Saturday, January 16, 2010

Airport beers

I like travelling by plane. The view from the air is unbeatable, and chance encounters with new people can be interesting - especially when they lead into conversations. I also like being on airports. While people who travel a lot often find airports boring, I feel airports are exciting. Watching people and looking at the shops and restaurants are nice. Essentially I like finding the local groove while being in an international environment.

Bergen's airport Flesland is the second largest in Norway. It is not big compared to international airports in Europe, and it therefore has an intimate and cozy atmosphere. There are only 11 gates in the terminal, and there are not many shops and restaurants. Like in all Norwegian airports, there is a duty free shop, and international travellers can find perfume, chocolates, tobacco and alcoholic beverages there. For beer interested people there is a very limited selection. If you want Ringnes or Carlsberg pale lager from cans, they sell it there together with the German Holsten beer.

The cafes and restaurants are equally boring in their beer selection. There is one in the arrivals hall, and it sells Ringnes from tap. Inside the international terminal there is a cafeteria, which also sells Ringnes. Next to the cafeteria, you can find a bar which has more to offer.

Not that much, actually. From tap there is Ringnes and Carlsberg, but they also sell bottles and cans with beers like Guinness, Kilkenny, Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois.

I had a glass of Ringnes pale lager while waiting for a plane recently. It is sold in 0.4 or 0.6 litre glasses. If you go for a 0.6 litre glass the price is 84 NOK, which is around 9 GBP or 10 EUR. If you prefer a 0.6 litre glass of Carlsberg, you must pay slightly more at 89 NOK. A 0.33 litre bottle of Stella Artois or Corona will set you back 73 NOK.

The Ringnes beer is the most common beer in Norway. I like it better draughted than from cans or bottles, but in all it is a boring lager beer. There is some sweetness, a bitter twist with a hint of hops and some watery feeling. You can make better beer choices in Norway than Ringnes, but at this airport this is the better offer from draught.

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