Tag Archives: Norway

2017 Advent Calendar – Day 2 – Nønge Ø Dubbel Advent

What a day. Burlywine is released at Half-Pints and Surly Darkness 2017. It was a good day for a lover of big beers. I am super excited that Burlywine is back. It’s been on hiatus since 2014 and I only recently drank my last bottle. I’ve also got a 2015, 16, and 17 Surly Darkness now and I’m excited about doing a three-year vertical (with friends of course, I’m not crazy). All this and it’s also day 2 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

The beer we have today is a special beer brewed just for the calendar. Dubbel Advent is a Belgian Dubbel brewed by a brewery I really enjoy, Nønge Ø.

This brewery, located in Grimstad on the southern coast of Norway about 232km from Oslo, is the largest supplier of craft beer in Norway and the first brewer of sake in Europe.  The name, Nønge Ø, means “naked island”, a term used to describe the barren rocky outcroppings visible in the sea.  In 2013 it was acquired by Hansa Borg Bryggerier who own a family of regional breweries in Norway: Hansa, Borg and Christanssand Bryggeri.

While the founder and head brewer, Kjetil Jikiun, who started Nønge Ø in 2003 mainted his position initially, he decided to part ways left Nøgne Ø on July 31. 2015. He still hold shares at Nøgne Ø. It was under his passionate drive and uncompromising mind for quality that allowed this brewery to grow from 300 HL up to 3500 HL in only 7 years.  A dedicated team of 24 employees are carrying on and further developing the initiative made possible by the two founders Gunnar and Kjetil. Today, they produce over 20 different styles of beer and have a brilliant mind for flavor.

The style of beer we are drinking today is a Beligan Dubbel. The name Dubbel comes from the brewing process of this beer.  Essentially it means you are adding twice the malt as you would in a Beligan “simple”.   This increases the sugar content in the beer and results in a more alcoholic beer. They have a dark amber to copper colour and bring complex aromas from rich-sweet malt, to caramel, to chocolate. This style originated in the middle-ages and was revived in the mid-1800s after the Napoleonic era. Most commercial styles are between 6%-7.5%. The one we will be trying today comes in at a whopping 8%. Let’s get to the beer.

Appearance – Pours dark brown with a nice tan head.
Smell – Lots of raisin and dark fruit along with notes of caramel and chocolate.
Taste – Those malt notes come through bringing with them caramel, raisin and dark fruit notes. The Demarra sugar comes through as well bringing a nice sweetness that lingers. It’s a bit on the boozy side.
Mouth feel – Medium full body with medium carbonation and lingering sweet finish.
Overall – Overall, not completely authentic dubbel, it hits on some of the high notes. It has that complex malt, but finishes a bit sweet compared to a drier finish. The boozy/sweet finish on this is a bit uncharacteristic.
Do I like it?
– I did enjoy it. I found it to be more to my liking, style wise, then yesterday’s beer and I felt it was a solid showing for day 2.

 

Day 13 – Nøgne Ø – Adventurous Brown

It’s a busy time of year, December. Parties to attend, work still to do, and a lot of hustle and bustle. Being the first Christmas with a daughter, it’s adding to the mix. There are so many things you don’t think about before children. Luckily, no matter what happens during the day, I know I’ve got an interesting beer at home to dive into. Today is no different. It’s a brewery we’ve seen in the calendar before bringing us an Oak and Cyprus aged Brown Ale from Nønge Ø called “Adventurous Brown.”

This brewery, located in Grimstad on the southern coast of Norway about 232km from Oslo, is the largest supplier of craft beer in Norway and the first brewer of sake in Europe.  The name, Nønge Ø, means “naked island”, a term used to describe the barren rocky outcroppings visible in the sea.  In 2013 it was acquired by Hansa Borg Bryggerier who own a family of regional breweries in Norway: Hansa, Borg and Christanssand Bryggeri.

While the founder and head brewer, Kjetil Jikiun, who started Nønge Ø in 2003 mainted his position initially, he decided to part ways left Nøgne Ø on July 31. 2015. He still hold shares at Nøgne Ø. It was under his passionate drive and uncompromising mind for quality that allowed this brewery to grow from 300 HL up to 3500 HL in only 7 years.  A dedicated team of 24 employees are carrying on and further developing the initiative made possible by the two founders Gunnar and Kjetil. Today, they produce over 20 different styles of beer and have a brilliant mind for flavor.

