Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Alvinne Craft Beer Festival 2012

On March 3-4, 2012, craft brewery Alvinne will play host to the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival at their brand new brewery in Moen. Moen is a small town in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, near the city of Kortrijk and about 50 km south-west of Gent.

This is the 5th time Alvinne arranges this beer festival, the four previous times it was in conjunction with the larger Zythos Bier Festival but this year Zythos will be held late in March so the two festivals have nothing in common anymore.

Unlike Zythos, which is a Belgium beer only festival, Alvinne has a policy of inviting breweries from all over Europe and from the US. At the festival last year some of the highlights were Stillwater from the US, Revelation Cat from Italy, Mikkeller from Denmark, De Molen from the Netherlands and De Struise from Belgium. For the 2012 festival the following breweries will attend (I've included some of the draft beer that will be available):

  1. Brouwerij de Molen (NL)
    • Tsarina Esra Reserva 2010 Bourbon BA (11% imperial stout)
    • Mooi & Machtig 2012 (17,4% barley wine)
    • Galg & Rad Imperial Stout (12% imperial stout, Bourbon BA w/ brett)
    • Bakker wort Brauwer (11% imperial stout on cask!)
    • Haver & Gort Speyside BA (13% oatmeal imperial stout)
  2. Marble (EN)
    • Chocolate (5,5% porter)
    • Dobber (5,9% golden ale)
  3. Twickenham Fine Ales (EN)
    • Anglo-Belgian Imperial Stout (9% imperial stout brewed with Alvinne)
    • Black & Tan (6,7% dark ale)
  4. Redemption Brewing Company (EN)
    • Fellowship Porter (5,1% porter)
    • Big Chief (5,5% ipa)
  5. Thornbridge (EN)
    • Saint Petersburg French Oak BA (7,4% russian imperial stout)
    • Raven Dry Hopped Edition (6,6% black ipa)
    • Jaipur Dry Hopped Edition (5,9% ipa)
  6. Broodie's (EN)
    • Dalston Black IPA (7% black ipa)
    • Hackney Red IPA (6,1% ipa)
    • Awesomestow IPA (7,2% ipa)
    • Romanov Empress Stout Rioja BA (12,1% imperial stout)
  7. Fanø Brygus (DK)
    • Viola Sofia 2011 (10,3% imperial stout)
    • Pinkkulinthu IIPA (12% triple ipa)
    • Edison Ale (8% abbey tripel)
  8. Evil Twin Brewing (DK)
    • Sønderho Hipster Ale White Wine BA (5,5% pale ale w/brett)
    • Epilogue (8% belgian strong made with Muscovado)
    • Nurse Pepper (7,5% smoked porter)
    • Femme Fatale Brett (6% ipa made with brettanomyces)
  9. Hawkshead Brewery (UK)
    • New Zealand Pale Ale (6% ipa on cask)
    • Brodie's Prime Reserve (8,5% barrel aged imperial porter on cask)
    • Damson and Vanilla Porter (8,5% porter on cask)
  10. Hair of the Dog Brewing Company (US)
    • Adam (10% traditional ale)
    • Doggie Claws (11,5% barley wine)
    • Blue Dot (7% double ipa)
  11. HaandBryggeriet (NO)
    • Costa Rica (6,5% porter infused with coffee)
    • Sundland Kreosot (6,5% black ipa brewed with smoked malt)
    • Dobbel Dose (9% double ipa)
    • Sur Megge (7% sour ale)
    • HaandBakk (8,5% flanders red style sour ale)
    • Norwegian Wood (6,5% traditional ale brewed with smoked malt)
  12. Bierbrouwerij Emelisse (NL)
    • LVSTRO (8% russian imperial stout)
    • Holland Oats (6,4% ipa brewed with Stillwater)
    • Black IPA Brettanomyces (8% black ipa w/brett)
    • Imperial Russian Stout Ardbeg BA (11% imperial stout)
  13. De Struise Brouwers (BE)
    • 5 Squared (25% dark blond)
    • Single Black (2% stout)
    • Shark Pants (9% Belgian-style double ipa, brewed with Three Floyds).
    • Pannepot Special Reserva Port BA (10% belgian strong ale)
In addition to the guest breweries, Alvinne will naturally present some of their own beers, both on keg and cask, such as Undressed (6,9% Flemish Sour Ale), Morpheus Dark (10,2% belgian strong ale), Mano Negra (10% imperial stout) and Wild West (6% sour ale) made in collaboration with US brewery Stillwater.

