Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grünerløkka Blues

Something has happened in Norway during the last few years. There is an interest in beers that go beyond the ordinary pale lagers, and many pubs and bars now have a decent selection of bottled beers. There has to be an interest for these beers among the guests, and I am happy to see beer menus expanding with more available beers than before. There is no mumbo jumbo doing this for any proprietor. They just have to buy the beers, and any bar owner can do it!

Myself, I rarely bother drinking bottled beer at a bar. Usually I can buy it myself and drink it at home. I prefer drinking draught beer. Therefore I like it when a bar expands and gets hold of more beer taps. It is also a treat when a pub gets a house beer brewed especially for itself.

I had an hour to myself before attending a meeting in Oslo. I chose to take the tram to the Grünerløkka district, as there are several interesting pubs there. Among them you can find two brewpubs and also some with house beers. I chose to visit Grünerløkka Brygghus. The pub's name tells that it is a brewpub. It is not. Grünerløkka Brygghus started up in 2010 aiming to be a brewpub, but so far only beers from outside the building have been available there. But they have house beers brewed for them by Nøgne Ø, and I really liked the Kjell Pop Single Hop I drank there last year. This time around there were no possibilities to check out the beers at Grünerløkka Brygghus. The pub was closed, and it would open a few hours later. OK, I thought. Then I will try Aku Aku Tiki Bar further down the road.

But no such luck. Aku Aku Tiki Bar was also closed. That was a shame, as I wanted to taste the house beer. It is a pale ale brewed by Nøgne Ø called Aku Aku Lemongrass Ale. It is only available a a draught beer, and it is a rather rare beer as this bar is one of the very few places to sell it. Two letdowns so far. Would there be more? Was I just way too early in the day to drink other draught beers than pale lagers from Ringnes and Frydenlund in this area of Oslo?

At the square further down the street I saw Parkteatret. Once this was a big cinema, but these days there are concerts there. The former lobby is now a bar. It has a great retro look with leather chairs and sofas. I enjoyed being there. And as a bonus there were interesting beers on tap!

I chose Dobbel Dose from Haandbryggeriet. This cloudy beer had barely any carbonation nor head. The nose was very fruity with lots of grapefruit. In the mouth sweetness and bitterness met in a great balance. I felt fruit cocktail and grapefruit before a partly bitter finish. This was lovely! A great beer.

Time was up. I rushed down the road to catch the next tram heading downtown. There was work to be done.

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