Brown ales are a style of beer that get their name from their color, mostly.  The term was first used by brewers in the late 17th century and was used to describe a milder ale.  This term is rather different than how we use it today, but originally these brews were lightly hopped and brewed with 100% brown malt.  Today these beers are brewed in a variety of different regions and are used to describe a few different flavor profiles from sweet, low alcohol beers, medium strength amber beers of moderate bitterness, and malty but hoppy beers.

They range from deep amber to brown in colour and typically have caramel and chocolate flavours evident in their profiles.  This is a North American Brown Ale differ from their English counterparts.  Instead of using exclusively brown malts, American Brown Ales tend to use American Crystal Malt, which gives a sharper edge to the beer, as well as often roasted chocolate or coffee malts.  They are also often hopped, unlike the English ones, which tend to make them drier than their English counterparts and give a citrus accent and medium body due to the American hop varieties.

Appearance – Pours dark brown with no head.
Smell – Smells of oak and the woody, slightly spicy smell of Cyprus. Smells a bit like whiskey with hints of caramel.
Taste – Barrel aged oak flavour comes through right away with subtle sweetness and hints of Caramel and chocolate.
Mouth feel – Medium full body with medium carbonation and subtle oak bitter finish
Overall – Overall a unique brown ale that presents an interesting flavour combinations that go well together. Masking of the 10% alcohol is well done and this beer is fairly drinkable.
Do I like it?
– I did enjoy it. I enjoy oak aged beers and find the flavour to bring a nice sweetness and flavour to the beers.

Craft Beer Advent Calendar – Day 1

Beer 1

Today was a very exciting day.  It is the first day of the Beer Advent calendar.  I had the opportunity to open my first beer!  It actually felt a bit like Christmas morning.  Running down the stairs to see what had been left under the tree.  Only this time it wasn’t socks or underwear, but BEER.  I opened the first square on my calendar and pulled out the first beer.  Lo and behold it was a special beer made specifically for the Calendar. Gød Advent is a bottle of fantastic extra-strong (10%) Winter Ale from Norwegian brewery Nønge Ø!

This brewery, located in Grimstad on the southern coast of Norway about 232 km from Oslo, is the largest supplier of craft beer in Norway and the first brewer of sake in Europe.  The name, Nønge Ø, means “naked island”, a term used to describe the barren rocky outcroppings visible in the sea.  In 2013 it was acquired by Hansa Borg Bryggerier who own a family of regional breweries in Norway: Hansa, Borg and Christanssand Bryggeri.

Luckily the founder and head brewer who started Nønge Ø in 2003, Kjetil Jikiun, will maintain his position as head brewer.  His passion and uncompromising mind for quality is what has allowed this brewery to grow from 300 hectare liters up to 3500 hectare liters in only 7 years.  They produce over 20 different styles of ales and have a brilliant mind for flavor.

Now, onto the beer!

Gød Advent is a Winter Ale, also called a winter warmer.  These styles of beer are traditionally malty-sweet strong ales that are brewed for the winter months.  They are darker in color, not as dark as a stout, with a big malty presence. The alcohol content on these beers is typically quite high.  This one is at the high end of the spectrum almost entering barley wine territory.  You will often find these beers being spiced with traditional spices like nutmeg, cinnamon etc… but the real characteristic behind all these winter ales is that alcohol content.

Rating: 81/100

Appearance: Nut brown and cloudy ale with minimal head and low retention.
Smell: Caramel notes with hints of chocolate and an acrid sweet smell.
Taste: Starts off bitter and melds into smooth caramel notes and deep malt
Mouth feel: Coarse like sandpaper on the tongue with a smooth swallow.
Overall: Excellent winter ale.  Deep malty sweetness and not too overpowering despite 10%.
Do I like it: I am not usually a fan of winter ales as I prefer heavy hops to over heavy malt.  The balance of bitterness on the front end moving into the malty sweetness is fantastic.  I do like this beer.

What a great start to the beer advent calendar.  Not typically my favorite style of beer, but Nønge Ø did a really outstanding job.  I can’t wait to see what I get tomorrow!