Wiener schnitzel and a good craft beer

What is better in Germany than Wiener schnitzel and beer? It is maybe very old fashioned to say, but I do like a good schnitzel, especially when you can try it with a new German beer style. You guessed it right, I am in Germany and had a great evening in a local restaurant with typical German food, but with a special beer menu.

The schnitzel I tried was called Jagerschnitzel with a lovely mushroom sauce. The beer I choose to have with it, was a hoppy lager from Craft werk, the gourmet style brand of Bitburger.

To my surprise the beer was excellent, with a very good bitterness balance and a hint of fresh hops. It is not always that a big beer brand also produces a high quality gourmet brand, but in this case it is definitely true.

My colleague and me decided to try one more beer and I choose the Tangerine dream, a pale ale produced with mandarine hops.

Another excellent example of how to produce a hoppy pale ale. The smell was completely mandarine and the taste had a prickling orange zesty hint, but very balanced with the malt flavor.

We asked the waitress where we could find those beers, but apparently they are mostly available online. So if you see those beers in a bar or restaurant, definitely worth a try! I enjoyed them very much, especially because they were not extreme in flavor, but very well balanced.

Have you ever had a German craft beer?

Exploring beers and delicious food in Aalborg 

Last weekend my husband and me visited some family in Aalborg. As they are also very much in to good food and drinks, we went out for some beers and delicious food. We started at Basement Beer Bar for some excellent craft beer. I felt very much at home after seeing the beer menu:


I decided to try the Bees for my honey from Amager Bryghus. A well-balanced beer with a clear hoppy aroma and bitterness, but balanced by the sweetness from the honey. Definitely one to warm you up in the winter months.

We continued our Aalborg exploration by dining at Restaurant Textur. It was good we made a reservation, as the restaurant was fully booked. We took the 5 dishes menu with accompanying wine. Simply delicious food and well-paired with the wine.


I liked especially the ‘sprød havkat’, which is a croquette from catfish. However every dish was excellent and nicely presented.

After the dinner, we wanted to finish the evening with a beer at The Wharf. This place looks amazing with all the barrels at the wall.


My husband had one of his best Westmalle Dubbel beers as it was on tap here. Not something you see often in Denmark. The bar is very cosy, has great beers on tap and is so far my favorite bar in Aalborg.

Even though my colleagues warned me, we did end up in Jomfru Ane Gade that evening. However, we had such a great time and I can definitely recommend exploring Aalborg, as the city has definitely great bars and restaurants to offer.

Cheers!

Don’t worry Pale Ale – a 0.5% alcohol beer from Svaneke Bryghus

My husband and me have just been running and now we deserve a good alcohol free beer. It is getting a habit to drink alcohol free beers after our running trips. I am very pleased with the Drink’in the Sun from Mikkeller, but now I would like to taste some different brewery styles.

I found the Don’t worry Pale Ale from Svaneke Bryghus in our Superbrugsen and gave it a try. 


The beer is a Pale Ale style and you notice immediately the hoppy nose when you pour the beer. It is fruity and grassy aroma hops that steel the palet. However there is not much bitterness and the taste does not linger. The beer is also quite sweet, which is actually mentioned on the label. It is for sure a good try and better than what I have tasted so far. The only big minus is the sulfury off-flavor that shines through in the aroma. The big plus is the quite good flavor balance and mouthfeel. I’ll definitely try this one again on a more sunny day.

Enjoying some of my favorite beers from Duvel Moortgat

One week ago, my parents visited us all the way from Belgium. It is always super nice to get family visit and especially when it is my parents, as they are so sweet to bring some of my favorite beers. Belgian beers indeed :-).

As we tasted the beers, suddenly I realized that there was a pattern forming in my beer taste. Yes, almost all of them are coming from the same brewery, namely Duvel Moortgat. And we are not only talking about Duvel, but also the brands they have acquired during the years. Here is a small list of some of my favorites:

La Chouffe
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La Chouffe is one of my all-time favorites. Simply so delicious. This beer is one of the best Belgian Blond Strong Ale style beers according to my opinion. The flavour is fruity from the yeast with a nice touch of coriander and a delicate hop balance and finish. Very refreshing in summer, even though the beer has 8% alcohol (v/v).

Vedett Extra Blond
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It was a long time ago I tasted the Vedett Extra Blond, that is why I asked my parents to bring this pilsner to have together with a good BBQ for example. The beer I tasted came out of a can (first time I saw Vedett on can I have to admit). The taste was typical Belgian style pilsner with a good malt hop balance, but the malty taste over-powered a little the flavor. In my view also a bit too light in taste, meaning not enough body in the mouth. Still good for a summer day, but not my favorite pilsner because of the lack of body and the slightly malty aroma.

 

Vedett Extra Ordinary IPA
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Another Vedett example, that I tasted for the first time this year on a holiday in Toulouse. I am very much a fan of IPAs, which I learned to know when I moved to Denmark 6 years ago. This beer style has really exploded in the USA since a long time. Also in Denmark in recent years, this style is very popular. The Belgian brewers hopped quite late on the IPA train, but now more and more Belgian Style IPAs are released. The Vedett IPA is a light IPA example, with smooth bitterness and fruity and herbal hop notes. Again a bit lack of body in my opinion, but nice on a sunny day on a terrace. The bitterness is soft, so a good IPA to get started on an IPA journey if you have never tried this beer style.

Wild Jo Blond
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A Belgian Wild Ale as De Koninck says on their website and yes, wild it is! This Belgian Blond is definitely refermented in the bottle with a Brettanomyces yeast (and maybe also used in the main fermentation). The taste is simply so balanced with the typical touch of a Brettanomyces (Brett). The beer is also dry hopped with European hops and that fruity/herbal aroma blends perfectly with the typical Brett flavor. Very much reminds me of Orval, which is another beer in my top 3 favorite beers. However, the Wild Jo is more balanced in my opinion, especially when drunk at a young age. I look forward to taste a more aged Wild Jo Blond, as I know from Orval experince that ageing Brett beers is always worth the effort and waiting :-).

