Posts Tagged ‘HåndverkerStuene’

Bråk 1

Restaurant Håndverkerstuene in Oslo has specialized in Nordic Food and Nordic beer (as well as aquavit). This is reflected in their seasonal menu, and you will also find a dozen craft beers on tap, most of them Norwegian, but the other Nordic countries are also represented.

This year is the third time they are running Bryggeribråk or Brewery Brawl. The concept is simple – every Monday the restaurant sets up a three course menu. Two breweries try to match the dishes with beer. Up to 60 diners then vote for the best match for each dish. The winning brewery goes on to the next round. Most of the breweries are Norwegian, but they have also invited participants from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.

It’s a great way to get people interested in beer and food combinations, it’s a nice opportunity for the breweries to promote themselves, and it fills the restaurant on a Monday evening.

Disclaimer: I have been invited twice as a guest to the event. But I would not recommend it if I didn’t enjoy it. And, compared to many beer tastings, it is excellent value for money.

Bråk 2

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I really don’t have time 7 February. I have a family that needs me, too.

But then Amund at Håndverkerstuene informs me that they will have the following Mikkeller beers available:

On tap:

  • Mikkeller Green Gold
  • Mikkeller Cream Ale
  • Mikkeller Czechet Pilsner
  • Mikkeller Fra Via Til
  • Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit



  • Mikkeller Draft Bear
  • Mikkeller Funky Easter
  • Mikkeller Fra Via Til
  • Mikkeller Texas Ranger
  • Mikkeller Black Hole Red Wine barrel aged
  • Mikkeller Black Hole Peated Whisky barrel aged
  • Mikkeller Black
  • Mikkeller Czechet Pilsner

And it’s only five minutes away from where I work.

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Beer drinkers old and young, from across the country, were gathered in Oslo for the first Norwegian cask ale festival. Rare beers from BrewDog, Nøgne Ø, Haandbryggeriet and Ægir were on offer, from the Bamberg-like Røyk uten ild (Smoke without fire) from Haandbryggeriet, via the increadibly smooth and chocolaty Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, BrewDogs’s Dogma (formerly known as Speedball) to the very highlight – Ægir’s new Natt Imperial Porter, both in a velvety bottled version and an edition aged in Jack Daniels barrels.

This was also a great opportunity to talk to the brewers about their beers or simply enjoy the camaraderie of the event. Splendid food at the Saturday evening dinner, too, with about 80 guests if I remember correctly.

So, a toast to Amund and his crew at Håndverkerstuene for taking the chance of hosting this event. This is the proper way to run a beer festival, not a pale lager in sight. The success of this is yet another piece of evidence of the Norwegian beer scene having grown up in just a few years. Let’s hope this will be something to mark off in our calendars every year. And yes, this is worth buying a cheap plane ticket for if you live elsewhere in Europe.

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I had other plans last Saturday. The morning was spent trying to tidy the apartment recently well, as there will be a photographer coming in today. I had planned an overnight trip with my eldest from Saturday to Sunday. But then I suddenly had something else to squeeze in.

I opened my e-mail to see if there was anything urgent, and there was an invite from Amund at Håndverkerstuene. It was their last day before closing for the summer, and they had not one, but two special treats.

Nøgne Ø Pilsener and Nøgne Ø # 500. Both on tap.

So, when I opened the door at about six, the bar stools were filled with friends and acquaintances. Sebastian behind the bar gave me compliments for my Dugges t-shirt and Amund immediately poured a glass of each of the two specials.

Nøgne Ø runs a summer restaurant in a harbour on the Southern coast of Norway, not far from the brewery.  Correction (thanks Erik): They deliver beer to a summer restaurant not far from the brewery. Pils is the tipple most of the customers want, so they decided to brew their own, competing with the also local Arendals Pils. A few kegs are turning up elsewhere, luckily one of them in Oslo.

It has a full malty body, moderate carbonation. Well hopped, but not excessively so. Herbs, grass and flowers. Lots of flavour. Personally I would prefer a cleaner, crisper beer, but this could really appeal to the broader market they are aiming for.

# 500 is an Imperial IPA, no less. Glowing brown. This is raw hop juice, mint, herbs, white pepper. A solid malty body underneath giving a kind of balance. Lovely when it is fresh, I wonder how this will develop if you give ti a few years in the cellar? There is lots of malty sweetness underneath which might come more to the front when the hops mellow a bit.

I had to make my excuses, even if I’d love a second round. Wishing everyone a lovely summer I went back out in sunny Oslo.

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It’s been a while since the last installment in this series, so it’s a bit time to follow up.

Håndtverkeren is a traditional restaurant in central Oslo, lately being mostly used for meetings – press conferences and so on.

It closed down for some weeks last year and reopened as HåndverkerStuene. It is slightly refurbished, with a large bar and lots of smaller areas and long tables. Still inspired by ca 1890 national romantic style, but not excessively so.

There is still wine and stronger stuff to be had, but this is now an unashamedly beery spot. A printed beer menu with a long list of Norwegian micros and selected imports. Six Norwegian micro beers on tap, and you can even order a sampler of those.

The food is reputedly good, too, and there is a daily special that’s moderately priced.

I work in downtown Oslo for the time being, so I popped in on my way from work the other day. There was one beer on their list I particularly wanted to try, Haandbryggeriet’s Wild Thing.

I have tried a prototype of this beer at the brewery some time ago. I’m not sure if this is being brewed at commercial scale now – but there are properly printed labels for this, so I assume it’s on its way.

Wild Thing is brewed with lingonberries, red currants and Brett. The prototype was quite sharp, very dominated by the red currants as far as I remember. The sourness is still there, but it is more Rodenbach-like and a bit more muted. The malty base is more present, giving good balance. The lingonberries give a fresh fruitiness.

Highly recommended. They could consider a better spelling of the name, though, the capital S is out of place…

I will also like to highlight the good service. I was there at a quiet time, and the waiter came over to my table and politely enquired if the beer was to my liking. This is the style we want. Let’s hope it wasn’t only because he noticed my camera and note book.


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