Monday, 29 August 2011

Past, Present & Future! (A small update)

It’s Sunday night, and another great weekend is over. Yes, we lived by the beer and we died by the beer. The beer geek week started with some beers at the beer club at Cardinal’s Onsdag2. The night was kicked off with a wheat beer home brew and finished with the no holds barred stout Tokyo* from Brewdog. Met a bunch of cool people I’ve never spoken to before, drank good beer, had a good time.

Tim Burton Beer?

Saturday last week Bongo and me took two good friends out for beer tasting at Cardinal and we went through a well-prepared list of 12 tasty brews. The highlight being the “Ægir Lynchburg Natt Barrel Aged Imperial Porter”, a great tasting beer stored on barrels used to age a rather famous brand of sour mash Tennessee whiskey.

Friday Bongo and I hooked up to go see two of our best friends play a gig at a local bar. Both x-members of our own rabble rousing band Upskirts. Then we went to Cardinal for a brew and found some new beers to tick, haha! No we’re not beer tickers! Thanks for the DVD Tom Young alias Kjempetorsken. Before the gig we watched the DVD “Beertickers” that I won in the International beer day photo competition.

Saturday I had no plans to go out, but I wanted another go at the “Lervig Lucky Jack Unfiltered” and the “Nøgne Ø Aku Aku” I tried the day before. It ended up as a whole day and the whole of the night drinking session. Educating total strangers in the joys of beer and getting new friends. Cardinal is so much more that just a place for good beers! Most people who go there act completely different that how people act in the other pubs in town. It’s civilized and friendly! If you don’t fit that description, just stay away!

This beer was brewed in 1981.

So what’s happening in the near future Haffy? Hmmm lets see:
  •        Going to New York visiting Brooklyn Brewery & Southern Tier in September.
  •         Ølfestivalen 2011 at Nærbø October 22nd.
  •         Nøgne Ø Juleølsmaking in Grimstad October 29th.
  •         Starting homebrewing September/October

So there will be enough of stories to be told in the future. There will be beer-blogging!

I was recently in Orlando and since I got you all here I want to tell you about a bar called “Redlight Redlight”. My team at work won a sales competition, so we won a holiday in Orlando. Since the airline lost our luggage we went to “Target” to get some new clothes the first morning. No I’m not gonna go into details on this airline story. But at Target I found “Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA” & “Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA”. I bought the Dogfish since I hadn’t tried it before, and what a delicious beer. Continually hopped and heavily dry hopped this were a tasty treat no less. At the next liquor store near the hotel I found “Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock” and their “Pale Ale”. The Glissade didn’t rock my world like the “60 minute IPA”, but the “Pale Ale” fresh was a world of difference compared to what I’m used to at home. Man the hop character was so up front and tasty that if you gave me this one fresh in a blind test I would call it an IPA.

Inside Redlight Redlight!

But I was supposed to tell a story about “Redlight Redlight”! So lets get back on track. Before leaving for America I had been checking out Google Earth and Ratebeer for tips where to go drinking. And all the way at up at number three at the list for best beer bars in the world I found “Redlight Redlight”. It was a bit far away from my hotel and the parks, but I just knew I had to go there. So I dragged along my friends from work to a place I’ve never been. Risky business! And after walking around in the plastic fantastic Disney/Amusement Park world it was incredibly refreshing to see normal people drinking tasty beer, to see local people that didn’t work in the parks, the hotels or in the tourist business. But compared to every other place we’d been to it looked pretty trashy so I was nervous my friends wouldn’t like it. I took it upon myself to try to make sure they got a tasty experience, while I myself tried the really tasty stuff, he he.

At the door it’s stated, “We specialize in Craft Beer, NO WE DO NOT HAVE BUD LIGHT!” The inside of the pub is cold and dark, and doesn’t look like it does on their web page at all. So we sat down at the benches outside. My first beer was a “Cigar City Jai Alai India Pale Ale”, it was an awesome IPA! 7,5% ABV and it smelled like Mary Jane. Some would also claim that it tasted a bit like Mary also. Next up was the “Old Rasputin” from “North Coast”, one of my all time favorites, but this time from tap. Pitch black, low carbonated and an intense coffee flavor, totally different from the bottled version I’m used to. “Lagunitas Luck #13” was my next and my last tap beer of the night, a dry hopped heavenly double IPA at 8,56%, I would never have guessed it to be so strong. But another great beer indeed, really fresh hop taste, just awesome! “Sierra Nevada’s Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale” was the next one up! With fresh hops flown all the way from New Zealand and a 6,7% ABV this is one sexy beer! At this point my friends wanted to go for a strip club, and the nice female bartender recommend a place nearby she liked. While waiting for the cab I tried another beer. The bartender (Male) said this is his favorite IPA. “Bells Two Hearted Ale” is one of the few beers at ratebeer with a 100/100 score. What can I say? A very tasty and extremely refreshing beer with a lot of hops in it!

