the tickers, a good selection of trappists, and a number of rare American bottles.

You’ll find it on Oxbacksgatan. Well worth a visit, especially if you are staying overnight.

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So, you have done the walking tour of the Munich inner city. You have visted the Hofbräuhaus and a few beer gardens. You want to get away from the cobblestones for some hours.

By Vuxi [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Take S-train number 6 to Kreuzstrasse, the end of the line. Walk up the hill. Watch out as you cross the busy street. Have a beer or two at the Bartewirt. Return to the railway station. As this is the final stop, the train is most likely waiting at the station. Note that the trains may not be too frequent at this stretch, a timetable or a Munich transport app is handy.

The next one is the tricky one, as I never got an answer. There is, supposedly, a brewery near the Großhelfendorf station, too. The Theresienbrauerei. But I never got any answer to my enquries. Maybe you are more lucky.

That’s not any serious problem, As Aying is only two stops more along the line, another few kilometers through fields and forests. You can walk to the Ayinger Bräustübrl. Or you can have the same beers at the Kastanienhof, which is just across the street from Aying station.

Leiberheim, with its large, friendly beer garden, is fifteen minutes walks from Neubiberg station.

The Forschungsbrauerei is ten minutes from Perlach station.

Still thirsty?

Get off at Giesing and walk towards the Isar river, keeping on the right side of the hill. You’ll soon find yourself outside the Paulaner brewery with its Biergarten.

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I won’t bore you with details about accommodation etc, but I easily found my way to the flat I had reserved in central Munich.. With the lovely summer weather and the fact that the train ticket from the airport into town gave me unlimited travel on the S-bahn  or suburban lines for the rest of the day, I decided to explore a bit.

The village Aying lies to the south of Munich, surrounded by green fields. Rather sleepy in the heat, families on their bikes, people relaxing in their gardens. Everything looks spotless, this is not where down-and-outs live.

The Ayinger brewery is easy to spot, the brewery tap and beer garden are a bit further away. 15 minutes walk, perhaps. It is well worth both the train journey and the walk, this must be the ultimate beer garden. Benches and tables under huge chestnut trees. Several beers on tap, including a Kellerbier poured from wooden barrels. If there ever was an occation for ordering a full liter Maß, this was certainly it. This is a self service beer garden, where you get your food and refreshements from a cluster of booths. Fast and convenient. A mix of guests, quiet conversation, birds singing. No loud groups of American tourists, no laminated menus in English and Japanese.

And the beer? Well, this is as far from a blind test you can imagine. The whole setting is magic, so that adds to the enjoyment. Incredibly aromatic Bavarian hops, sweet malt, perfect balance. Grapefruit, peaches, a hint of vinegar, a touch of the oak barrel.

If you want to splurge, the brewery has a very upmarket hotel and restaurant across the street. But I felt no urge to explore that. There are brewery tours, too, check their web site for details.

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Bioforsk , the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, has taken an initiative to involve Norwegian micro breweries in a project focusing on the use of domestic ingredients. There will be a meeting next week, I hope to be able to report on the results.

Of course there are traditions going back for centuries, but these have to a large extent died out. Combining the remains of those with modern knowledge og all aspect of the brewing process should open up a a wide range of possibilities.

Bioforsk og flere norske mikrobryggerier med Nøgne Ø i spissen står bak et initiativ om å søke om midler til et forskningsprosjekt der man skal se på bruk av norske råvarer i øl. Det skal avholdes et møte på Sundbytunet i neste uke for å se om det er grunnlag for å gå videre med prosjektet og søke midler fra Norges forskningsråd.

Det er flere norske bryggerier som har tatt i bruk lokale ingredienser som bar, urter og granskudd. Det finnes dessuten levende tradisjoner for egen malting, selv om det er få som driver med det i dag.

Jeg håper det er nok interesse til å gå videre med prosjektet. Jeg tror nok ikke det vil bli så store volumer av dette, men det er likevel et spennende felt å utforske. Lokalt øl kan jo gjerne bety at det er andre ingredienser enn vann som er lokalt produserte.


Til øl eller fôr?

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