Saturday, April 25, 2009

Easter Theatre

Bergen again. The second largest city of Norway is a beautiful sight with its lovely harbour and nice sights. Spring has arrived. The weather has been nice this week, and the usual Bergener rain has been nowhere to be seen.

The theatre of Bergen, Den Nationale Scene.

Near the theatre, you can find several interesting cafés and pubs. I have written about Naboen earlier, but this time it is time to visit Henrik. Henrik is just opposite the theatre. Between Henrik and the theatre is a tiny park where pidgeons and seagulls roam. If you want to feed the birds, get ready to see some fighting. The pidgeons have more or less no chance against the seagulls, so people try to feed the pidgeons exclusively. Usually the seagulls get there in no time, so the pidgeons need to flee.

Henrik is above the local 7-Eleven competitor, Deli de Luca.

Henrik is on the first floor across the street. There is only a small door, and then up the stairs you go. On your way you pass several pictures and paintings of the Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen.
Ibsen was based in Bergen for some time in the 19th century, and it is therefore natural to use the Henrik name for a pub near the theatre.

The inside of Henrik is a large room with a decent bar. Beer bottle lovers will find many beers and beer styles represented. From tap Norwegian lagers Ringnes and Frydenlund lead on together with Carlsberg lager. Stout is represented by Guinness, and Kilkenny is also to be found. But this is not why I visited Henrik this time. They also sell draughted beer from the Norwegian cult brewer Nøgne Ø, and it is rumoured that this is the only place in Bergen to do so.

As I visited this week, the Nøgne Ø Easter beer God Påske was available as a draught beer. As always, Norwegian beer prices are high, and that is also typical of Nøgne Ø. At Henrik I had to pay 76 NOK for 0.35 litre of God Påske.

God Påske is copper coloured. In the glass there is nearly no head, but there is some carbonation. Actually, there is more carbonation than I expected, and it is nice to have a glass of Nøgne Ø without sediments. The first taste is typical of several other Nøgne Ø beers. Here there be hops! But there is more to it. Together with a fruity scent and some yeast notes, this is a very enjoyable beer. I have tasted several offerings from Nøgne Ø, but this is the best one. After one glass I am very tempted to taste another, but then I see something on the shelf.

Henrik sells Budweiser Budvar lager! OK, it is only available in 0.33 litre bottles, but for a Budvar fan like me it is nice to see a beer I have not seen in Norway for years. Sorry, Nøgne Ø, but curiosity kills the cat. I need to have a bottle of Budvar. From the bottle label, I can see that this is a beer bottled for Norway and imported by the Norwegian importers Interbev. The price at Henrik is 67 NOK.

This is Budvar's lezak, as it has 4.5% alcohol. I have had both the vycepni and the lezak from tap in the Czech Republic, and they are great lager beers. The bottled Budvar is also very nice, and pours with a large head into the glass. There is more carbonation than in the Nøgne Ø God Påske, but still very little. The colour is light amber with a nice contrast to the white head. This is a tasty beer with some hops and a nice bitterness. This is a good session beer, and I hope that we can find it in shops very soon. It is rumoured to be found in the Norwegian ICA supermarkets in May. I hope that also other chains will sell it and that it will be a success. Myself, I would prefer Budvar to the leading Norwegian lager beers like Ringnes and Hansa any day.

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