The Weekly Stat Attack - 29 - Norway: 8th May 2022

Our 29th Country on the world tour is Norway, Land of the Midnight Sun. It has a village called Hell and a total population of just under 5.5 Million people, with around a fifth living in it’s capital city Oslo.

According to my research everyone drives a Tesla and eats frozen Pizza. Maybe a local could confirm that? Most Brits only know Norway because of Vikings and Fjords, our knowledge ends there really. Edvard Grieg composed a few tunes and Leif Eriksson sailed to the US, but didn’t like it much, that’s about it for famous Norwegians apart from ‘Noggin the Nog’ of course.

Beer wise Norway is an interesting place, our data base lists 250 active breweries and 121 that have closed, 45 Cideries (3 closed), 4 Meaderies (2 closed) and no Sake producers.

Top Norwegian Raters:

1 Rune 21664
2 yngwie 20613
3 gunnfryd 19333
4 Finn 14666
5 gunnar 14247
6 Meilby 13702
7 djoeye 12889
8 Cunningham 12317
9 Sigmund 11859
10 Holmen1 11326

Top Raters of Norwegian Beers:

1 gunnfryd 5427 44%
2 gunnar 4975 41%
3 yngwie 4921 40%
4 Rune 4763 39%
5 Holmen1 4164 34%
6 nilsas 3894 32%
7 Cunningham 3882 32%
8 Inbreak 3657 30%
9 Finn 3497 29%
10 Beer5000 3484 29%
11 Sigmund 3437 28%

To join the leader board you require 628 rates, I see no British names on the top 50 at the moment.

Norway has been split into 12 regions on RateBeer, some of which are very difficult to find here in the UK, but others have managed it: The Most Subregions Sampled | RateBeer.com

I look forward to the replies.

<*))))))><

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The country where I was born and spent the first 25 years of my life in.

184 rates from 57 breweries covering all 12 regions. Horrible beer landscape when i first started drinking beer, much more interesting now.

Quite a few beers rated 4 or above, mostly dominated by Lervig and (older ratings of) Nøgne Ø).

Going back in the summer for the first time in 3 years.

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Have 15 ratings from Norway, the highest on 4.2 is Alde Issider which one of the guys kindly shared on a Beer & Cider Academy Judging Cider course I did recently in London.

Have never visited Norway, but noticed the Ciderologist (who ran the course) has been visiting Norway just this past week, and has tried the traditional Norwegian approach to opening bottles of cider, see video on link:

There are a surprisingly large number of 45 cideries in Norway, with Solhøi Cidery from Oslo having the most entries on 24

The top 5 raters for Norway ciders and cideries are:

NorwayCider Ratings

yngwie 180
gunnfryd 176
Inbreak 161
Sigmund 128
Holmen1 89

NorwayCideries

Cheers!

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Norway is my 10th most rated country with 689 ratings and an average of 2.90.

It is hard to believe now, but at one point I was the top rater of Norwegian beers, and on a week’s tour I managed to taste beers from all but one brewery that existed in the country (from Sørlandet to Honingsvåg near North Cape). Good luck doing that in a week now :wink:

Given the proximity and the stunning scenery offered I try to visit as often as I can.
Some top moments is staying in over at @sigmund 's cottage in the west country for a small lasting and a summertime meetup with the Tromsø crew in the far north.
I have managed to tick all 12 regions.

Another great moment is the night spent out on Tautra island, eating and drinking on Klostergården, which incidentally tops my list of highest rated Norwegian brewers (a list that may be influenced by some very old ratings):

Klostergården Håndbryggeri Trøndelag 15 3.56
7 Fjell Bryggeri Vestland 18 3.43
Eik & Tid Oslo 9 3.43
Kinn Bryggeri Vestland 28 3.38
Oslo Mikrobryggeri Oslo 8 3.32
Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri Trøndelag 7 3.31
Amundsen Bryggeri & Spiseri Oslo 8 3.29
Lindheim Ølkompani Vestfold og Telemark 13 3.28
Lom Bryggeri Innlandet 5 3.28