Haffy @ Redlight Redlight

I’m a hophead and I love IPA’s as you’ve probably understood by now, so one I was disappointed that Redlight had so few IPA’s to choose from. I think I tried them all, at least all that were in the beer menu. Redlight specialize in Sour and Belgian Ales and also had a good selection of vintage ales. When I asked the bartender about Southern Tier he said they don’t have ‘em because of Southern Tier is in the InBev distribution, and they don’t touch anything touched by InBev. I love Southern Tier, but I guess I gotta respect them for that, stick it to the man! Stay free – Be independent!

So that’s all I had on my mind today, subscribe, recommend to your friends and share on facebook, twitter or whatever! More stories coming soon!


Sunday, 7 August 2011

International beer day at Melkebaren in Sandnes!

International beer day is a worldwide celebration of beer on August 5th. The goal is to gather with your friends and enjoy the taste of beer. Sounds fairly simple doesn’t it? This initiative was started in California back in 2008, and has since then been growing every year. So we did this, Kim, Bongo, Jack & me. And since my regular pub Cardinal didn’t celebrate this day, we went to Melkebaren in our neighbor town Sandnes. I made a program, with beers I wanted to drink & share with my friends. Beer I expected to be good or interesting, that I hadn’t tried before. My idea was try lots of beer, share every bottle, drink slowly and taste the beer…

This was the list:
Beer Here: Dark hops
BrewDog: Alpha dog
Founders: Centennial IPA
Haandbryggeriet/De Molen: Menno & Jens
Green Flash: Hop head red
Green Flash: West coast IPA
Hoppin Frog: Bodacious black & tan
Hoppin Frog: D.O.R.I.S. The destroyer double Imperial Stout (Sold out)
Mikkeller: The American dream (Sold out)
Nøgne Ø: Single Hop Citra IPA (Apparently changed with “Kjell Pop Double Hop”?)
Nøgne Ø: Tyttebær
Southern Tier: 2XIPA
Southern Tier: IPA
Southern Tier: Oak aged Un*Earthly
Southern Tier: Pale ale

I had already called the bar two days before to ask if the selection on their web page was updated. I was told it was, and the nice lady also told me that on Friday the 5th there would be vorspiel for the Kim Larsen concert. So I asked her that ends, and we decided to come when the vorspiel was over. We’re not big Kim Larsen fans!

“Melkebaren” translates to “The Milk Bar” in English, and is the bar in Sandnes with the best selection in beer. Around 250 different beers are available at any time. It is located in “Bøndenes hus” or “The farmers house”. And once upon a time, there used to be a milk bar where there now is a pub. If you like soccer you can go to Melkebaren to have a nice brew and watch the game, you can also kick it out with a round of pool. There’s tables in the streets outside, so you can enjoy a brew in the sun when it’s sunny! It’s also possible to order pizza, nachos, nuts and some cheese and chorizo snack. I’ll be honest with you, I hate sport pubs, and drunk soccer fans, it’s not something I relate to craft beer. When I drink my beer I want to chill out and to be at peace. I want the beer to be what challenges me, and not the urge to go postal on a bunch of no brainers. Luckily there weren’t many soccer fans there this night, but the Kim Larsen fans that popped in after the gig were more or less the same in my eyes.

The bartender I had talked with on the phone, were apparently the bar manager, and I also met the owner, who were out celebrating International Beer Day. The bartender was extremely helpful and nice, and the owner seamed like a man with lots of knowledge about beer. He was drinking a “Le Merle” from North Coast Brewery when we started talking, he decided to share the rest of his bottle with me and my friends. Super nice! I had a real good time at Melkebaren and I will return when the beer selection have changed/rotated a bit again. But I really wished Melkebaren would dare to be more of what they do best! BEER! Craft beer! And stop this soccer, sports and pool nonsense. Turn down the music a bit, raise the price for the cheapest draft beers and redecorate. I bet there’s a whole lot of beer-interested people out there that’s just dying to have a place to hang out, drink good beer and relax, without being forced to face the hordes of loudmouths and drunk soccer fans. But if you sell cheap beer, you attract cheap costumers. (Think about that!) And we noticed plenty of them, including the old hag that almost fell over our table after I told her the seats were taken. I could write a whole lot about what I think of the looks and decoration for the pub, but if I did that, it would probably sound like I didn’t enjoy my stay or liked the place. And I really did like the place. But I really recommend them to hire a decorator or “Queer eye” or whatever.

The beer taster, Jack, Kim, Bongo & Haffy.

After drinking all the beers on our list it was time for a bonus round, it included:
Southern Tier: Farmer’s tan
Southern Tier: Hoppe Extra Pale Ale
Mikkeller: Black Hole Red Wine Edition

Consider this mini-story a bonus round for this blog, I’ve written a lot of long stories lately, and now I really just wanted to tell you about this place. I really hope they can improve on some of the things I pointed out, cause Melkebaren has a huge potential. It’s a good place, but it could be awesome! The beer selection is already awesome! The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, they just need to weed out some unwanted elements. Or maybe it’s just me…

But the point of this story is: Go out and drink good beer, craft beer! Share it with your friends. Go to Melkebaren, and enjoy the wonderful beers and the great service. And if you’re a craft beer drinker like myself, tell them what you like about the place, and tell them what you would like more of! I left a little list of breweries I would like to try more from in their guest book today, it read: I want Cigar city, Three floyds, Dogfish head, Stillwater & Stone! IPA & Stout please, but Barley wine, Pale ale and Porter is also nice…

Cheers from Haffy

Visit Melkebaren here:

Friday, 5 August 2011

Copenhagen Beer City!

