Larsblog - beer

Norwegian craft beer 2012

A year ago I posted an analysis of craft beer in Norway, where I concluded that craft beer had taken off in Norway, and that the growth would continue in 2012. It's now 2013, so it's time to take a look at how the year turned out. ...

Read | 2013-01-20 17:32 | 2 comment(s)

Lithuanian beer, again

I've written before about how Lithuania has a beer tradition of its own, different from any other country on earth, but back then I didn't really know very much about it. I'm still far from an expert on Lithuanian beer, but by now I've learned a bit more, which I want to share. One reason is that I find that although Lithuania is just a short (and cheap) plane ride away, people don't seem to have any interest in exploring this world of beer unknown to just about everyone. ...

Read | 2012-11-18 20:36 | 17 comment(s)

Ichinoseki - sake and beer

Basho passed through Ichinoseki on his journey, but failed to mention it, focusing instead on Hiraizumi. Today Ichinoseki is much the bigger of the two towns, even if Hiraizumi is culturally more important. To us, however, Ichinoseki held an important attraction: the Sekinoichi Shuzo sake brewery, which also makes the Iwate Kura beers. ...

Read | 2012-10-28 10:11 | 0 comment(s)

Ringnes Imperial Polaris

For years now everyone's been wondering when Ringnes was going to wake up and realize that the old days of selling cheap industrial beers were over. Overall beer sales have been down consistently year after year for many years, while craft beer sales have boomed. Surely the biggest brewery in Norway had to sit up and notice at some point? Particularly when their owners, Danish Carlsberg, have already started two craft beer brands in Denmark (Kongens Bryghus and Jacobsen). ...

Read | 2012-10-04 20:25 | 3 comment(s)

Nøgne Ø Red Horizon

I don't normally do straight beer reviews, but this is not just any beer, and I think it deserves much more attention than it's received so far. It's both wildly unsual and one of my all-time favourite beers. And now that Nøgne Ø is brewing Red Horizon 2 and 3 the time seems right for a little write-up. ...

Read | 2012-02-25 14:02 | 2 comment(s)

GlavPivTorg — a window onto history

GlavPivTorg is not just a brewpub. It is also a theme restaurant. The name is a Soviet-style acronym meaning "Main Beer Cooperative," and the place is designed to look like an elite Soviet restaurant from the 1960s. This is the sort of place where the high-level Soviet apparatchik would dine. Even the menu is designed according to the state cookery manual for restaurants. ...

Read | 2012-02-19 18:17 | 0 comment(s)

The beer revolution comes to Norway

When I first got seriously interested in beer, roughly ten years ago, Norway was a miserable place for a beer enthusiast. Norwegian beer was pretty much limited to four styles of lager from the industrials plus two half-decent brewpubs. As for imports, they were not very impressive, either. Two pubs had some Belgian beers, but that was about it. I used to memorize which pubs in Oslo had Erdinger, so I could get something decent to drink while out. ...

Read | 2012-01-26 19:44 | 6 comment(s)

Lambic

I can still remember my first sip of lambic. I was sitting in the tasting room of the Cantillon brewery in Brussels after completing the brewery tour, all eager to try the final product. The shock of actually tasting it was all the greater. It was sour! So sour it almost burned. And what's more, it was thin and tasted of metal and grain. This was lambic? ...

Read | 2012-01-13 17:37 | 1 comment(s)

The beer bars of Vilnius

Lithuania may be a small country today, but once the joint Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth included much of present-day Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belorussia, and Ukraine. This is why Vilnius has one of the largest surviving medieval towns in Northern Europe, covering well over three square kilometers. So Vilnius is well worth visiting just for the sights, but it also happens that you can find a very rare beer style here: kaimiškas, or Lithuanian farmhouse ales. ...

Read | 2011-05-14 10:40 | 10 comment(s)

Are macro lagers really all the same?

Beer enthusiasts like to say that people who argue over which industrial pale lager is best are missing the point, because they all essentially taste the same, and none of them are very good, anyway. I personally agree with that, and that now that there are so many good craft beers available everywhere, there's really no reason to drink this stuff at all. ...

Read | 2011-05-08 16:23 | 10 comment(s)

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