My favourite beers are:

Nøgne Ø Havrestout 4.5 3.32 5/17/2004
HaandBryggeriet Norse Porter (2012-) 4.3 3.75 8/23/2013
HaandBryggeriet Odin’s Tipple 4.2 3.91 1/3/2011
Amundsen Blackbird 4.2 3.54 1/3/2015
Odalsbryggeriet Myrvatn 4.2 3.35 7/26/2017
Aass Bock 4.1 3.44 3/5/2002
Nøgne Ø God Jul 4.1 3.82 3/1/2005 4/27/2005
HaandBryggeriet Blåbic 4.1 3.51 6/1/2013
Kinn Sjelefred 4.1 3.34 7/18/2013
7 Fjell Vinter American Strong Ale 4.1 3.52 12/3/2015
HaandBryggeriet Tindbic 4.1 3.54 7/7/2018
Eik & Tid Heliks 4.1 2.97 8/8/2019
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Norway looks to be a stunning country and despite having never been there, I have a huge (for me) 182 rates from the country, so it sits comfortably in my top 5 countries.

Drilling down into the stats it’s not very impressive though, as I’d say about 95% of those are just from Lervig and Amundsen alone, who these days are pretty much the only Norwegian breweries regularly exporting to the UK.
Other breweries making up the numbers for me include Nøgne Ø, Salikatt, 7 Fjell, Ægir and HaandBryggeriet. I just haven’t had enough from any of them to form opinions, though Nøgne Ø were good back when I first got into craft beer.

I’m obviously a big fan of both Lervig and Amundsen, the former especially, and their heavily adjuncted pastry stouts. The bourbon BA version of their Times 8 collaboration with Stillwater is one of my few perfect 5’s. https://www.ratebeer.com/beer/lervig-stillwater-times-8-bourbon-ba/855951/
Their 3 Bean Stout (and all its BA variants) is another of my favourite pastry stouts.

(I do like their normal non-adjunct beers too).

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It is hardly a surprise that Norway is my most rated country, as I live here (and have been confined here most of the time during Covid). 3439 Norwegian ratings so far. The number of microbreweries here has exploded since I first joined RateBeer 20 years ago, but not all of them deliver top quality beers, and there are accordingly some ”craft” breweries I skip when scanning the beer shelves. With the steep prices of alcohol in Norway, there is no point in buying beers I expect to be inferior.

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a country I’ve visited only twice, for 24 hours each time - like the rest of Scandinavia I’m put off by the prices, I feel seriously poor there. Both times I was on an interrail and let NSB provide my overnight accommodation, and I took plenty of food with me. The first trip I went to a brewpub in Trondheim that I knew to do a sample flight so I could at least tick 8 beers for my walletectomy… ‘sorry, we don’t do those at the weekend’. Cheerio… so I’ve never had a draught beer in Norway. Did at least get some stuff in the state off-license

Have had a lot of Norwegian beer at home though, mostly Lervig, Linheim and some Amundsen, but also some Haand, Nogne O, etc, bringing my total to 277

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Just the 30 rates for me (at a very creditable average score of 3.36), from only 4 of the 12 regions. Never been to Norway, the wife prefers warm holidays rather than cold ones and the price of everything puts me off as well. So sorry Norway you are not on our ‘Bucket List’ and I will not be crossing any of your bridges unless I come into money somehow.

MY TOP BEERS

<*))))))><

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I’ve never been to Norway, closest I’ve got is Copenhagen (or Aberdeen?) - looks the former on a map but it all goes a bit weird up north doesn’t it? Just the 6 rates for me - 3 from Amundsen, 2 from Lervig and 1 from Sleeping Village. Based on those, I like Norwegian beer, average score is 3.6 - and I do keep my eyes peeled for them when out on the beer hunt. Will I ever get there? Maybe, but it’s behind other places right now so will have to wait its turn

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30 beers sampled with a very impressive 3.64 average score. Craft outlets around here seem to get more Amundsen than Lervig and as I love a rich malty stout, my samples have been overwhelming from the Oslo explorer; and just the solitary Nøgne Ø Imperial Brown Ale.
I have been curious as to whether the prices of the beer might be higher in Norway given the tariff regime than they are here. I can imagine myself exploring a few fjords some day with stopovers in craft locations but only if the Lottery is kind.