I’m on a journey, I’m on a quest, I’m on a mission, and the goal isn’t a destination. Because the journey itself is the destination, and the goal is to never stop moving, and never to settle down with a final conclusion. If you stop searching, you will stop finding! That’s why I search for the best beer in the world! And that’s why I find it over and over again! Lemmy would say: “The chase is better than the catch!” Even though that’s not exactly true, it still describes the attitude at hand here!


But sometimes shit happens, and it can feel like someone is gunning for you, or trying to put spokes in your wheels. Sometimes so much shit can accumulate and rain on you at once, a major streak of bad luck, like you’ve drawn the “Ace of Spades” card or something. And you feel like a shit magnet! Winston Churchill said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” And if you got plenty of good beers and a good attitude, you’ll be fine, just like he were, and just like we were when we went through a lot of shit on our latest trip to Denmark!

World class brewer: Mikkel Borg Bjergsø

Talking so much about shit, it’s only fair to start this story with the first little poop escaping the Danish sewage system. You see almost one week before we left for Copenhagen there was a flood. But it didn’t wash away the sinners like the flood in the Old Testament, this was more like a modern day “biblical” plague. Water and sewage entered the homes and businesses of many a Dane. One of those unlucky that were visited by Mr. Hanky was the Mikkeller bar. And after, the bar was closed for almost one week. But there’s more, but we’ll get to that later, we have a lot of shit to dig through before we get that far into the story! (And lot’s of good beers!)

Awesome beer, awesome brewery!

Every time before I’m travelling, I get restless. Can’t sleep, I’m just thinking and planning, can’t wait to leave! This is a good thing. I was at home packing my bags when Bongo messaged me, I was drinking a “Duchesse De Bourgogne”, a Belgian ale. I’ve had a grudge with Belgian ale for a long time, and I’ve decided to try to work this out. And it’s not like Belgian ales is gonna walk up to me and offer a truce, or come on over and say hi let’s be friends, so I gotta take the first steps. Anyway Bongo’s message read: “Cardinal?” And I responded: “Yes”. We really love American microbreweries so we sat down and had the “Milk Stout” from Left Hand Brewery and the “B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout” from Hoppin Frog. While we sat there drinking these lovely ales, we thought about what wonderful beers we had ahead of us. I showed Bongo my notebook, with addresses for all the places in Copenhagen I wanted to visit. The two next beers up were our old favorites of both of us. The “Imperial Chocolate Stout” from Southern Tier and the “High Tide Fresh Hopped IPA” from Port Brewing. Wonderful, wonderful beers, one dessert and one meal, one smelled like chocolate, the other one smelled like something that would make the narcotics dogs at customs check happy! We went home at 1am, with three hours left to sleep before the alarms would wake us up. After all we would have plenty of time to sleep on the plane, or in the hotel before going out. The departure time for the flight was 6am, so no problem, enough time…

Among favorites!

But when the plane came to a sudden stop on the runway just before take off, that’s were the real shit-storm started. The line for rebooking lasted for small 7 hours, and absolutely no information was given except, go to the service desk for rebooking. We were told that since we didn’t have connecting flights there was no need for rebooking. But when the plane went from delayed to cancelled, no information was given, so we ended up last in line. At 2pm we finally got a new flight and a new ticket, and we thought we could relax, so we did. We sat down in the bar with a beer. But when we went to the gate, we were told that the plane was fully booked and that we only had “stand-by” tickets, and that we had to wait for everyone else to board the plane. Two women that sat next to us in the bar, went to defend us by saying, hey we were on the same cancelled plane, and we have seats, how come they don’t? The respond was brutal: “Excuse me, have you been drinking?” What the f**k do you think people do when they have to wait for ten f**king hours? When we finally were allowed to board the plane we were told we were lucky because some of the passengers hadn’t shown up! WTF? SAS you’re officially on my SHITLIST! You suck!

Bongo & Haffy wild in Copenhagen!

