NORØL (a Norwegian beer association) have for the last six years held a yearly poll for its users that includes categories such as: “Best new beer” and “Norwegian brewery of the year”. The results from this years voting were released last week and according to NORØL they received 59% more votes this year compared to 2011, and that the Norwegian breweries launched 141 new beers in 2011 (compared to 81 in 2010). Based on this we can see that beer in Norway had a really good year last year. Let’s hope for an even better year in 2012.
And now for the results of the voting NORØL held (the numbers are the percentage of the votes they received):
Best new beer 2011
- Ægir Bryggeri, Lynchburg Natt (10.1)
- Nøgne Ø, India Saison (9.2)
- Ægir Bryggeri, Ratatosk Double IPA (7.0)
- Lervig Aktiebryggeri, Brewers Reserve Rye IPA (5.8)
- Kinn Bryggeri, Bøvelen (5.8)
In this category there were 87 different beers, and this is the first time Nøgne Ø did not finish in first place. The beer that won, Ægir Lynchburg Natt, has just been released at Systembolaget in Sweden, so if you haven’t tried it yet I strongly suggest you order a couple of bottles at your closest Systembolaget store. You won’t regret it!
Brewery of the year
- Nøgne Ø (31)
- Kinn Bryggeri (21.3)
- Haandbryggeriet (14.4)
- Ægir Bryggeri (13.2)
- Lervig Aktiebryggeri (11.2)
As in the previous years Nøgne Ø won this category. Kinn released some very good beers in 2011 and ended on a respectable 2nd place. The votes are based on what the breweries have accomplished and done for the beer-movement in Norway in 2011 alone, and not on previous endeavors.
Brewery pub of the year
- Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri (43.4)
- Amundsen Bryggeri & Spiseri (21.6)
- Hanne På Høydens Bryggeri (9.4)
- Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri (6.7)
Both the winner and runner up are located in Oslo. I haven’t been to the two others, but I enjoy both Schouskjelleren and Amundsen, so if you find yourself in Oslo you should check them out.
Import beer of the year
- Brewdog (Nøgne Ø and Mikkeller), Black Tokyo* Horizon (11.9)
- Mikkeller, Fra Via Til (7.6)
- Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout (6.9)
- Brewdog, Høst Porter (6.5)
- 3 Fonteinen, Straffe Winter (5.6)
This was the biggest category with 144 candidates. It pleases my lambic-loving heart to see a lambic in the top 5 list.
Catering place of the year
- Cardinal (16.2)
- Håndverkerstuene (13)
- Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri (11.7)
- Amundsen Bryggeri & Spiseri (9.6)
- Henrik øl og vinstove (9.2)
I have yet to visit the winner in this category, so I can’t say much about it. I am regularly at Håndverkerstuene in Oslo though, and can really recommend it. They have very good food and a good beer selection.
Retail store of the year
- Vinmonopolet Vika (31.5)
- Vinmonopolet Valkendorfsgate (15.3)
- Vaaland Spesialbutikken (9.9)
- Vinmonopolet Bergen Storsenter (6.7)
Some of you might recognize the winner here from some of my reviews. Vinmonopolet Vika is where I get most of the special beers here in Norway. As you can see the list has three Vinmonopolet stores, and one regular store. The problem for the regular stores is that they can’t sell beer with an ABV above 4.7%, so I’m quite impressed by the 3rd place.
Congratulations to all the winners and all runner ups. I for one am really excited about the way craft beer is growing in Norway, and I’m looking forward to see whats lies ahead.