Larsblog - beer

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)

Cardinal!

I've been tasting all the Norwegian beer I could find for years, and tonight I had an experience I didn't think I could have in Norway any more. I've just spent an entire evening drinking Norwegian specialty beers, none of which I'd ever tasted before, and I had to leave many more beers behind when leaving. Clearly something good has happened to the Norwegian beer market. ...

Read | 2006-06-30 20:51 | 1 comment(s)

A review of Norwegian brewers

I've been reviewing beers on RateBeer.com for a while now, especially Norwegian beers, and thought it might be interesting to take a look at how the different Norwegian brewers have fared in my ratings. RateBeer allows premium subscribers to download a CSV file containing all their ratings, and so producing a table of Norwegian brewers ranked by average rating was a simple matter of a little Python programming. ...

Read | 2006-05-02 20:50 | 11 comment(s)

Gildet på Solhaug

A week ago or so I received an email from my girlfriend about a play she wanted to see at the National Theatre: Gildet på Solhaug, or The Feast at Solhaug, by Ibsen. The play was to be performed in the restaurant at the theatre, accompanied by medieval food (the play takes place in, well, it's not entirely clear when, but it sounds as though it might be around 1300), and three kinds of beer from Nøgne Ø. I of course said yes at once, and so we went tonight. ...

Read | 2006-04-02 21:10 | 0 comment(s)

Beer hunting in Fränkische Schweiz

The Fränkische Schweiz, or Franconian Switzerland, is a small, hilly area north of Nürnberg between Bamberg and Bayreuth which is full of idyllic small towns and villages, strange rock formations, and small streams and rivers. More importantly, it's also full of small family breweries. After we left Bamberg we headed into this area towards Kulmbach, and after visiting Kulmbach and Bayreuth we headed back in for some sightseeing (and beer research).

...

Read | 2006-02-12 23:47 | 2 comment(s)

Beer tasting in Bamberg

Bamberg is an outstandingly beautiful city and also home of the Rauchbier (literally "smoke beer"), and so the visit here was one of the high points on our trip. It turns out that Bamberg has no less than nine breweries, so sampling all the Bamberg beers actually requires quite a bit of work. All of the breweries have their own taverns or biergartens serving the beer, and two also combine the tavern with an inn where you can stay at a very reasonable price. ...

Read | 2006-01-02 02:12 | 2 comment(s)

Gose

When I went to Leipzig for the TMRA '05 conference I discovered that Leipzig is actually the home town of a rather obscure beer speciality, called Gose. Gose is like a cross between Berliner Weisse and Belgian witbier in that it's a sour wheat beer spiced with salt and coriander. This may sound like a tall tale, but I assure you it is actually true. ...

Read | 2005-12-04 21:05 | 2 comment(s)

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