Larsblog - beer

Experiments in blind tasting

I've written before about my experiences as an uncertified beer judge, and when the Norwegian homebrewer's association offered their beer judge certification course again this year I decided to apply. My goal was to learn more about the beer brewing process, to improve my ability to analyze beer, and to learn about specific flaws in beer and how to detect them. If I'd also have to teach myself the Norwegian beer style guidelines I decided that was a price I'd be willing to pay. ...

Read | 2008-11-20 15:39 | 7 comment(s)

Amber Gold and Black — a review

Amber Gold and Black is Martyn Cornell's new book on the history of British beer, currently only available in self-published ebook form. Getting it as a PDF wasn't ideal for me, as it meant I had to pay quite a lot to get it printed, but since Martyn is extremely well-informed on British beer history and passionate about getting his story right, I was more than willing to put up with this in order to be able to read the book. ...

Read | 2008-11-17 18:06 | 0 comment(s)

Samuel Adams Utopias

Samuel Adams Utopias is the world's most expensive beer in regular production, costing about USD 100 in the US. In Sweden the government alcohol monopoly takes in a few bottles every time it's produced, and a friend managed to get hold of a bottle from a pub in Gothenburg. It cost about USD 300 there, though, so he wisely decided to split the bottle with others. In the end we were eight beer enthusiasts who gathered in a flat in Oslo to try it. And, of course, since we were getting together anyway, we brought a few more beers to try at the same time. ...

Read | 2008-11-15 21:40 | 1 comment(s)

European Beer Festival '08

The Danish Association of Beer Enthusiasts have been arranging beer festivals for several years, but this year was the first time I was able to go. In fact, this was my first ever real beer festival, since the only ones I'd been to before were the Norwegian ones, which don't really count, as they rarely have any new beers, or even that many people. The EBF, on the other hand, was the real thing: roughly 1200 beers on offer from all over the world and more than 21,000 guests. ...

Read | 2008-11-13 15:25 | 2 comment(s)

2K: The five best beers

I wanted to make the 2K series quite long, with various lists of beers selected by different criteria, but I never managed to find any selections that inspired me enough to actually write the pieces, so we'll round off with the obvious one instead. ...

Read | 2008-09-07 14:19 | 0 comment(s)

Tasting at Haandbryggeriet

In April a group of beer enthusiasts booked a tour at Haandbryggeriet where we were shown around the brewery and tasted some of the beers. And since they knew of us from our blogs and from RateBeer they also let us taste some test brews of unreleased beers. Being real enthusiasts and raters we of course were quite vocal with our opinions, and apparently they appreciated that, because they invited us back this week to review some more test brews. Of course, we didn't need to be asked twice. ...

Read | 2008-09-03 21:44 | 0 comment(s)

How we judge beer in Norway

The state of the Norwegian beer scene never ceases to amaze me, and given that I'm a native Norwegian, I thought international readers might enjoy a look at what goes on here. If nothing else, it might have some entertainment value. The occasion for this blog entry is a beer test, initially published by a Norwegian magazine about cottages (as in summer houses, mountain retreats, etc). This magazine is owned by the media conglomerate Schibsted, which also publishes the main Norwegian daily, and so the test has now made its way onto the site of said daily. So the unwary reader could be forgiven for assuming that it was published by the most prestigious newspaper in Norway. ...

Read | 2008-08-20 21:04 | 9 comment(s)

The best Norwegian breweries

I did another post on this subject back in May 2006, but since then I have done lots more ratings of Norwegian beer, and a number of new breweries have appeared, and so it seems about high time to revisit the subject. The basis of this overview is 320 ratings of Norwegian beers, starting in September 2005 and ending yesterday. ...

Read | 2008-08-02 15:52 | 2 comment(s)

A beer heater

I've written before about the importance of beer temperature, and creative ways of getting it right, such as using my laptop or a digital thermometer. I've been frustrated with the temperature at which beer is served in many places, and so dreamed of some kind of micro-wave based heater that would solve the problem for me. ...

Read | 2008-07-02 20:56 | 3 comment(s)

2K: The worst beers

Now that I've passed 2000 beers I figured it would be interesting to go back and look at which of these beers were the absolute worst beers. Many craft beer lovers think the worst possible beers are the mass market brands like Budweiser or the local national giant, and pour scorn on any industrial beer that is low on taste. I'm no fan of these beers myself, but there are things that are worse than having no taste, or some hints of off-tastes. ...

Read | 2008-07-01 18:41 | 8 comment(s)

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