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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Øl festen

One of the things I enjoy about Norway (there are oh so many amusing things in the land of the midnight sun...) is that Norwegians are a fairly celebratory bunch.  There are so many random festivals and events happening that there is always something to do (or, rather, there's always random tourist stumbling around town).  Which brings us to last Friday... I got a SMS (which is such a rare occurrence that, at first, I thought my phone battery died) from a friend asking if I wanted to go to a Beer Festival.  Of course Oslo has a beer festival (actually they have two)... 

How could I not go?  Purely for you, dear readers, I had to indulge in this cultural experience (times like this reminds me why I don't invite my older, pious relatives to read my blog...)

The event was held in Oslo's new Mathallen (Meal Hall... It's like an open air market) which was having it's Grand Opening the following weekend.  Despite it being prior to the "opening" every booth and cranny was open for business.  In the middle was a roped off, rectangular area that served as the "beer festival area" and, to enforce this point, there was a wooden, square area inside that had an assortment of bartenders and refrigerators.  

Here is the listing of available beverages:

The Best Beer: Ægir Harvest (though, my girlfriend will tell you its Nøgne Ø's Pumpkin Ale
The Worst Beer: Aas Bock (it wasn't bad... I just don't like sweet beer.  Not fruity, just the hops made it sweet)
The "Why do they have that beer here?!?!?" Beer: Duff (yes, as in that Duff)

The weirdest quirk to this festival was the way in which the beer was purchase.  You were given a choice of a sample size (like two shots), a glass for those offerings on draft (about 12 ounces/ 0,3 liters), or the whole bottle, which is pretty cool.  However, as you can see above, those aren't prices next to them.  In order to purchase beer, you had to first purchase tokens from a cashier.  There were only two cashiers working at a time.  You can imagine the back-ups.  

It was all good otherwise.  The staff was friendly.

And this guy played the Tuba!

Why was he playing a Tuba?!?!?  I don't know.  This is Norway.

Oh, and I had the greatest Duck Sandwich (confit de canard with dijon mustard) ever... oh man.  The best ever... That has nothing to do with anything, just thought that I should share.

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