Norway gave me a breath of fresh air but also left me bitterly dissapointed. They seem to be moving in the right direction with their real ales but still linger with their old tasteless draft lagers.
Lets get the quilty parties out of the way first –
Hansa Draft Beer.
Or as I call it – ‘Hansa the horrible’. This is brewed by the Hansa-Borg-Bryggerier group. This is a german style pilsener beer – allegedly.
As somebody on a beer review site once said (and I couldn’t have put it or be bothered to put it any better myself) –
‘Let’s cut to the chase. This isn’t a good beer. It looks, pours, and smells fine. But once the liquid touches your taste buds, it all goes downhill. There’s nothing approaching balance or smoothness. There’s little in terms of flavor. All I get from this beer is a good looking beer with no head and a sour/bitter aftertaste. Some here have said it’s tasteless to a fault. But all I get is a bad aftertaste to this, so much that I’m going to dump it out and get something more drinkable.’
Searching Google images for Hansa Beer I found this picture –
The man clearly has to eat a freshly dug up dead caterpillar before each sip of Hansa beer.
Another terrible local Norwegian Beer – what are they doing ? At least theres an explanation to this – its part of the Carlsberg group. Enough said, its rubbish and at 7 GBP for 0.4cl even more horrible. Next.
Searching Google images for Ringnes Beer I found this image –
The man was clearly too embarrassed to be seen with his tin of Ringnes beer, either that or hes a swinger.
Right, onto the good stuff that I tried !! Whilst out and about sailing around the fjords of Norway we stumbled across a small restaurant where the host recommended that I try a bottle of the local ale. I was so pleased that he said this as they had the ‘Hansa the horrible’ on draft.
The beer in question was called Oselvar –
Its a pale ale with a delightful fresh taste and is infinitely quaffable. As I was in a restaurant it cost me 12 GBP a bottle, I had to make it last a while.
Frydenlund Session IPA – ABV 4.5%.
Had a few of these whilst I was in Norway – a nice IPA brewed locally (dare I say it by the Hansa group). One of the best things about it was that it regularly got served in pints. Pints as in ‘pint glasses’ -unheard of Norway. Normally you get a shake of the head and get a 0.4cl glass or a 0.3cl glass – whats the point of those ? You’d spend far too much time going back to the bar.f
Overall not a great experience of the beers of Norway although with the advent of small breweries starting up things might change.