Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

TrondhjemsamplesBeer blogging and beer book writing are two different worlds. When I blog, I write, find an appropriate photo, run the spell checker, do some metatagging and push the publish button. There is even an automatic tweet function.

Book writing has a number of different stages. Fact finding, the actual typing, finding illustrations, proofreading, page proofs etc.

And then the promotional stunts.

The book is due from the printers Friday 23 October. The same day I will be on stage at the What’s Brewing Festival in Stavanger. I am trying to figure out what to say to the crowd that afternoon, I hope to make this a conversation between me and somebody else, I’m not very good at standing up talking.

Thursday the following week has the Christmas beer launch of the Norwegian Brewer’s Association, where my publisher has a stand among the beer stalls. Then the last plane of the evening to Trondheim, where I am due in a radio studio the next morning at eight, talking about the beers of the region. I hope to fit in a newspaper journalist at lunchtime (though he doesn’t know it yet). Onwards to the Trondheim Public Library, where I give them a copy of my book. Good for Facebook, hopefully for their Facebook page as well.

A tasting in the evening with breweries and beers from the local area at Mathallen Trondheim and a signing session at the Gulating beer shop the next morning.

The week following I’ll have an event at Verkstedet in Oslo, with a capacity of 50-60. This will be a combined book launch and tasting with five breweries presenting one beer each and joining me on stage to talk about them.

I hope I will convince a few confused souls to buy the book after all this. But what do I know about publishing, marketing and what have you. I’m just a beer drinker.

Read Full Post »

A number of universities and research institutes in Norway has an annual event to promote research. It’s a challenge to find new ways to present what’s going on. This year the University of Oslo has the food and drinking habits of the Vikings as one of the topics.

Botanist Anneleen Kool at the Museum of Natural History has studied the plants and herbs found in the preserved Viking ships. She is also a home brewer, and in cooperation with Kjetil Johnsen at Grünerløkka Brygghus, just a stone’s throw from the museum, she has recreated a Viking beer. The beer is brewed with smoked malt, juniper twigs and yarrow. There is also hops in the beer – archeological finds dating back to AD 800 shows that hops were in use – presumably in beer.


Read Full Post »

Last week I was at a low. No photos were coming in, I really doubted if I was able to follow the schedule. Now the dropbox icon on my computer is living its own life, telling me about documents popping in.

And then there are all the great beer people getting back to me, explaining why they are busy. Most do brewing as a second job. One of the brewers is having a full-time job, running for mayor in her municipality and still finds time to brew and distribute beer. She sends e-mails at five in the morning. One is a sheep farmer, and explained that he had to get through the lambing first. Those who have hotels, catering or restaurants have one of their busiest seasons during May and June.

So my next challenge is to process all the material, to get back to those who have given their input and make sure I got things right.

But the second half of this week, I’ll be doing something completely different.

Read Full Post »

The German broadcaster ARD has an interesting web article – audio, too, if your German is up to it. The story is about the growing Craft beer scene in Vienna, well worth reading.

What I particularly liked is how the Austrian newcomers to the scene establish their own terminology. There have been discussions in English and other languages on how to describe beer producers like Mikkeller and Evil Twin, who don’t have their own equipment, but rents capacity from others.

Gypsy brewers is one suggestion.

In the radio spot from Vienna, they use the term Wanderbrauer. I like that. It echoes from earlier times, when craftsmen travelled and set up shop.  It echoes Patrick Leigh Fermor.

But it does not translate well into English. Not really into Norwegian, either.

On the other hand,  they also use the expression Fernsehbiere about the dull industrial beers. TV beers. We could use that.

Read Full Post »

Fancy an Austmann beer?

It’s beer festival time. I try not to envy people flying off to Bergen, Borefts, Stavanger – or planning for a week of drinking at the 2015 Copenhagen Beer Celebration.

I limited myself to the Grünerløkka Brygghus festival last weekend, and I made a point of being there early on Saturday afternoon. Lots of friendly brewers represented, particularly nice to have a chat with the guys from out of town – Austmann, Lindheim, Voss, and Halden. The festival took place in the brewery itself, giving a nice, rustic, down-to-earth atmosphere. They have chosen to keep this a small event, year after year, and as a drinker, I applaud this.

Voss and Lindheim. The plums were as good as the brews!

Sensible sampler sizes, and lots of interesting beers. A very pleasant raspberry gose from Lindheim, a spicy 13% imperial stout on cask from Nøgne Ø, two wild yeast beers from Halden. But the star of the show was the traditional ale from Voss, brewed with an old yeast strain that’s been used in home brewing in the area and was saved in the nick of time. The beer is rather sweet and malty, as they have used a very low amount of hops to let the yeast be the star.I’ll have to get back to this one to make better tasting notes.

Several of the breweries report good sales of takeaway beers, filling up growlers at their brewery shop.



Read Full Post »

On the sunny side

When your expectations are low, the potential is better for nice surprises. Great beaches, a lovely house, good food.

And the supermarket up the road has more than just pale Portugese lagers.

Read Full Post »

Just in time to get an overview on the Belgian beer scene before my trip next week, here is the new edition of the Good Beer Guide Belgium. The seventh edition. Author Tim Webb is joined by another well known beer writer this time around, Joe Stange.

I have plenty of beer books. Even a few half-read beer books. So it’s not that i grasp every opportunity to buy new ones. But this one really deserves its place on the shelf – and in your suitcase. It is too big to fit in a standard jacket pocket, but there is nothing in here that I would have removed.

There are chapters on Belgian history, on getting around, on food, and on brewing. But the bulk of the book is of course given to the breweries, their beers and where to buy them or drink them. There is even a section on where to drink Belgian beer outside Belgium.

There is not much space available for each brewery, but there is enough to point you in the directions you want to go.

But this is not only a useful book. It is also a good read. When the authors point to the weird tradition in cafes around Liège of adding honey to beer, they dryly comment: You must try this, for the same reason that children must burn themselves at least once on hot metal.

And I love this description: …. a high-carbonation, pungent blond barley wine that pours like sticky Champagne, with elements of marzipan and aftershave.

So, go ahead, buy it. For armchair travellers, newbies and those of us who already have lost most of our enamel to the wonders of the lambics.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 816 other followers