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:

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