Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hand versus island

It is nice knowing that it is possible to go out in Bergen and enjoy draughted beers from both Nøgne Ø and Haandbryggeriet. Both breweries are small compared to the Norwegian macros, and their beers are rarely available in Norwegian shops and supermarkets. Instead you need to visit Vinmonopolet, where the stronger beers from both breweries always are available.

I entered Naboen this week, as this is the only place in Bergen where you can find both breweries present on tap. From Nøgne Ø, you can find their Blond, while Naboen offers Haandbryggeriet's Pale Ale.

I decided to start out with the Nøgne Ø beer. In the glass it had a cloudy golden look with a small head and nearly no carbonation. Nøgne Ø Blond smells fresh with a flowery feel and hops flavour. In the mouth the hops are present together with hints of sweetness. It is a very nice beer, and I would really like to have it again.

Then it is time for Haandbryggeriet's Pale Ale. Just like the Blond, Pale Ale from Haandbryggeriet is a cloudy, golden beer. I smell more flowers here, and in the mouth I feel some citrus notes while the hops burst out giving the Pale Ale a more bitter feeling. Unfortunately the Haandbryggeriet ale was served in a Nøgne Ø glass, as the Naboen pub has no Haandbryggeriet glasses.

Both beers are good, and the first mouthfulls make me feel that Haandbryggeriet's Pale Ale is the best offer of the two beers. But as I empty the glass, I feel the beer becomes too bitter for my palate. Therefore my winner is Nøgne Ø's Blond.

Beer is expensive in Norway, and some of you may ask how much a glass of Nøgne Ø's Blond is. Look no further. These are the prices at Naboen:

59 NOK is about 6 pounds for a 0.35 glass of beer. That is OK in Norway, as a half litre of lager usually costs from 60 NOK and upwards.

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