Thursday, September 3, 2009

On the quayside

It was still Summer when I visited Bodø in June. Bodø is north of the Arctic circle, and in Summer the sun never sets. Midnight sun or white nights is a strange phenomenon for people not used to it, but it is nice seeing the time passing midnight and the sun is still up.

I had heard that Bodø had its own microbrewery, and therefore I entered the Bryggerikaia pub and restaurant at the harbour. It looks like a nice place with an extremely scenic setting. The name Bryggerikaia means brewery quay in English, because the pub has a little brewery on the premises.

Inside, a big bar is placed on one side of the pub. Around in the room, there are many wooden tables and chairs. It is also possible to sit outside enjoying a nice view of Bodø harbour. But Bryggerikaia is more than a pub, as it also functions as a restaurant with a varied menu. Of course, seafood is an important part of the menu, as Bodø is one of Norway's major fishing ports.

I was not hungry when I visited Bryggerikaia, but I felt that I had to taste some fish or other seafood. As I looked at the menu, I found the scallops interesting. I am very fond of shellfish, so I ordered the dish. The Swedish waitress noted that the scallop meal was a small portion, so she adviced me to order more food. I told her that I was not that much hungry, so I settled with the scallops.

The scallop plate arrived at my table. It looked rather nice, and as i had my first taste I felt they were nicely cooked. They had a crisp outside, and inside they were delicately soft. I liked them a lot, but the sauce was not my cup of tee. Its vinegar was way too bitter to my liking. The price was 135 NOK. That is nearly 14 GBP, 22 USD or 15.50 EUR.

Of course I had to have something to drink. On the menu there were several beers, but at this time most of them were unavailable. I ended up drinking Mack Arctic Beer from tap, as this was the only draught beer for sale that day. That was a shame, as I had been looking forward to trying the micro brewery's own beers.

Mack brewery calls itself the world's northernmost brewery. It is based in Tromsø, which is further north in Norway than Bodø. Mack Arctic Beer is a fizzy, pale lager. It was served with a medium head that dissolved rather fast. It smells fresh and flowery with hints of malts, and in the mouth I feel it to be a very good lager beer. It is a medium bitter lager with a grainy aftertaste. It was very enjoyable, and I consider it one of Norway's best lagers.

I went back to Bryggerikaia the day after to see if there were more draught beers available then. It was, but not what I was hoping for. The Mack Arctic Beer was supplemented by Mack Bayer, a dark lager in the Bavarian style. This was a copper coloured beer with little carbonation. It had a little, white head that it kept rather long. There are notes of caramel and coffee in the mouth, but it feels a little bit watery in the aftertaste. It is a nice Bayer beer, but I would prefer Hansa's bayer to this one.

I liked Bryggerikaia, and I will return the next time I visit Bodø. But then I hope that I can try their own beers!

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