Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of 2009: Ales

There have been several ales on my menu both this year and earlier years. I went a lot to the UK in nineties, and have had my share of various bitters. I am also fond of stouts, and the occational pale ale also makes it way into my fridge at times.

Here in Norway it is easy to find Guinness, Kilkenny, Newcastle Brown Ale and Bombardier in ordinary supermarkets. Better stocked supermarkets and shops may also offer bottles of Brakspear, Spitfire, Old Speckeled Hen or Whitstable Bay. You can also find the occational bottle of Nøgne Ø's beers that have a alcohol content below 4.7%. At Vinomopolet the selection is better, and various ales from breweries like Nøgne Ø, Haandbryggeriet and Ægir is available. In my opinion, Vinmonopolet is the place to visit if you want to buy ales in Norway.

It was a difficult task choosing the three nominees in this category, but here goes:

- Primátor Stout
- Haandbryggeriet IPA
- Special Holiday Ale (Nøgne Ø)

The stout from the Czech Primátor brewery was a sensation when I first tried it on tap at the U Prince Miroslava pub in Prague. This is an excellent stout, and a great tasting beer that I hope will find its way out of the Czech Republic. I would really like to drink it here in Norway as well.

Haandbryggeriet's IPA was a great find when I tried it at Naboen in Bergen. It was draughted and served from a hand pump. The beer was delicious and had a fabulous taste with flavours of pears and apples.

Nøgne Ø's Special Holiday Ale was also a sensation. I have only tried it from bottles, and I liked the rich flavours, the balanced sweetness and fullbodiness of the beer. I hope I will find another bottle soon, as this was a beer I would love to try again.

But here is the winner:

- Haandbryggeriet IPA

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