Beer time: We arrived at Mikkeller’s bar at 7pm. It was still daylight outside, and a bunch of people were standing on the curb outside of the bar drinking, the smell in the air was invigorating. Three steps down and we entered a cellar of what is internationally known as a Mecca for beer lovers. The furniture was old and weary. I would call it Spartan. Bongo and me were the youngest folks there, and there were no women in sight. If everyone had a tan and a sombrero it would be like a bar from a spaghetti western made to look like it was a brick house in Mexico. Lots of men with big bellies in a shady bar with really cheap furniture, because it were halfway expected that it would be ruined in the next bar brawl anyway. Just imagine Terrence Hill getting in trouble for bumping shoulders with some tough guy dressed in black, getting his ass whooped, then the mysterious stranger sitting in the dark corner steps up for the rescue. And that would of course be Bud Spencer, the fight would include everyone in the bar, and all the furniture’s would be smashed to pieces and used as weapons during the fight. That’s the kind of place the Mikkeller Bar looks like on the inside. Now the reality is quite different, and as darkness descended on Copenhagen, the candles were lit, and after a couple of beers, the place was suddenly pretty cozy. So anyway, after we entered the bar, I went to get the first round of beers. I politely said hello and asked for the menu, but I was struck by disbelief, how could we have been so unlucky? There was no bottled beer, they had all been covered in piss and shit from the flood, oh no! This was a biblical plague after all! A punishment for all the sinful beer drinkers. And what was more, the bar just opened an hour before we came. After being closed a week, and you could still smell that some funny business had been going on. But luckily at least the tap beers were servable, so we decided to make the best of it, and try what we were interested in from the tap. That narrowed the selection down to 20 beers, which meant we tried stuff we normally probably wouldn’t, not necessarily a bad thing. I won’t be able, and I don’t want to tell you about all the beers we drank, cause this story would be too damn long then, and we visited other places that I also want to share with you. So here are some selected beers from Mikkeller bar that night…

Bongo & Haffy @ Mikkeller Bar

Mikkeller “1.000 IBU light”:
This IPA is claimed to be the hoppiest beer in the world, now this one also exists in a non-light version. The light version is at 4,9%, while the “full” version is at 9,6% of alcohol. This is probably the bitterest beer I have ever tasted, and after reading some reviews I regret that I didn’t try the “full” version also. But this crazy son of a bitch just didn’t turn me on at all. Every sip permanently damaged my taste buds, and I value them. This was not balanced at all, just damn awful. But it smelled like heaven, I love the smell of hops in the morning. The 9,6% version is said to be a lot sweeter, and you need that to balance the bitterness. The name 1.000 IBU is slightly misleading. IBU stands for “International Bitterness Units”, and the human taste threshold for IBU ends not much higher than 100 IBU. The amount of alpha acids in the hops used during hopping, decides the theoretical IBU of the beer, but it’s not possible for the beer to absorb all of the bitterness from the hops added to the beer, especially when using such vast amounts. But still this is a pretty crazy and experimental beer, and I really enjoy trying crazy stuff, even if I don’t like ‘em. So my advice is not to try the light version, but if I’ll ever find the full version, I’ll try it, but it wasn’t like I had a choice to do that when I bought this one. If this review made you slightly confused, google it or go to wikipedia for more info. I’m really interested in hops and I might come back at a later point with a full article on than subject, but that won’t be until I get my own home brewery set up.

How it looks like!

Amager Bryghus “Rated XXX”:
Hopocalyptic IPA, Amager Bryghus loves hops, lots of hops, as many as possible, as much as possible. And if you read my little review of Port Brewing’s Hop-15, you know that I love hops to. Now do you remember the little sewage leak they had in Copenhagen that I wrote about above? Well this one smelled like one, Bongo said, and I’m sorry cause right now I don’t mean to be rude. Now there are enough times when I mean it and want to be rude, but this is not one of those. So Bongo said, “This one smells like fart & sewage, with a hint of anus”, and how could he say that? Well after buying this one, we both sat there staring at each other wondering who farted, accusing each other, or wondering if it was some one else. With our suspicious eyes we searched the room, measuring people up and down, wondering what mighty man would be able to pack this kind of heat! But when we started drinking from the glass it was obvious, this was one stinky beer! Rated XXX (30) is an Imperial Double IPA at 9%, and the taste actually wasn’t as bad as the smell, hoppy and bitter is how I like my beer, and after getting used to the intense smell I could enjoy the last part of the beer. But it’s not one I would drink again, its somewhat of a curiosity…

This beer smells like fart!

Beer Here “Mørke”:
“Mørke” is a Porter/Stout brewed by the Danish phantom brewery Beer Here, this 7,5% dark ale was brewed at Nøgne Ø brewery in Grimstad. It is a well-balanced porter, with lots of coffee flavor, but also very hoppy. If they get this one at my local pub Cardinal I will definitively try it again. Beer Here is a “brewery” I’ve just recently got acquainted with, and I’m really looking forward to trying more of their beers.

Mikkeller Black makes me happy!

Mikkeller “Black”:
Wow, this one just slapped me in the back of my head with pure awesomeness! “Black” is said to be the strongest beer in Scandinavia, 17,5% of Danish dynamite explodes in your mouth when you take a sip of this one. It’s sweet, it’s bitter, it’s angry and happy at the same time. It’s a bit dry so it’s nice to have a glass of water on the side. And when you drink it, you will feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like you’re in love. This is the kind of beer you could bring on a ski trip, and when you reached the destination and everyone cuddled together in front of a fireplace, you could open a bottle of this, and share it with your best friends. Not much of a head on this one, but the taste of it last and last after you’ve had a sip. Coffee, dark roasted malt, a bit of chocolate, mmm. It’s not very carbonated, more like not at all, and it also taste of alcohol. So maybe it’s just me being fucked up for liking this one so much, cause I want more, NOW! Bongo said about this one: “What can I compare it with? Mothers milk when you’re new born!” Primal, very primal! We also tried the “White wine edition” of this one, also very very good!

