En af de første udenlandske ølblogs jeg gav mig i kast med at læse var den engelsksprogede, men norsk hjemhørende Knut Albert’s Beer Blog. Den gæster jeg stadig fra tid til anden for at få læst op på Knuts beretninger og betragtninger om øl. I dag er det dog Knut, der gæster Stovt som bidragsyder til Poesibogen. Vi stiller om.
What is your favorite beer?
My favorite beer depends on the weather, the season, the time of day or where I am. If I have to choose one, I would say Fuller's London Porter. This is a beer of moderate strength, that has a wide distribution, but it does not get its deserved attention among all the new and hip breweries. Fuller's is the last remaining of the family breweries in London, and they have a great range of beers, including London Pride and their series of Vintage ales. The London Porter is a smooth and highly drinkable beer, but with much more flavor than the market leader. If you really want the maximum enjoyment, you should seek it out on cask. It is not a regular, even in Fuller's pubs, but if you're lucky it can be found in festivals or specialty pubs like the White Horse, London W8.
What is your favorite beer type?
My favorite beer type will also vary, but a good and complex imperial stout, perhaps barrel aged, is something to sit won and enjoy. A good chair, a good book and a strong and dark beer is a fine way to end the day.
Where do you buy your beer?
It's a challenge to buy beer in Norway, as beers above 4.7 % QABV have to be sold in government stores - Vinmonopolet. But, I have to admit their beer range has improved a lot over the last five years. In their flagship store in Oslo I can get a decent selection of both domestic and imported beers. The prices are, however, very high. Norwegian supermarkets are also improving, and there are a few shops in the Meny chain of shops that has a very good selection. I try to buy as much beer as I can when I travel, most often in Systembolaget in Sweden, where the prices are lower. What I'd love is regular access to beer shops like Johnny's Off Licence in Rome, Berlin Bier Shop or Ølbutikken. I must also mention Cafe Sara here in Oslo, where they try to order everything available from the smaller Norwegian breweries. A great place to sample new beers.
What has been your greatest beer experience?
My greatest beer experience? I could mention beer festivals and beer tastings with world-class beers. But what changed it all was a summer many years ago when I visited London. Warm evenings outside riverside pubs buying rounds of Young's Special showed me that beer could me something else than the bland lagers I had grown up with.
What makes beer so great?
Beer offers something for everybody. From low alcohol thirst quenchers to vinous barley wines. If you look out for it, there will be local varieties worth seeking out. And while beer is very trendy right now, it is in essence not snobbish or excluding. You can enjoy a beer with anyone, it spans geography and generations. Beer is still a time out in a world that is increasingly hectic.