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I’ve only got 6 rates from 2 breweries Nøgne Ø & HAANDBRYGGERIET however most rated quite high. I did read a series of novels starting Harry Hole that take place in Oslo so I feel like I know the place even though never been. For sure a Northern Europe cruise featuring Norway in my future. Prices for beer scare me though. Haven’t had a Norwegian rate since 2014 and most my ratings from 2011.

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Norway is my 11th highest rated country with 153 ratings from all but one region. Top 10:

Have been to Norway a number of times, both on tour and for a couple of short breaks and can confirm it is a stunningly beautiful place. I remember catching a ferry from Newcastle to Stavanger (no longer running) and being astounded by the scenic vistas from the highway I had to keep stopping to take photos.

I’ve also driven through the village of Hell mentioned by @BlackHaddock above, (at least I thought I did, can’t find it where I thought it was) somewhat fittingly during a hellish drive from Oslo to Stavanger following a satnav that lead us to roads closed during Winter, and fully iced mountain roads. Got there in the end!

Toured with a couple of Norwegian black metal legends which was an experience! More recently I returned to Beitostolen, where, on the advice of the guy we went horse riding with, bought a Norwegian delicacy ‘rakfisk’ (hideously over-salted dried fish) and Tromso where we saw the Northern Lights and met with @djoeye after almost killing ourselves walking up Fjellheisen in a blizzard.

Have been intrigued by Norway’s cider scene - I tried a few when we were in the country, though it was difficult to find, and through a trade with Gunnar I think. Hardanger seem to be leading the pack but need to try more.

Regarding pricing of things, yes bars are insanely expensive (12-15 quid a half?) but mid-strength cans / bottles in the state-owned booze shop and supermarkets were often around the £5 mark. Actually in Oslo I noticed the many coffee places were rammed on a Friday night while all the bars we went in were quiet. Maybe the anti-alcohol government stance is paying off?

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Never mind the beer, which Black Metal legends? :wink:

Mayhem, and the band Maniac formed after leaving Skitliv, featuring Niklaas of Shining (who is one of a select few people I’ve felt genuinely scared to be around). Maniac on the other hand was super nice. Had a memorable evening in Oslo with Maniac, Niklaas and Spacebrain (skitliv bassist, onstage prop artist / welder for the entire black metal scene and head chef at the Grand Lodge of Oslo freemasons) running through all the folklore stories. I’d just say, most of it is true but clearly exaggerated.

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Yet another country where I have to say “must try much harder”.

I’ve got just 5 rates from 3 brewers in 3 regions. Here’s my top-rated ones:
Lervig White Dog Brand 3.5
Amundsen Everyday Hero 3.5
Ægir Vetlebror Session IPA 3.4

I have been to Norway once, just before I joined RB. My wife managed to get us a free (very) mini-cruise from Newcastle with her credit card points, which gave us an afternoon and evening in Bergen. Others on the cruise went of on what they afterwards described as a very boring coach tour of houses of people they’d not heard of). My wife and I instead explored the beautiful old harbour area, and then caught the Fløibanen funicular up into the hills and jumped about in the snow like complete loons. I don’t think I drank any beer, but we had a great time and thought Bergen was a gorgeous place despite the dispiritingly grey, wet weather.

I’d love to explore Norway further as it looks stunning in all the pictures I’ve seen. It’s very much on my bucket list for somewhen in the (probably distant) future. In the meantime I’ll stick to little tasters of Norway in the form of whatever beers I can find over here (because it sounds like that’ll be cheaper than buying them in Norway!).

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