The ever changing menu...

Back to the story: The Mikkeller bar visit included trying 13 different beers from tap, we met a bunch of Norwegian beer nerds, and got the most clueless of the bunch to buy Mikkeller “Beer Geek Brunch Weasel” which is made with Civet Coffee, yeah the coffee that’s pooped out from a small cute animal. When we didn’t feel like trying more of the beers available at the Mikkeller bar, we went out on the streets looking for a snack and then Ørsted Ølbar. A bar that I had written down in my notebook under places to visit.

Bongo at the smoking man hole...

It was midnight when we entered Ørsted Ølbar, the smoke rising from the manhole cover outside and the ugly yellow sign over the main door didn’t bring my expectations up. But once inside, it was easy to see that Ørsted Ølbar was the place for me. An environment I could relax in, and just sit down and chill! Possibly because it’s more similar to what I’m used to at home, at Cardinal! The bar only accepted DK cards, so I was given a discount on my first round, didn’t have enough cash. Nice and polite bartenders, good music at the stereo. Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and stuff like that, just like at the Mikkeller bar. The furniture was nice, I mean I didn’t feel like crushing it over the next guy’s head, great selecting in both tap and bottled beers. A pretty girl was sitting by the bar, and I couldn’t control myself but to stare at her all night. I had to walk over and talk to her, just to find something wrong about her so I could look another way. Danish chicks are very pretty, it’s just too sad that I don’t understand half of what they say, but eye candy indeed. But we didn’t go to Denmark to pick up chicks, so let’s get back to some more beer talk.

Ørsted Ølbar

We only had three beers at Ørsted this night. First beer out was the Sierra Nevada “Torpedo Extra IPA”. Sierra Nevada is famous for using lots of American hops, whole cone American hops. But in this one they use a lot of German hops, probably US grown. Magnum hops has a high Alpha Acid level, which mean it’s good for bittering, but they also used Magnum hops for finishing and dry hopping. Sierra Nevada also used Crystal hops for finishing and dry hopping, Crystal hops is usually used as an aroma hop, which is the same as finishing hops. Last but not least they add the American Citra hops in the dry hopping process. Citra hops also have a high alpha acid level, but when dry hopping you only get the aroma from the hops. So the grapefruit and pineapple taste is from that wonderful Citra. The Torpedo had 7,2% of alcohol and a 65 IBU, and in my view that’s the perfect strength for an IPA. Strong but still easy to drink! Intoxicating but still refreshing! Bitter but still fruity! IPA is without doubt my favorite summer drink. I would have drunk it all summer long if it wasn’t for stout’s, porters, imperial pilsners & Christmas beer.

Me (Haffy) @ Ørsted Ølbar

Then we left for Lakewood, New York, I mean we bought two bottles of Southern Tier. The “Mokah” is a mix between two old friends, namely the “Jah-va” & the “Choklat”. “Jah-va” is an excellent coffee stout made with beans from Jamaica. And the “Choklat” is a wonderful chocolate stout made with bitter chocolate from Belgium. The Mokah uses 6 different malts and 4 different hops, and that might mean excess for a lot of people, but for me it just spells “Southern Tier” aka love! 11% of punch my face surprises no one when it’s from this brewery. This is a drink for kings, queens and gods. And you don’t fit into that description! If one of these bottles falls into your hands, deliver them to me or receive the wrath of the almighty Haffy! He-he, yeah they’re really good, I bet Rasputin and the tzar family would’ve love the Blackwater Imperial Stout series from Southern Tier. And I’m proud to say that I’ve tried them all! There’s something about Southern Tier, I just gotta try them all, when we noticed “Hoppe Imperial Extra Pale Ale” we just had to try that one to. “Hoppe” is made with Colombus and Amarillo hops, both are fairly bitter and aromatic and works well both during the boiling and the dry hopping. But at this point we were getting pretty tired and drunk, remember we’d been awake since 4am. So after this one we headed back to the hotel after we had a quick bite at some fast food wagon nearby. The Hoppe was great and I liked it, but I don’t have anything more to say about it except, I hope our paths will cross again! Consider it like a first date with a hot chick you met in a bar. You took her home, had good sex, sent her home in a cab, and when you woke up the day after you don’t really remember the details, but you know you liked it and you want some more…

Southern Tier: Hoppe

Bedtime! Bongo snored like an elephant, and I recorded it, listen here…

It’s funny how I’m never hung-over when I’m on a vacation, it’s the exception for the rule, always up early and ready for more. Drink like a sponge, and still motivated and ready to repeat it the day after. It’s like if I don’t have time for a hangover, I don’t have one! Maybe it’s a matter of will? No time for pity now, rise and shine. The headache thing is something I’ve never been much bothered with anyway, but I think that’s because I’ve always been good at remembering to get some water during and after drinking. My hangover is usually a slight depression with a slight emo vibe to it, while feeling a little bit more tired than usually.

