Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Norwegian brewpub

Although the Bryggerikaia brewpub in Bodø is not brewing beers at the moment, there are other brewpubs in Norway. Not too many, but if you visit the biggest cities you should have a chance to find one. Oslo has Oslo Mikrobryggeri and Bergen has Kalfaret brygghus. There are among others also brewpubs at Lillehammer and in the little village Flåm in the fjord district.

This month I visited Trondheim, and in the city centre Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri can be found. Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri has the same owners as Oslo Mikrobryggeri. Outside there are possibilities for outdoors seating, but the freezing Norwegian Winter temperatures makes this not tempting. Inside, Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri has a large room on the ground floor with a large bar in the middle of the room.

Nearly all beers sold at Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri are brewed at the premises. The day I visited the most popular beer was the brewery's pale lager, Trondhjemspils, which is unfortunately a quite ordinary beer. In addition to this the brewpub also sold a porter, a bitter, a stout, an amber, a bayer and an IPA. Beers are sold in several measures, but they are also available in taster glasses which cost 15 NOK for 0.1 litre.

I decided to take a taster glass of all available beers, and after five minutes I was served seven glasses of beers in several colours. The first beer I tasted was the porter. It was upper fermented and black in colour. In the nose there were hints of coffee, and in the mouth the coffee was still there. The beer was thin bodied and felt watery. It had some caramel in the aftertaste. The beer had 4.5% alcohol and all in all I felt it was somewhat boring.

Next beer out was the bitter. It had very little aroma, but I liked the consistence of the beer. Tastewise it did not impress me. There was not much flavour except for some hops in the aftertaste. Another boring beer, unfortunately.

I then tried the stout, It was black with a small head. The nose had some coffee and roastedness. In the mouth the coffee was to the fore, but it felt somewhat watery. A good beer, but at 5.5% alcohol I had hoped for more taste in it.

Then it was time for the amber. It had a great, amber (sic!) colour and nice aromas of fruit. In the mouth the fruit was kicking with tastes of apples and peaches dominating. The aftertaste was somewhat bitter, but in all a balanced beer that I liked a lot. This beer had 5.5% alcohol.

Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri's Baviarian style beer, Bayer, had a nice copper colour. In the glass there was nearly no head, but a lot of carbonation. I felt the beer was watery and with little taste. Another boring beer.

The last beer I tried was the IPA. It was a pale beer with little aroma. In the mouth it was something else. Hops and bitterness gave it a nice bite, but an exciting feeling of pears followed by more hops in the aftertaste made this IPA a nice experience. I liked this beer best of all the beers I had at Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri, so I enjoyed an American pint of it afterwards. The 0.45 litre of IPA was priced at 57 NOK, which is nearly 7 EUR or slightly more than 6 GBP.

It liked being able to visit Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri, and I will be back if I return to Trondheim. The beers were nice, but I felt that other Norwegian breweries have better beers to offer. The IPA is beaten by the IPAs from both Haandbryggeriet and Ægir, and Hansa and Aass make better bayers than Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri. But the beers here are better than most of what is brewed at the local macro brewery in Trondheim, E. C. Dahl.

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