Thursday, July 29, 2010

A good neighbour in Trondheim

There are some beer bars in Norway that are really worth visiting. Some have the ambience, while others have the beers. In the last category you can find Den gode nabo in Trondheim.

Den gode nabo (English: The good neighbour) is situated in the Bakklandet neighbourhood of Trondheim. It is a great setting with outdoor tables next to the Nidelven river and a great view to the river from the bar itself. It is not that difficult for a bar to make a good beer selection in bottled brews. Den gode nabo has a lot of bottled beers, but what makes this restaurant special in Norway is its great variety in draught beers.

Sure, Norwegian beers like the local Dahls pale lager and Frydenlund bayer is available on tap. In addition to this there is an international representation on the taps with Pilsner Urquell and Carlsberg.

But there are more draughted beers than this. You can find San Miguel, Paulaner hefeweizen, Newcastle Brown Ale, Oyster Stout and Samuel Adams Boston Lager together with a beer of the month that was not available the day I visited.

The Norwegian Kinn brewery started up last year in Florø. Their beers are available in a few selected bars across Norway, and Den gode nabo is one of them. I usually drink Kinn beers at Naboen in Bergen, so I chose to not have any Norwegian beers during my visit.

At Den gode nabo I first tried out Samuel Adams' Boston Lager. It was a nice lager with a golden coolour and a large head. There was also a lot of carbonation. I felt yeast in the nose, and in the mouth the yeast was supplemented by some malts and tasty, bitter lemons. The finish was rather bitter, but in all I liked the beer very much.

At home I usually have bottled Paulaner when I want a wheat beer. Den gode nabo had Paulaner's hefeweizen, and I wanted to have a go at this weissbier from tap for the first time. That was a wise choice, as the wheat beer was excellent. In the glass it had a large head and some carbonation. The aroma had cloves and yeast. In the mouth I felt bananas, more cloves, some yeast and a touch of bread. Lovely!

Den gode nabo is a must for beer visitors to Trondheim. I know I will return the next time I am in the town.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

UK in Trondheim

British pubs can be found all over Norway. Some feel authentic, while others are of the constructed kind without any atmosphere. Usually you will find some taps with a Norwegian pale lager, some ales (often Kilkenny) and Guinness stout.

While visiting Trondheim I wanted to check out some of the British pubs. The first I entered, was Three Lions Pub in the city centre. My visit was during the world cup, so most guests were watching football on the screens. This is probably one of the better places to watch sports in Trondheim, as the atmosphere was great.

Beerwise Three Lions Pubs are among the better ones in Norway. In addition to bottles, you can find several draught beers. The local Dahls pale lager is supplemented by other pale lagers like Carlsberg, Tuborg, Carling and Stella Artois. Ale drinkers can enjoy Old Speckeled Hen, Newcastle Brown Ale, Guinness and Greene King IPA. I was ready for an IPA that day, but unfortunately the tank was empty. Instead I ended up with a forgettable pale lager that took away my thirst.

Not far from Three Lions, you can find a Scottish pub. Macbeth was a calmer place than the English pub, and I felt it had no atmosphere.

On tap there was Heineken pale lager, Newcastle Brown Ale, Murphy's Red and Guinness. I was not tempted by any of the beers, so I asked the bartender if they had any Scottish beers. After all, they call themselves a Scottish pub.

He had one Scottish beer, Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA in bottles. I had not tried that beer before, so I ordered a bottle. In the glass, this was a copper coloured beer with little carbonation. In the nose I found malts and citrus. The citrus was also present in the mouth with a nice bitterness. I liked this beer a lot, and I hope this so called Scottish pub can offer a Scottish beer like this also as a draught beer.

I will probably not be back at Three Lions or Macbeth on my next visit to Trondheim. There are better places for beer lovers in Norway's third largest city.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Three beers in Trondheim

There are many interesting places to visit in Norway. The third largest city in the country, Trondheim, is one of them. Compared to Bergen and Oslo there are not that many tourist sights, but there are some. One of them is the fabulous Nidarosdomen, Trondheim's medieval cathedral.

