Larsblog - beer

Isola della Birra

We went to Milan on a weekend trip to visit my youngest sister. Milan is not really a tourist city, being much better known as an industrial and financial centre, so we didn't expect too much from the city itself. The initial impression was even worse, though. We arrived in darkness and the famous Milanese fog, getting off the airport express train in a suburb before reaching the city centre. It was not the nicest part of Milan, and the fog was not kind to it. ...

Read | 2007-12-16 15:17 | 3 comment(s)

Me, a beer judge?

To my surprise, Geir Ove asked me whether I wanted to be one of the judges for the annual Norwegian Christmas Beer Homebrewing contest. Geir Ove is a board member of the Homebrewer's Association (Norbrygg), and has taken the beer judge course, so I was not really surprised that he was involved, but that they'd want me as a judge was really unexpected. It turned out they were short a judge, and given my RateBeer merits they thought I'd be up for the job. Well, it sounded interesting, and I wanted to help, so I said yes. ...

Read | 2007-12-04 19:50 | 3 comment(s)

Nøgne Ø

The first item on the RBNAG'07 agenda was a visit to the Nøgne Ø brewery in Grimstad for a tasting of their Christmas beers. I guess this is a good time to say something about Nøgne Ø, before I go on to talk about the tasting itself. ...

Read | 2007-11-27 20:13 | 0 comment(s)

RBNAG '07: The grand tasting

For the grand tasting at RBNAG'07 we had gathered 87 beers to be sampled during the course of the evening. If tasting 87 beers in a day sounds like hard work, I should point out that this is not actually what we did. We had 10 or so Nøgne Ø beers during the lunch, plus a little wine and liquor before that, and then 87 beers for the grand tasting. But then most people skipped some of the 87 beers, either to save their strength, or because they'd had them before, so the exact total is hard to judge. ...

Read | 2007-11-18 17:53 | 0 comment(s)

RBNAG '07

The title probably makes it sound as though I've been to yet another IT conference, but this was actually something completely different. RBNAG is short for RateBeer Norway Autumn Gathering, and this was the first gathering of Norwegian RateBeer users. There's been many of these in the US (they're already planning next year's in either San Diego or Philadelphia) and several in Europe, but this was the first in Norway. ...

Read | 2007-11-06 23:58 | 1 comment(s)

Beer-hunting in Lviv

First there was Prague, but it was overrun by tourists. Then there was Krakow, but it suffered the same fate. Lviv, however, does not have this problem, and if you read the posting on how we got there you know why. ...

Read | 2007-09-30 21:03 | 10 comment(s)

Heating beer with Python

I think I found a completely new use for the Python programing language while tasting beer with Geir Ove at Cardinal last week. Cardinal is a nearly perfect pub, but they serve their beers too cold. I typically solve this by ordering the beers a bit early, and using my hands. If desperate, I may put the beer on top of my laptop, which usually is quite warm. ...

Read | 2007-09-24 22:24 | 10 comment(s)

What beer is this?

The same thing seems to happen over and over again: finding out what beers a place serves can be very, very tricky, even after you have been served. It really doesn't have to be that hard, but for some bizarre reason it is. So herewith some griping. ...

Read | 2007-07-10 21:50 | 5 comment(s)

Stout on the 45th floor

In the skyscraper district of Shinjuku stands the famous Tokyo city hall. It's a huge modern building surrounding a circular plaza, with two giant towers rising on one side. The tops of the towers are studded with antennas, giving them a strange science-fiction look. At the top in one tower is an observation deck open to the public, and so we picked a day with clear skies to visit the tower and watch the view of the city from the top floor. ...

Read | 2007-06-30 15:57 | 2 comment(s)

Dogo Beer

Dogo is a small onsen (Japanese bath) town near Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku. The town is really centered on the bath house, which is said to be the oldest in Japan, dating back at least to AD 720. We took the tram from our hotel in Matsuyama, and went straight to the bath house. Buying a ticket is a bit tricky, since there are many choices, and the bath procedure is a bit complicated, but the helpful English brochure you get at the entrance explains it all. ...

Read | 2007-06-28 22:23 | 0 comment(s)

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