Schnnaps für buisness!

So Saturday was here, I woke up first, had a shower and all that, and then woke up Bongo. First thing Bongo commented on was: “God damn you snore”. Made me laugh cause when he went to bed, he started snoring after 2 seconds, really loud, and as you know I recorded it! His response when he heard it was: “Is that me?” We started the day with a bottle of Underberg, and then we left for breakfast and more beer. Or was it the other way around?

Ice cold Mikkeller Black in the sun, mmmm...

Ølbutikken on Istedgade 44 is probably one of the best beer shops in the world. Not because it has the most beers, but because of the interesting selection. Ratebeer rated them as number one at a point. Ølbutikken is owned by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, also known as “The Evil Twin” brother of Mikkeller. Ølbutikken’s selection is around 250+ beers from all around the world, lots of American beers, and a lot of Danish. When we where there, we had a Alice Porter served in Brewdog glasses, while we strolled the store for special treats. The shopkeeper was super nice and very knowledgeable. I forgot to take pictures here, sorry, but I really recommend visiting this place if you’re ever in Copenhagen. I know I’ll visit again. So we bought a bunch of beers, that I’ve hid away after coming home, special stuff like stuff from Cigar City and other breweries not available in Norway. On our way back to the hotel with the beers we stopped at the Mikkeller bar. Had a cold Mikkeller Black in the sun before we dropped in at a local Sushi store and had the today’s special, bough some wasabi nuts for appetizer. Mikkeller Black was awesome!

Barley Wine

Our next stop was Barley Wine! Barley wine is a shop that focuses on the stronger beers. Another great shop like Ølbutikken, lots of rare stuff that I never thought I would find again. Like Nøgne Ø’s Dark Horizon II, awesome! Can’t wait to try it again, saving it for a special occasion! An older lady and an old man were working there when we visited. The store is really small, but still really great. I wish I had a store like that where I live. So I could enjoy some great beers now and then!

The selection!

Rant warning: Fuck you Norwegian alcohol laws! Beer is culture, don’t bully my culture, I want freedom! Maybe I should move to Freedonia? Norway is a really great country, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes Norway is like a strict parent, like an overprotecting mother, just smothering you with unnecessary rules. Her intentions isn’t bad, she just does what she thinks is best for you, but that don’t make it right! Mum, I’m old enough to know best myself now, please stop this shit! The drunks drink the cheap stuff, don’t worry, they can’t afford this kind of stuff I drink, let us have it! This is culture! This is love! This is hand-crafted quality products! The fact that a bottle of beer has 10% of alcohol or more, doesn’t mean we drink more alcohol, most of the times we share a bottle like this, like you would share a bottle of wine with a friend. The stately liquor monopoly items list consists of 83,5% wine, 15% of booze and only 1,5% of beer. Less than 200 of the items are beer of the 13.000 products they have for sale. All beers stronger than 4,75% can only be sold at one of these stately monopolies. So as I see it, the stately monopoly called “Vinmonopolet” is destroying beer culture and good drinking culture based on taste and quality. I don’t even care about the high taxes, just let me get a good selection of quality products. (Like the wine drinkers have!) Open for private companies to sell alcohol over 4,75% now! Yes I can import for own use myself, please give me a million dollars so I can afford! Cause it’s really f**king expensive. The people who just wanna get drunk drink the cheapest stuff anyway, the least tastiest beers, the wines where they get the most bang for the bucks, the cheapest vodkas. Craft beer will never be able to compete with the mass produced piss in price. Norwegian drinking culture is retarted! I can help you remove that extra chromosome…


Kihoskh, claims to be the strangest kiosk in the world, do you need some fresh vegetables, toilet paper, a newspaper and some craft beer? Go to the Kihoskh! Here you will mainly find Danish and American craft beers. Forgot to buy some good beers for the nachpiel? Thrown out of the bar to early? Kihoskh is open until 2am, so don’t worry, if your too late it means it’s time to go to bed! Lots of benches on the outside, but police has stated that it’s not legal to drink beer there, what do you do? Walk ten meters to the central reserve, sit down, chill out and drink beer! There’s one more strange beer store in Copenhagen, but I didn’t get the time to visit it, it’s called “Fish & Beer”, and that’s what they sell, lol!

