Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

The lineup for this year’s event in Drammen (30 minutes from Oslo) is more or less ready.

This year it takes place on Friday, May 24 (16-22) and  Saturday, May 25,  (12-22).

Confirmed participants so far:

  • Aass Bryggeri (N)
  • Bierbrouwerij Emelisse (NL) @Rest_emelisse
  • Birrificio Toccalmatto (IT) @Toccalmatto
  • Brouwerij de Molen (NL) @molenbier
  • De Struise Brouwers (B)
  • Haand (N)
  • Lervig Aktiebryggeri (N)
  • LoverBeer (IT) @LoverBeerBrewer
  • Magic Rock (UK) @MagicRockBrewCo
  • Monks, Stockholm (SE) @Monksevent
  • Naparbier (ES) @Naparbier
  • Närke Kulturbryggeri (SE)
  • Partizan (UK) @partizanbrewing
  • Picobrouwerij Alvinne (B) @alvinnebeer
  • S:t Eriks Bryggeri (SE)
  • Ægir Bryggeri (N)

I particularly look forward to the return of Magic Rock, the new London brewery Partizan and Lervig from Stavanger, Norway. Not to mention Alvinne, Emelisse, de Molen and the rest of the stellar lineup.

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Tapas and beer at Sigarra

As mentioned before, I spent a week in Barcelona earlier this summer. It was not much of a beer trip, but, as I tend to do, I managed to fit in a few.

I never really got around to reporting on the trip, but a few highlights:

We stayed at Poblenou, ten minutes by Metro to the centre, and less crowded, both in shops and on the beach. Supermarkets great and small, cheese shops and butchers filled with delicacies. Even a local market with everything from shellfish to cured ham.

The smaller supermarkets mainly have the standard national lagers, but there are micro brews to be found. An organic supermarket had both regional eco beers and a good selection of German imports. A small delicatessen had some selected bottles among the olive oils and truffles. A beer bar with more enthusiasm than knowledge had a decent beer list while the restaurant attached was less impressive. There is even a specialist beer shop in the neighbourhood, but it was closed for refurbishment during my stay.

A great place mixing the traditional and the modern was just a few minutes away from our hotel. Sigarra is a shop and a tapas bar with locally produced wine, beer, ham, cheese, honey, oil and preserves.

The food is served via a conveyor belt, similar to the Yo Sushi! chain in London. This applies to the cold tapas, which are all priced at 2 Euros. Hot dishes are 3 Euros each, and Catalan artisan beers and local wines by the glass are also moderately priced. Great service, and as the cooks spoke better English than the waiter, he came out of the kitchen to explain the concept. I had a very nice  Montseny Negra, which I would classify as a Schwartzbier with nice roasted dryness. In no way extreme, but excellent with food.

I did not try any of the beer bars in the city centre, but managed to fit in a visit to Rosses i Torades, a splendid beer shop. A fridge with some cold beers for refreshment while I was given excellent guidance on how to find some bottles for my suitcase. They have a good range of imports, with Mikkeller and American craft beers being the most popular, but I chose to focus on the local and regional brews. There are some nice hoppy summer beers with a fairly low alcohol content, and you have a good range of beers all the way through the style palette up to imperial porters.

Definitely a city to come back to – with more of a beer focus the next time.

Closed for refurbishment

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One of the best beer bars I have ever visited is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer – with a beer cruise!

Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa, also known as the Football Pub, in Rome is organizing what will probably be the beer event in Europe this year. The ship sails from Rome to Barcelona on Saturday 11 June, returning on the 14th. It will stay in Barcelona from Sunday afternoon until Monday evening, and there will be beer events in town, but, if you ask me, the big attractions will be at sea. The list of breweries is like a Who’s who:

  • Amiata (Italy)
  • Barley (Italy)
  •  Beer Here/Bierwerk (Denmark),
  •  Bi-Du (Italy)
  • Birrificio Italiano (Italy)
  • Brouwerij De Molen (The Netherlands)
  • Birrificio Ducato (Italy)
  • Brasserie Cantillon (Belgium)
  • De Dolle Brewers (Belgium)
  • Brasserie De La Senne (Belgium),
  • Del Borgo (Italy),
  • Evil Twin Brewing (Denmark),
  • Extraomnes (Italy),
  • Fanø Bryghus  (Denmark),
  • Freigeist Bierkultur (Germany)
  • Gaenstaller Braeu (Germany)
  • Grassroots Brewing (Denmark)
  • Hill Farmstead (USA)
  • Kissmeyer Brewing (Denmark)
  • Lervig (Mike Murphy) (Norway)
  • Loverbeer (Italy)
  • Montegioco (Italy)
  • Olmaia (Italy),
  • Orso Verde (Italy)
  • Birrificio Pasturana (Italy)
  • Rurale (Italy)
  • Steel City Brewing (England)
  • Stillwater Artisanal Ales (USA)
  • Toccalmatto (Italy)
  • Troll (Italy)

Many of the brewers will be on board, presenting  their own beers. Many of the breweries will be presenting beers created just and specifically for this event.

Booking from February 13.

I have no idea about the price. But I know if I didn’t have family obligations, I would be on board.

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Those who want a beer without having to dry clean their clothes and wash their hair the next day have an increasing list of countries to choose from in Europe. Both France and Portugal have banned smoking in bars and cafes from January first.

The list now includes Belgium,  Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. To this you should add half of the German Länder (and a Swiss canton for good measure).

The cry has been This will never work here in country after country. But a measure of how timely this legislation is can be seen in Italy. It seems to this observer it is the only law they actually follow. Even in Sicily.

Who’s next? The Dutch?

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This is not by any means a peer reviewed journal, most of you cannot even be bothered to use the comments function on the blog. I am not even competent to judge the quality of scientific journals (or I cannot be bothered to look them up. Or something.)

But I can pass on good news, even if they are based on rodent studies and there are many ifs and buts in the summary:

In consequence, moderate beer consumption, due to its content in bioavailability silicon, possibly affording a protective factor for preventing Alzheimer’s disease, could perhaps be taken into account as a component of the dietary habits of the population.

This is from the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal.  The article is called Role of beer as a possible protective factor in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and is writtten by the merry trio M.J. González-Muñoz, , A. Peñaa and I. Meseguera of the Pharmacy School, University of Alcalá, Spain.

You will probably have to pay a few thousand dollars to read the whole article. Money you obviously could spend on beer instead.

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