Breweries "Visited"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Post Where You Learn About Norway. And Beer!

Beer #89 Tiger Tripel / Nøgne Ø , Grimstad, Norway

Life did not win today, so I feel good that I held my own.  Tomorrow, life will once again throw wild haymakers aimed directly for my face.  Sadly, my mild winning streak did not translate to the basketball court, where I was as useful as a screen door on a submarine in our not-that-close loss. Time to put all of that behind us and focus on the task at hand: drinking beer.

Tonight's offering is Tiger Tripel from Nøgne Ø, a groundbreaking brewery in Norway.  This Belgian tripel pours a hazy dark gold in the glass, and has a foamy white head.  The first aroma to greet you is a light fruit and honey mix.  The taste is a well balanced mix of yeast, citrus, pepper, with hop bitterness along the way.  A relatively potent beer at 9% ABV, for those keeping score at home.  If you drink this from the bottle, you'll see the sentence "It is very difficult to brew a complex and balanced Belgian-style tripel ale, but we have made an attempt at brewing one anyway!" on the label.  Seriously guys, knock it off with the low self esteem.  This beer is great, and you should definitely try one when presented with the chance.

Tiger with sunglasses?  Check.
Now, prepare to have knowledge dropped on you.  The name Nøgne Ø translates to "naked island," a poetic term used by writer Henrik Ibsen to describe the barren rock outcroppings in the North Sea off of Norway's coast.  This brewery was started by a pilot for Scandinavian Airlines, who would ferry home brew supplies back on his return flights from the U.S.   

With better planning, I would have saved this beer for May 17, which is of course Norwegian Constitution Day.  This holiday celebrates the date in 1814 when Norway declared their sovereignty from Sweden.  We don't do religion in our household, but you can damn well bet your ass we celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day.  The last bit of Norwegian science for the day:  advertisements for alcohol are banned in Norway.  Now you know. 

Thing to Think About Today:
Soooo many ways to go to get you thinking today.  Norway.  Tigers.  Constitution Day.  Let's instead draw some inspiration from the 89th beer on this 365 day beer journey, and let rock legends R.E.M. take it from here with Pop Song 89.  We had the pleasure of seeing them on their last tour before they broke up in 2011, and for a band with 30+ years on the odometer, they still absolutely kicked ass.  As this is Marci's favorite band of all time, I can't even fathom how much we'll shell out for VIP seats at their reunion tour somewhere down the road.  Enough typing.  Let's think about 89:

Hello, my friend, are you visible today?
You know I never know that it could be so strange.

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