Norway: Good Beer, Bad Prices
Norway had some incredible beers, and perhaps the best beer I’ve had yet: Nøgne Ø’s Two Captains. Two Captains is an IPA made by Nøgne Ø with a strong grapefruit flavor that is stunning. It was highly recommended to us in Trondheim in a bar called De Gode Nabo and it did not disappoint. The brand recently won a nation-wide competition for best microbrewery. The only downside to this experience was the cost. Six beers set us back a gut-punching $60 bucks. At this point I learned the important lesson of asking how much it costs before the bill arrives.
The one exception to the generally good beer we had in Norway was Aass, an Oslo beer that tastes only slightly better than it sounds.
Germany: Übermensch of Beer
It may come as no surprise, but Germany is heaven on earth for beer-lovers. Every town has its own beer, and you can generally only get it in that town or region. That gives every other town or region its own intrigue and something to experience, regardless of how nondescript and bland the place may be (but most towns are generally pretty interesting).
On top of that, it’s often cheaper than water. A pint of delicious beer can be found for a wallet-tickling 1,80 Euro. Astounding. Mind-blowingly awesome. Why oh why can’t that be the case back home. Actually, perhaps it’s for the best. Anyway, here are some of the very many highlights of this wonderful country.
The most unique of all the glorious brew we sampled was Schlenkerla’s Rauchbier. It literally means smoke beer and tastes a lot like bacon. Drinking bacon from a big black syrupy mug was quite an experience and surprisingly tasty.
Another fun experience was the catholic festival of Kiliani where we had lots of giant steins (called mass) of Wurzburger Hofrbrau, all with some german-style standing on tables, singing, dancing, and carrying on noisily.
Italy: Italy doesn’t really do beer. The beers we had aren’t really worth discussing.
Greece: Greece had some OK beers. We had a decent one from Rhodes. One crappy one in Athens called Mythos. The best, however, was in Santorini. The “Fix” beer was appropriately titled and very enjoyable while watching a sunset in the Aegean sea.
Turkey: In an Islamic country, beer doesn’t exactly spring out from holes in the ground. However, we were able to find one beer that was pretty common and unremarkable in almost every way. Efes. It may or may not also be the turkish word for banal and watery. If you’re in Turkey, you’ll probably drink it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll like it.