Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ægir in Bergen

Beers from Norwegian craft breweries are getting easier to get hold of in Bergen. Henrik has offered Nøgne Ø beer on tap for a while, and Naboen is even better with also beers from Haandbryggeriet available.

These days Naboen even has another ace in their sleeve. It is now possible to drink draughted beer from Ægir brewery. Ægir is based in Flåm in the deepest of the West-Norwegian fjords. Their beers can be found at some Vinmonopolet outlets and have also appeared from tap at beer bars in Oslo this year.

The addition of Ægir makes Naboen a really interesting beer destination in Bergen. During the last few weeks the line-up has had some changes, but the current offers are: Aass lager, Aass Classic lager, Naboen Bayer, Nøgne Ø Blond, Haandbryggeriet Weizen, Ægir IPA and Haandbryggeriet Norse Porter.

Ægir IPA smells of flowers and hops. The hops are very distinct in the mouth and the beer feels bitter. There is also some fruitiness, and after a few sips I conclude that this is a delicious beer. But as I drink more of it, I feel it gets way too bitter. But it is still a nice IPA.

In addition to the new beers, there is also something else that is special to Naboen right now. The pub has recently started using a traditional hand pump as the only bar in Bergen, I believe. This week they had Haandbryggeriet Norse Porter available from the hand pump. Served in the glass this is a black beer without carbonation. The head has a medium height and is offwhite. There is coffee in the nose, and in the mouth the beer feels creamy and very tasty with more coffee. The beer is also fruity with a bitter finish. Norse Porter is a very good and enjoyable beer.

I also tried Haandbryggeriet Pale Ale from tap. This was a dark and cloudy beer with much hops. There are hints of pear in the mouth, and the fruit stays through the finish where it struggles with bitterness. A good beer that I prefer to the Ægir IPA.

Earlier this month you could find Haandbryggeriet IPA from the hand pump. The IPA had very little carbonation and a lasting head. The beer was fruity in the nose, and in the mouth a combination of pears and apples gave the beer a great punch.

This was an excellent creamy beer, and I preferred it to the Haandbryggeriet Pale Ale and the Norse Porter. If you people at Naboen read this, I recommend you to have the IPA on the hand pump and not the Norse Porter.

If you want to try out more beers from Ægir, Haandbryggeriet or other Norwegian breweries, Naboen has also a lot of bottled craft beers. Prices are high. I paid 98 NOK (11 GBP or EUR) for my pints of draughted beers.

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