 

 

 

Mr. Mist (Warpigs/Brewski)

Last Friday my husband and me went to the meat packing district in Copenhagen, one of my favorite places for a beer and some food. It had been a while since we visited this inspiring spot in Copenhagen, but the weather was great, so that was a perfect excuse :-).

We went to Warpigs brewpub, which serves great beers (mainly IPA style), and also great BBQ/smoked food. I had a Mr. Mist, an American Pale Ale, which is a collaboration brew between Warpigs and Brewski (one of my favorite Swedish breweries). The APA was nicely hopped, with some citrus and passion fruit notes. Very refreshing with a balanced after taste. Definitely one to come back for.

The weather was great, so we sat outside the bar, a super place to spot people and enjoy the Copenhagen crowd. Cheers!

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Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2016

Finally it is 14th of May! Indeed, after having ordered the tickets for more than 6 months ago, it was time to attend CBC 2016. The first time for myself and my husband to go to the most crazy and amazing beer festival in Denmark.

And crazy it was! We were definitely not alone, as there was already a queue when we showed up at 15.30h, half an hour before the festival would start for us. As you can guess, this session was completely sold-out.
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The event was in Øksnehallen in Vesterbro, a super nice place to host the CBC 2016.

When we came in, it was full on when it came to find the beers we wanted to try. We had made a list of all beers we for sure should try. But with more than 80 breweries represented at the festival, you can imagine we were a bit stressed to have tasted all the ones we definitely wanted to try out that day. To give you an impression how it looked, this was the set-up of the day:
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It was a super cool set-up with most of the top 10 Ratebeer breweries present. For me, this was almost too much, to be able to taste so many beers from the best breweries of the world. It seemed that sour ales and farmhouse ales are THE beers that are trending right now. These together with the Berliner Weisse style were very much present. And we tasted some really good ones like Ophelia fom Alefarm, Farmer John from Amager Bryghus, Saison Lambic from Bokkereyder, 18/02 Farmhouse from Brew By Numbers, Brutus Blend from Fonta Flora and The very best of Kinn Vol.1 from Kinn (probably my favorite).
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As my husband likes the more strong beers (alcohol wise), we also tasted quite some Belgian ales, strong ales, Barley wines and Stouts. Some of the very tasty ones were:
Lil’Devil from AleSmith, Hustle from All In, Batch 2000 from Bell’s, Kiss the goat! and Ume Umai from Gigantic, B.O.R.I.S the Crusher from Hoppin’Frog (our favorite), Agamemnon from Omnipollo, Old Guardian Barley Wine and Stochasticity project Quadrotriticale from Stone (Love the names!), and Endless Bummer (our 2nd favorite) from Warpigs.
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It was very nice to finally experience the CBC as it really gives you an idea what is currently trending at the best breweries according to Ratebeer. Spontaneous fermentation with some Brettanomyces, as well as every sour beer style and the hard-core Stout and Barley Wine style are definitely something you should try at the moment.

A hands-up to Mikkeller who organized the whole CBC 2016, as well as the whole week with beer events taking place in almost every corner of Copenhagen.
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The French can also make beer – good beer!

We all know France for its great wines, but I have to say, the craft brewing scene is also growing in France, with some great beers as result :-).

I was in north of France end of July to visit some very good friends of mine and there my friends showed me in a local supermarket the beers they are producing in that region. The town was called Hardelot-sur-Plage, close to Boulogne-sur-Mer.  And waw, what a super nice selection they had! The beers that immediately jumped out with their labels, were those from Brasserie des 2 Caps (http://www.2caps.fr/en/la-brasserie.html).

This brewery is situated in the ‘Côte d’Opale’ in between the 2 cliffs called ‘Cap blanc nez’ and ‘Cap gris nez’, meaning the white and grey cliff respectively. It is a beautiful area with spectacular views, on a clear day even all the way to UK.

The brewery is using malt and hops farmed in the surrounding area, very environmently friendly :-). They have around 6 different beer types, and I tasted the D-day beer:

D-Day beerThis beer was a very nice positive experience. The flavor is fruity (banana like), definitely fermented with a Belgian type Blond Ale yeast. A little sweet aftertaste with a balanced bitterness. Almost a typical Belgian Blond, but then brewed in north of France. I can definitely recommend this beer. On Ratebeer, the beer got rated a 3.2, but I have given it a 3.7

The name is of course inspired by D-day, taking place at the coast nearby on the 6th of June 1944. A super nice tribute to this great day!

Becoming a beer judge

‘Øldommere’
Yesterday I took part in the ‘Øldommere’ course in Midfyns Bryghus.
This is a course organized by the ‘Dankse Øldommere’, an organization that takes care of the beer judging at important beer competitions in Denmark.

And it was a great course for me! I never realized how difficult it is to judge beers correctly. Most important of all, there are a lot of categories of beers and beers always need to be judged according to the style they are representing. This means you need to know as a homebrewer which style of beer you are making. This is very interesting food for thought. Looking back at the beers I made until now, I have been making a Belgian blond (Engel Tripel Ale), a Spicy beer (Julelund/Kerstbosbier) and a mix between English golden Ale/Belgian blond (Bride Blond). Very interesting :-).

I can recommend a beer judging course to every homebrewer, as it open you eyes on how to make decisions for the beer you’re making. It is also easier to talk to other (home)brewers if you know which style of beer you’re making.

To be continued….