Mikkeller Bonanza

At every store and every bar we went to, I asked for “Det lille bryggeri – Lakrids Porter”, at every place they told me: “Sold out”! So I imagine that it must be awesome, but I found from the same brewery a beer called “Chili Lakrids Ale”. PS lakrids means liquorice. Yeah, so we’ve just been to three beer stores and all was not bought for the purpose of bringing home. We sat down in the nice and quiet backyard of the hotel. Put our beer in the sink, filled it with cold water and started with the beers we had that was already cold. The Chili Lakrids Ale kept what it promised. Yes it tasted like chili and liquorice, also very malty, you could feel the chili all the way to your ears. But still very nice, though I recommend you to share it with a friend, because that’s what friends are for! We had three single hop beers from Mikkeller, Cascade, Amarillo and Mt. Hood. We also had a bottle of Mikkeller Draft Beer made with Cascade and Amarillo hops. The fun part were to taste the differences between Cascade and Amarillo, how much more fruity Cascade was, and how much more bitter Amarillo were. But Amarillo has a much higher Alpha Acid level, they both are citrusy, but in very different ways. Then we mixed the two single hops before trying the “Draft beer” made with the same hops. Drinking these single hops from Mikkeller can really help you getting to know the different hops, and if you are a beer enthusiast I recommend it. Few things are more impressive than an impressive lager, cause lager is usually very tasteless and crap. But Southern Tier’s “Krampus” is definitively not tastelss. “Krampus” the Christmas devil delivers an aromatic brew, and with 9% of alcohol it’s definitively another lager you wanna share. Krampus hands out punishments to the bad and naughty children, and beats them with sticks and chains, but beaten is not what I felt after drinking this one, more like alive! Spank me! An angry lady in a window complained, showed us her angry shaking hand, but we were done anyway. After all these beers we got hungry, a table had been booked at Nørrebro Brygghus, so that’s where we went.

Nørrebro Bryghus

Anders Kissmeyer opened Nørrebro Brygghus back in 2003. Before that he worked for Carlsberg as head of laboratories, and later as a quality controller for Carlsberg’s many breweries around the world. On one of these many travels he encountered Brooklyn Brewery, and was surprised that a small brewery could produce such a varied selection of beers with such excellent quality. The department of development at Carlsberg was not impressed with his stories and called it a naive dream and said that it certainly would not be a marked for it in Denmark. The following year Anders resigned. At Nørrebro Brygghus you get food that matches the beers and food made with beer. An example is for instance their bread, which they replace most of the water with beer when baking, to get fuller and tastier bread. The brewery for the restaurant is placed inside the restaurant, and the fermenters and storing tanks can be seen from almost any table. Originally the restaurant idea was just a great way to launch the brewery, and to promote beer and food together. Now Nørrebro also have a brewery outside of the restaurant, and the brewery in the restaurant is mainly for the restaurant.


But how is it that I found out about this place? Kissmeyer and Mike Murphy made a collaboration brew, “Smoked Baltic Porter” was sold on tap at Cardinal, my hometown pub. Mike Murphy and Anders Kissmeyer brewed this one at Lervig brewery at Hillevåg, Stavanger. It was an awesome beer, and when Kissmeyer’s name popped up in a beer blog (Humle og Malt: Veldig bra ølblogg for de som kan Norsk! Respekt!) I read, tipping on places to visit for a beer enthusiast in Copenhagen I knew I had to check it out.

The cheese platter!

So Bongo and me had a reservation at Nørrebro, when we showed up there was a group of people getting a tour of the brewery, everyone were holding glasses and learning how to taste beer. The tanks and the brick walls created a nice atmosphere for beer drinking. We ordered the six-course meal, seven is the maximum, but alas they were one beer short the day of our visit. First we were served the “Stuykman Wit” as a starter. Then the five other beers followed, an light brown ale called “King’s County Brown” were served with a cold tomato dish. “Ceske Böhmer” a Czech pilsner was served with a light salad with feta. “Pacific Summer Ale” a light American Pale Ale was served with the main coarse that was chicken. My favorite the “Citra Pale Ale” was excellent with the cheese platter that was served before dessert. The dessert, an awesome chocolate “something”, sorry ha ha, I didn’t document it in my pictures. But I do remember the beer, mainly cause I didn’t like it. The beer to match the dessert was the “Furesø Framboise” basically the wit we had for starter only brewed with raspberries. We stayed for an additional two beers, the atmosphere was great, a live jazz band were playing in the ground floor of the restaurant and created a nice background for more beer and beer related conversations. Nørrebro also sold beer from a couple of other breweries, and we shared a bottle of Lost Abbey’s “Lost & Found” and Lefthand’s “Black Jack Porter”, neither of them impressed us, so we headed back to the place we had been the day before, namely Ørsted Ølbar. But our visit at Nørrebro had definitively been a good one. The Danes are such a relaxed people, and I enjoyed watching the staff at the kitchen drink beer and dance while working, it would have been frowned upon in Norway.

Bongo & Smokehead

ARRRRGGGHHH! We went back to Ørsted Ølbar! To drink some hardcore beers! More beers that I had wanted to try for a long time. The Norwegians we met at Mikkeller the day before had also found their way to Ørsted, when we entered the pub we’re immediately greeted by the bartender from the day before. I grab a catalog, and order Bongo to order a Brewdog “Abstrakt AB:01”. This vanilla bean infused Belgian quad kicked like a mule with its 10,2% ABV. Like the rest of the Abstrakt series from Brewdog, this one is very rare and only released in 3.200 bottles. It is recommended to store it for 12-24 months, this one was released in April 2010, so we drank it in its prime. It’s always cool to drink rare beers, but I can’t tell you too much about this beer, I have waited too long to write this blog. Too much work I guess, working hard you know, to put beer on the table! But I’m a big fan of Brewdog as many of you know, and I wasn’t disappointed this time ether. Next one up was the “Paradox: Smokehead”, also from Brewdog, funny how we had to go to Denmark to try some rare Brewdog beers after visiting them just a couple of weeks before. Anyway this dark malted 10% juggernaut was actually expired when we bought it. And that surprises me because very strong beers usually hold for a long time, but not this one apparently. Stored 6 months in Smokehead Whisky Casks, it definitively has a lot of whisky character in it. Smokehead whisky is a newcomer from the Islay district and the first whisky was available for sale in 2006. With its rock ’n’ roll image and design it’s a perfect match for Brewdog. This Imperial Stout was smoked as hell, very good, but not as good as the “Paradox: Isle of Arran”. But still worth a try!

