Three European Beers

Mowed the lawns and bought the boys a new cricket bat so thought it only fair to shout myself a Norwegian lager.

So, I did.

The paragraph on the can includes some stereotypical gibberish asserting that Trost, “brings together ancient Norse philosophy and modern brewing techniques to deliver an impossibly smooth and sublimely refreshing premium lager.”

No, Trost lager is probably best taken in a Norwegian wood during the depths of a snowy winter with one’s taste buds frozen shut while a reindeer pokes one in the snout. Watch that antler! Ouch!

In a conclusion sure to anger the Norse gods I found the beer uncannily reminiscent of Great Northern lager, from that other famous Nordic outpost, Cairns. Do your worst Baldur, Borr and Bragi for I found it muted and lacking fatally in charisma.

Using the Pitchfork alternative music metric I give it 2.0. Avoid.

My late Saturday excursion then took me about 900 kilometres south to Dargun, Germany for the approximately homophonic Bear Beer. It was a considerable improvement on my previous ale but that’s akin to declaring a screeching cat better than, well, anything in Pink’s back catalogue.

Bear Beer. Is this beer made from a bear? Or is it beer that might be drunk by a bear? I’ll have to jump the Adelaide Zoo fence after midnight and pop by Wang Wang and Funi’s enclosure with a six pack and see what they reckon.

In a confusing development the label now reveals that the beer is approved by the Royal Danish Court. Does this mean that Princess Mary chugs a few back Sunday night while watching the Magpies and GWS? No, I think not.

While the refreshment was inoffensive this was also precisely the problem for it had been stripped of robust taste. Beer without taste becomes merely functional, like a Soviet-era apartment block on the outskirts of Prague.

Don’t avoid as quickly as the Trost, but still avoid. 4.7 on the Pitchfork scale, you edgy kids.

The final leg of my hoppy world tour saw me touchdown in Holland which, if I can believe this label, is home to a beverage cunningly called Hollandia. The can suggests the beer was first manufactured in 1758.

Now, I love that European beer has a proud history with Stella Artois dating back to 1366. It’s a remarkable beer, befitting its 700 year legacy. While Hollandia is only 250 years old, I think it should be much, much better. Thomas Cooper first brewed Sparkling Ale in 1862 and as an upstart, it’s streets in front.

Hollandia’s not a disaster. It’s approachable, but then again, a beer shouldn’t punch you on the beak when you first meet. It possesses a zing that’s a little Amsterdam and canals and bicycles to the Rijksmuseum.

If a mate brings some to a barbie at your house, don’t kick them out before they can enjoy a neck chop. 6.1 on the scale.

5 thoughts on “Three European Beers

  1. I am drinking the first of a dozen Trost Lager Ol I acquired cheaply via the BWS ‘cooler’. I suspect it was in the rather sparse cooler because it is less than a month from use by date. Cunningly, the use by date is not visible until one opens the pack.
    From my time in Sweden (or Sverige) I recall that ‘Ol’ is the trans- Scandinavian word for beer so this can has done one good thing.
    I suspect I’ll be disappointed but will blame it on the ‘Ol’ being Old.
    I would prefer to be drinking the favourite of the Tasmanian Royal Family – Carlsberg.

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  2. Investigating further, I researched the meaning of the Norwegian word ‘trost’. I suspected that it might come from the same root as the English ‘trust’.
    After some digging, I did find an obscure reference to the word ‘comfort’.
    However, the headline reference is to ‘thrush’.
    Now this could be the bird. But it could also be a nasty yeast infection – which seems strangely appropriate.

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    • Gez- Scandinavian beers are clearly more complex than many of us imagined. And maybe the labelling’s not as candid as it should be. It’s actually somewhat Scandi-noir with the fog and menace and lurking. And I thought beer should be honest fun. I doubt a yeast infection’s ever fun.

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  3. Mickey – Any beer lover will find Scandinavia a wonderful place. Beer is deeply embedded in their culture. Instead of restrictions on drinking, they have embraced responsible driving.
    I travelled through Denmark several times a long while ago. The major thing I noticed was a lot of Pawnshops although they spelt it differently. Denmark is a very happy place.
    I spent most of the time in Sweden. Beer is so important that it is served in the work canteen. The local workers drink mid strength but insist on plying others with ‘visitors’ beer’.
    I hope some of your followers can visit. It’s a nice place to start a driving holiday through Europe.
    A tip: – If you leave your handbrake on in, say November, expect to be to be able to drive away in March or April after the thaw.

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    • Thanks Gez.

      In 2020 my wife and I went to Sweden and spent a week just outside of Ljungbyhed. It was a great week and there was a pontoon on a neighbouring lake which hosted happy hour for us a couple early evenings. I wrote about it here- https://mickeytales.com/2020/03/21/scandinavias-finest-pontoon-gin-bar/.

      I bought beer at the supermarket and as you described it was mid-strength only and this was fine. As near as we could tell the town itself had no pub or bar but a couple cafes and restaurants. We really enjoyed our cottage and spending time in it as I also recounted here- https://mickeytales.com/2021/07/23/our-swedish-kitchen/.

      The idea of beer served in a workplace cafeteria is interesting as is the notion of visitors’ beer!

      Appreciate your thoughts. Would love to see more of Scandinavia. Returning to Australia after our trip to Sweden we spent two weeks in lockdown. During our holiday Covid had exploded.

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