Larsblog - beer

How I rate beer

I've been rating beer (using RateBeer) for well over a year now, as a way to keep notes on what I've drunk, and how it tasted. I wanted to write up a reminder for myself of the interpretation of the RateBeer scale that I've developed over this time. And since other people might be interested I decided I might as well write this up on the blog. ...

Read | 2006-11-01 21:29 | 7 comment(s)

Russian and Ukrainian beer

Russia and the Ukraine may sound like terrible destinations for anyone looking for a decent pint of beer, and while both countries are for the most part deserts of pale lager, things are not nearly as bad as they may seem. There are some interesting beer styles, some brewpubs, and the quality of the industrial beer (especially in the Ukraine) is not at all bad. And prices are low, of course. ...

Read | 2006-10-28 15:55 | 26 comment(s)

Tasting Beer in a Smelly Town

The title of this posting probably sounds like a silly joke, but Moss is famous in Norway for "Mosselukta" (the Moss smell). As soon as I stepped off the train I could not only smell it, but also see the factory chimney from which it issued. The cellulose factory of Borregaard is located in the centre of Moss, and spews out sulphurous fumes that smell faintly like rotten eggs. It used to really stink up the whole town, but in the last decade or so it has gotten better. Still, not the best conditions for trying a microbrewery with outdoor serving, but having spent 40 minutes (and 200 kroner) on the train, I gave it a try anyway. ...

Read | 2006-08-19 21:09 | 0 comment(s)

Geir Ove Becomes a Blogger

My friend and Ontopian colleague Geir Ove Grønmo (yes, he of the fridge and the typed data) has started his very own beer blog. He's a dedicated home brewer who has been brewing for at least three years already, and even won a first prize in the Norwegian home brewing championship before he started brewing stuff that was too hard-core to appeal to the judges. ...

Read | 2006-08-17 20:49 | 0 comment(s)

How to Understand Beer

Most people who are not into beer tend to divide beer into two types: normal and dark, and they'll tell you things like "I don't like dark beer," which makes no sense. It's like saying "I don't like red-coloured drinks". There are lots and lots of different kinds of dark beers, and they all taste different. So you may find that you like many of them, or some of them, or, theoretically, none of them, but as long as you think that "dark beers" share more than just the colour, you are clearly not in a position to judge. ...

Read | 2006-08-17 20:23 | 4 comment(s)

A Copenhagen beer map

Before travelling to a new city I always do some research on ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com so that I know where to find good beer when I arrive. This means weeding out the places I don't want to bother with, and making sure I know what the ups and downs of each place are. ...

Read | 2006-07-25 21:56 | 10 comment(s)

A trip to København

I spent last weekend in København (or Copenhagen), the city that for four centuries was the capital of not just Denmark, but also Norway. At that time Oslo was just a tiny provincial backwater compared to København, and in beer terms the relationship has not changed since. In København even the grocery stores in many cases have a better beer selection than the wine monopoly does in Norway. This probably has a lot to do with the Danes' relaxed attitude to life in general, and alcohol in particular. In Denmark schnapps for lunch is perfectly common, and asking for non-alcoholic beer more is likely to raise a laugh than actually getting you any. (I know; I've tried.) ...

Read | 2006-07-24 22:39 | 4 comment(s)

Hot beer

Beer can be made from many different ingredients, but chipotle, that is, smoked jalapeños, has to be among the more unusual. It's brewed by the Rogue brewery in Portland, Oregon, which is one of those breweries which make almost nothing but really good beers. I was surprised to see that they'd brewed a beer using chipotle, called Rogue Chipotle Ale, which we tasted at an Ontopia beer tasting evening at work today, courtesy of Geir Ove. (That is, at work, after work.) ...

Read | 2006-07-17 21:09 | 0 comment(s)

Beer temperature: really getting it right

Some people care more about the temperature of their beers than others, and my friend Geir Ove has gone further than most. He convinced his wife they needed a new refridgerator, and once they'd bought it he took the old for use as a beer refridgerator. It's at all times filled up with four kegs of homebrew, plus innumerable bottles from all over the world. ...

Read | 2006-07-15 15:01 | 1 comment(s)

Beer temperature: getting it right

Getting good beer in Norway is hard, but possible; getting well-tempered beer in Norway is nearly impossible, unfortunately. Most pubs and bars will serve the beer at refridgerator temperature, which ranges from too cold to much too cold. The problem with this is that the taste of the beer is subdued, which means that a lot of the more subtle flavours become impossible to detect, and the main flavour is weaker. ...

Read | 2006-07-13 17:33 | 15 comment(s)

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