Lovely beer!

Beer is our business, and business was good, so there was no reason to go home. We chatted with Danish beer enthusiasts, got tips on other places to visit, chilled out and drank more beer. Met some beer bloggers, and had a real fun time. I love trying new beers and there were still more new beers to try! Next one up is like a meal. The rich and thick Southern Tier “Imperial Oat” Oatmeal Stout. It was dark as a moonless night, and had a lot of the typical tasting notes that many Imperial Stouts do, you know chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and so on. This one was absolutely awesome, a killer stout at 11%. It’s a seasonal beer, brewed in the start of the harvest season, and made with freshly harvested oat groats. When we bought the last beer of the night, the Stone “Imperial Russian Stout” we were told that Stone has stopped exporting beer to Europe, and apparently now they are planning to open a brewery in Europe. The plan has been ongoing since x-mas 2009. If you go to Stone Brewery’s blog you can read about all the other stuff they’re opening, so Europe is probably next. The Imperial Russian Stout from Stone was also awesome, according to Ratebeer it’s a top 25 beer in the world.

Stone Brewery

Lost in a haze of alcohol, we wandered the streets of Copenhagen. Outside of the church of scientology we start joking around, and I proposed a TNCP act. But a big ghetto funny boy starts joking around with Bongo. Our focus was changed to simply get away from this loser. When we returned to the hotel Bongo’s wallet was gone! Hurrah! (Even though Bongo blocked his card, the thief was able to use the card for taxis the next month, and now 11.000 NOK is missing from his account.)

Sediment hell!

When we woke up and start packing the beers the morning after, Bongo said “I have way too much beers to fit in my bag”. So we start this day also with beers. Six beers later at noon we left the hotel. The best of the bunch was Drake’s brewing “Drakonic”, another American made Imperial Stout. The most violent beer this morning was Evil Twin “Christmas eve in a New York City hotel room”. But only because it exploded when I picked it up, and the sound was loud as a gun shut. I stood there with guilt all over my face with beer pouring down on the carpet. And a lady in the backyard stared into our room looking like she’d just witnessed a murder. Anyway the sediments were all over in the glass when I poured what was left, still pretty good though!

Drinking in bed!

Since we had a bunch of hours to wander the streets of Copenhagen before our flight, we had plenty of time for exploring. Yeah and Bongo had to report the theft. We ended up on Apollo Bryggeri, another restaurant that brewed its own beer. Had a nice burger, but the only beer that stood out was their Rhubarb beer, not because it was especially good, but because it was different. Still it was a pretty cool place with a nice atmosphere. Before picking up our luggage at the hotel we had two more beers at Mikkeller bar. At Mikkeller they had just put on a keg of Big Bad Barley Wine, the last they had left, found in a dark cellar, forgotten for years. Really good barley wine, brewed back in 2008. We had a nice chat with the barkeeper and said we will return when the full selection of bottled beer is back in stock.


Copenhagen to Oslo went fast and nice, we paid puny 200 NOK in customs for importing 10 liters of beer each. In Stavanger my luggage smelled funny and I knew all my beers had not survived. Two of my beers were without the caps when I unpacked, one of the beer bottles was completely empty, like someone had dried it after emptying it. Both of the boxes for the Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 2 edition were bended. The bottles were fine, but I swear it looks like someone put their boot into one of them. Bongo’s luggage didn’t arrive at all, we though, but the last bag on the luggage belt, carefully wrapped in plastic was his. Almost all bottles were crushed, like if someone had carefully opened the bag and broken them one by one. After the horrific experience on our way to Copenhagen, the theft of the wallet, the incident with the Mikkeller bar and now with the beer we brought, I think there’s only one explanation! Somebody must have laid a curse on our trip, somebody had put a wicked spell on us, somebody with a motive. And that doesn’t leave many people in the list of suspects, it must have been the beer loving guitarist of my band Upskirts. He now also play in two black metal bands, so the evil black metallers must have conjured up a mighty spell to send us straight to hell. After all they worship Satan, the god of egoism. And we drank all the good beers, leaving them at home with only crappy beer. Now that I think of it, we won, we’re the evil ones, yeah! Until next time, hell awaits, drink craft beer, screw shitty lager! I will be pretty busy for a while, next chapter might not come until September… (But we’ll see!)

- Haffy

P.S. as I'm publishing this, I'm on my way out to celebrate "International Beer Day", cheers again!