On Friday night, after nearly a month away [insert frowny face here], I was finally back at Tria Fermentation School for a beer-tasting. The session was led by brewer Anders Kissmeyer, from Copenhagen’s Nørrebro Bryghus (Bryghus is Danish for brewhouse), and importer Dan Shelton. Kissmeyer and Shelton served nine(!) beers, and nearly every one of them was something I’d buy. (The exception? Mikkeller’s Stateside IPA. It gets good reviews, but I just don’t need anything that hoppy in my personal stash.)
What did I like? Well, I particularly liked three of the Nørrebro brews. The Skärgaards Porter combined two of my favorite flavors—porter-style beer and honey. The Old Odense Ale, co-brewed with Dogfish Head, offered a sweet barleywine flavor. If my notes are correct (caution: this was six beers into the evening), the Odense Ale was flavored with fir trees…. And the North Bridge Extreme was one of the most balanced beers of the evening; it was both pleasantly malty and hoppy, a combination that’s all too difficult to achieve.
I enjoyed another Danish beer, Ølfabrikken’s Abbey Ale. I’m always drawn to Belgian-style beers, and the Abbey Ale qualifies. It’s brewed with Belgian yeast, and its funky sweetness reminded me of some of the best of Belgium’s beers. A nice butterscotch smell added to my interest.
But my favorite beer of the evening was probably Haandbryggerriet’s Norwegian Wood. The “Hand Brewery” is a tiny Norwegian brewery that was started by four farmers. Their Norwegian Wood is brewed in a traditional style—smoked with, of all things, juniper twigs. I didn’t get a particularly juniper-y flavor from the Norwegian Wood, but I certainly did get a pleasant smoky, spicy flavor from it. The beer was complex, with just enough hops to keep the smoked malt from being too much. I can’t wait to sample Norwegian Wood again.
It looks like it’s going to be a few weeks before I make another formal beer-tasting. Buy me a beer or two in the meantime?