But this is a beer blog, so I will write about some of the bars and restaurants in Trondheim. Not far from the cathedral you can find Tulla Fischer. This is a cafe selling among others cakes, sandwiches and pizzas. Once upon a time this was the telegraph building in Trondheim, and the ceiling still has the look of an official building combined with fancy lamps.

The beer menu at Tulla Fischer was not something to be happy about. The local Dahls pale lager was available on tap together with Carlsberg Extra Cold and some bottled import beers in a fridge. The Carlsberg was cold and without any aroma or taste to talk about. Next time around I should order water. But Tulla Fischer was a nice place, and perhaps somewhere to take a date?

In the city centre of Trondheim Nattergalen can be found. Nattergalen calls itself a bar with a kitchen. As a bar, the place is interesting with many interesting wines and drinks on the menu.

For beer lovers, Nattergalen is not an important bar to visit in Trondheim. From tap you can drink Heineken and Hansa pale lager together with Newcastle Brown Ale. I had a brown ale and enjoyed it while thinking I really liked this beer much better years ago. I also had a great omelette at Nattergalen. It was absolutely to be recommended.

Across the Old town bridge (Gamle Bybro) you can find the neighbourhood of Bakklandet. Bakklandet has its share of nice cafes, and one of them is Rabarbra.

I did not plan to visit Rabarbra at all during my last visit to Trondheim. A special restaurant I wanted to check out was not open yet, so I decided to stroll around Bakklandet to see if I could find a nice place to read my newspaper.

Rabarbra is a place with a good atmosphere. It is located in a rustic setting, and the wooden walls and old furniture give the visitors a nice feeling. I enjoyed being there, and the smiling and cute waitresses did a good job.

In addition to this, Rabarbra can also offer an excellent amount of used books. It was interesting taking a look at all the shelves, taking out an old book and looking through it.

To drink I could choose between two kinds of draught beer at Rabarbra: Frydenlund's bayer and Trondheim's own Dahls lager. I chose the local beer, and was given a half litre of a pale lager with a medium sized head and nearly no carbonation. In the nose there was flowers and some sweetness. In the mouth malts danced along with the sweetness and a hint of bitterness before the hops took over in the finish. Unfortunately the beer had a metallic taste as well, but perhaps the lines at Rabarbra were not clean enough? Dahls is an average lager that does its job nicely as a thirst quencher. It is not a beer I will actively seek out. But I would like to go back to Rabarbra.

Monday, July 19, 2010

If this is Thursday, it must be Copenhagen

I spent one day last week in Copenhagen. The weather in the Danish capital was fabulous. It was was sunny, and the temperature was heading towards 30 Centigrades. The day would be nice for trying out some of Denmark's finest beers, but I was not able to. I do not mix drinking and driving, so my beverages were water and soft drinks.

But I did envy the ones sitting down having a glass of beer in the warm weather. Next to the famous Tivoli gardens, you can find Bryggeriet Apollo. This is a brewpub with a varied offer in beers. Most people sitting down at Bryggeriet Apollo enjoyed their pilseners, and it looked really good.

Inside Tivoli Gardens there are several food stands and restaurants. Most of them offer draught beers from Danish breweries like Carlsberg, Tuborg and Royal. In addition to this there is also a little brewpub on site, but I did not see it during my short visit.

Instead I found a German inspired beer garden called Paulaner Biergarten. Paulaner's draught beers were naturally present, and I would love to have tried both the weissbier and the Oktoberfestbier from the menu.

As always, Tivoli Gardens are full of people in Summer. It is a great place for children, but there is also much to do for adults. With both a German styled beer garden and a brewpub, Tivoli is an interesting site for beer travellers.

Not far from Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen), I found another interesting place for beer hunters. A little pub called Brewpub, also had their own microbrewery on site. Brewpub makes several beers, but most interesting was that they based their food menu on dishes and beers that fit together.

Sure, I need to go back to Copenhagen. And next time I will use public transport.