Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oslo Beer City - a follow up

Back in June I wrote a piece on Oslo Beer City, looking back at its rapid development and the current state of a vibrant beer scene. Four months later feels like an eternity, when I look back at all that has happened in Oslo this fall, so to do justice to the original post, here is a follow-up with the most recent events.

Beer Palace
Address: Holmens Gate 3
Re-opens: November 14, 2012
Type: Beer bar
Taps: 30

At the beginning of August 2012, the Beer Palace pub on Aker Brygge closed its doors for some serious renovations. The bar upstairs and several rooms were rebuilt and a new cooling room with extra tap lines have been constructed. From what I've been told, the new bars will have more than thirty tap lines - making Beer Palace one of the best stocked draft beer pubs in Oslo.

The bar is scheduled to re-open on November 14th.

Soon-to-open Crowbar & Bryggeri in Torggata.

Crowbar & Bryggeri
Address: Torggata 32
Opens: Late 2012 / early 2013
Type: Brewpub
Taps: 5-6

This is a brand new brewpub that will open up in Torggata 32, where the old Greek restaurant Zorbas used to be and, more recently, the short-lived Closer Café & Bar. Erk Potur, who also owns Café Laundromat, has put 10 million kroner into renovating the place and buying a brand new 5 hl microbrewery from Flecks in Austria. Brewmaster Dave Gardonio, formerly of Ægir Bryggeri, has been employed to design and brew a range of new beers.

Beer writer Espen Smith, who also helped planning the brewpubs Amundsen Bryggeri & Spiseri in Oslo and Sundbytunet at Jessheim, has helped to plan the style and look of Crowbar - which will be "rougher" than the other brewpubs with a focus on meat and beer.

No opening date has been published, but the micro brewery should be operational in November.

Grünerløkka Brygghus
Address: Thorvald Meyers Gate 30 B
Opens: "Sometime" 2013
Type: Brewpub
Taps: Unknown

After more than two years as a gastropub, this place is set to live up to its name ("brygghus" means "brew house" in Norwegian) by starting its own micro brewery sometime in 2013, making it the 5th brewpub in Oslo (unless beaten to the finish line by someone else).

No date has been posted yet, but it seems that the daily manager, Kjetil "Kjell Pop" Johnsen, has picked up some brewing skills and will act as the inhouse brewer at Grünerløkka Brygghus.

Mathallen
Address: Maridalsveien 17
Opened: October 2012

This indoor food mart opened up at the old iron works property Vulkan by the Akerselva river in Oslo in October 2012. In addition to stalls selling short traveled, small producer food - from cheese and cured meat to fresh seafood and vegetables - the place also sports som really nice beer places.

  • Øltorget: This is a small but well stocked beer pub, run by the people behind Ølakademiet and Akersberget restaurant in Oslo. The pub offers ten beers on tap, but have around 20 tap lines for future expansion. The place also plans to have about 300 types of beer on bottle.
  • Grünerløkka Brygghus: This is a satellite of the pub at Grünerløkka, offering 8 different beers on draft and serving warm food made behind the bar.

Smelteverket
Address: Maridalsveien 17 (below Mathallen)
Opened: October 5, 2012
Type: Bar
Taps: 6

About 50 meter long and only 5 meter wide, with space for 200-250 guests, Smelteverket has opened up in the cellar underneath Mathallen at Vulkan. It's the perfect place to go when you're feeling overwhelmed by the crowds upstairs. Its claim for fame is the 25 meter long bar, surely the longest in Norway, and the twenty iron cast windows, along the outer wall, providing great views of the Akerselva river just outside.

Smelteverket with its 25 meter long bar.
There are four "filling stations" along the long bar, where guests can order 6 different beers on tap, usually some industrial lagers but also a couple of craft beers. On my first visit to Smelteverket they had Ægir IPA and Kinn Thorvald's Red Ale on draft. Smelteverket has the same owner as Grünerløkka Brygghus, Jan Vardøen, so the two pubs will most likely share many draft beers.

After only a few weeks Smelteverket has turned into a commercial success, it's usually packed at night, so make sure to be there early to get a seat. Because Smelteverket also has an entrance from the bridge at Nedre Foss its opening hours are independent of Mathallen.

BRU: Vulkan Pub
Address: Maridalsveien 13 (next to Mathallen)
Opens: November 2012
Type: Beer pub
Taps: Unknown

Located in Maridalsveien 13, right next to Mathallen and just a few steps away from the old bridge factory at Vulkan, BRU: Vulkan Pub will be one of the smallest in Oslo with a floor space of just 19 square meters.

The pub is owned and will be operated by the people behind Ølakademiet, who also run the Øltorget pub in Mathallen and the old Akersberget resturant just up the hill. The pub is scheduled to open in November and is closely associated with a new micro brewery, Vulkan Brygghus, that is located at the same address and will brew beer for Vulkan Pub, Øltorget and the Akersberget restaurant.

Smalhans
Address: Waldemar Thranesgate 10, entrance from Ullevålsveien (St Hanshaugen)
Opens: November 9, 2012
Type: Restaurant with draft beer
Taps: Unknown

Smalhans is a new restaurant opening up in Waldemar Thranesgate 10 at St Hanshaugen on November 9th. This location has been used as a restaurant since 1921, but the Smalhans concept is a new one with focus on reasonable prices and good rustic food. The place will also offer Norwegian craftbeer an draft, including beer from HaandBryggeriet, Schouskjelleren and Ægir.


Oslo Beer City keeps getting better ... 2013 should be an amazing year!

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