The festival starts at noon, both on Saturday and Sunday, and closes at 10 pm on Saturday and 6 pm on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Borefts 2012

On Friday and Saturday September 28-29, 2012, Brouwerij de Molen will be hosting the Borefts craft beer festival at their brewery in Bodegraven, Netherlands.

This will be the fourth year running that Menno Olivier and his de Molen crew arrange this festival which has become one of the most cherished and highly rated beer festivals in the world, thanks to its easy atmosphere, excellent execution and because of the strictly enforced limit on the number of visitors. Only a limited number of people are let in each day, to ensure that the venue is never too crowded and that beer and food lines are always manageable.

I attended both the 2010 and the 2011 Boreft festivals and can vouch for the high quality of both the venue and the attending breweries, which has included Närke Kulturbryggeri from Sweden, Amager, Midtfyns and Mikkeller from Denmark, Nøgne Ø and HaandBryggeriet from Norway, Loverbeer and Revelation Cat from Italy, Marble Arch, The Kernel and Thornbridge from England, Bierbrouwerij Emelisse from the Netherlands and the Belgian craft brewing superstars De Struise Brouwers.

The brewery list for 2012 has yet to be published, but I have no doubts about its exellence. In the meantime you better book a place to stay, near Bodegraven, for the last weekend of September.

It will be awesome and I will be there.

Haand Craft Beer Festival 2012

Norwegian craft brewery HaandBryggeriet is planning to host the biggest craft beer festival in Norway to date: On May 4 and 5, 2012, they invite breweries and beer lovers to the Haand Craft Beer Festival.

The festival will be held at their new Sundland brewery in Drammen, about 30 km west of Oslo, to taste beers from a number of international top breweries.

The current list of guest breweries:
  1. Picobrouwerij Alvinne (BE)
  2. Brouwerij De Molen (NL)
  3. Närke Kulturbryggeri (SE)Loverbeer (IT)
  4. Brouwerij van Rulles (BE)
  5. Nøgne Ø (NO)
  6. Brouwerij Emelisse (NL)
  7. Kinn (NO)
  8. De Struise Brouwers (BE)
  9. Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri (SE)
  10. Birrificio di Montegioco (IT)
In addition to these, HaandBryggeriet has enlisted the help of local macro brewery Aass, known in Norway for their Pils and Bayer lagers.

A limited number of tickets will be sold, to avoid overcrowding, so make sure to check out their website for news on ticket sales.

3 Små Rum in Gothenburg

One of my favorite beer pubs is 3 Små Rum, Swedish for 3 Small Rooms, located on Kristinelundsgatan 4 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This small and quiet pub, run by Reza Ganon, takes pride in its good beer selection. Genuine beer interest is met with a warm and friendly service, while beer posing will get you nowhere. If Reza deems a beer not ready for consumption he will refuse to sell it to you and he will much rather see a guest spend an hour enjoying a good beer than sell him a number of expensive beers in a short time.

The beer selection may not be the biggest in the world, but everything on tap or bottle is top notch. There is usually a handful of local Swedish craft beers on tap, from the likes of Närke, Dugges, Oppigårds and Oceanbryggeriet, along with the odd Danish or American beer - such as Mikkeller, Beer Here and Great Divide. On bottle you can find just about whatever you fancy from Belgium - from Trappists and Tripels to Lambics and Sour Red Ales. But also great Scandinavian micros such as Närke, Mikkeller and Nøgne Ø.

3 Små Rum is the only pub I've been to with its own icon shrine, containing a copy of the painting of the Duchesse de Bourgogne - made famous by the beer of the same name from Brouwerij Verhaeghe - with a burning candle in front of it. It makes any serious beer drinker contemplate the bigger questions in life.

3 Små Rum - a small place for enjoying big and bold beers.

A fresh restart

It's been a few years since my last blog attempts and there are so many great blogs on brewing, beer and breweries that I feel little need to muddle the waters with my own thoughts on these matters. I know there are some blogs on beer and travel too, but I still feel that the excitement of visiting new places and trying out local brews are worth a few words - besides I just thought up the phrase Beer Trotter so I feel I should abuse that to some effect :)

I can't promise a steady blogging schedule but will attempt to write down my thoughts and feelings after having gone beer trotting somewhere in the wide world.

Apparently Beer Trotter has already been used as a blog name, even here on blogspot, see beertrotter. But it's too late for me to change now, besides that blog has not been active since 2008 and mine has the definite article :)