Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bergen odds and ends

During December and January I have had several bar visits in Bergen tasting some beers for the first time. Some of these beers were seasonal beers, while others are available now and then at Norwegian taprooms. This post is a collection of tasting notes and beer photos.

At Kontoret you can find two Ægir taps at the moment. Ægir is a small craft brewery based in Flåm. Among the Ægir beers sold in December, were the Christmas beer, Rallar and IPA. Rallar is an amber ale named after the Scandinavian word for railroad workers. In the glass at Kontoret it had a small head and little carbonation. In the mouth I felt some toffee before a partly bitter finish with some caramel. This was a nice beer from Ægir brewery, and I am looking forward to trying it at home from a bottle.

Draught beers from the little Kinn brewery in Florø are always available at Naboen. In December one of the offers was Kinn Julefred. This was a seasonal beer with a name which translated into English means Christmas peace.

Kinn Julefred was sold as a cask beer with a coppery colour. In the glass it had little carbonation and a solid head. The beer had aromas of malts and sweetness. In the mouth I felt this was a boring beer with a strange taste combining some coffee, cloves and a sugary touch. The finish was partly bitter with a hoppy flavour. I did not feel this was worth 84 NOK or about 8.50 GBP for a pint. Other beers from Kinn are better and more interesting than this Christmas beer.

Also available in December at Naboen was Ægir's Julebrygg, which was another Christmas beer. This was a copper coloured beer with some carbionation and nearly no head. The beer had an aroma with a touch of toffee. Otherwise there was nothing in the nose. I felt the beer was very sweet with a dominating taste of syrup and cardamum together with a flavour of glögg, a Scandinavian winter drink. The beer was OK, but nowhere near the greatness of Nøgne Ø's God Jul, which was my favourite Christmas beer in 2010.

Haandbryggeriet's Pale Ale is a main stay at Naboen. I had a glass a December afternoon of the somewhat unclear coppery coloured beer. In the nose there were apples, while malts and apples danced around in the mouth before a semibitter finish. This was a lovely beer, and it is much better than Kinn's Austkyst, which is another pale ale often available on tap at Naboen.

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