Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Haandbryggeriet is back

Haandbryggeriet Dark Force...$8.99 / pint
Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout
Rated 99 on RateBeer

"From a strange country far, far away comes the first and only -- for the love of Christ, we hope so, anyway -- Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout in the known universe. Only from the former homebrewers at Haandbryggeriet (the 'Hand' Brewery), of course, who make beer on an absurdly small scale and therefore have the luxury of brewing purely for their own pleasure. We suspect, however, that you'll quite enjoy what they do. Dark Force is creamy and velvety, but the addition of plenty of malted wheat gives this stout a crispness and drinkability that belies its considerable alcoholic strength. Be forewarned: this Imperial really strikes back." -- importer

Haandbryggeriet Barrel Aged Porter Aquavit...$8.99 / pint
Rated 99 on RateBeer
A very special brew, this is a powerful porter that has been aged in old Aquavit barrels for several months.   Aquavit is said to be Norway’s best kept secret. It was probably first made around 1500 and the Linie Akevitt first appeared 200 years ago.This spirit is aged in old sherry barrels while floating on the ocean. It’s supposed to cross the equator twice on this voyage; a well-traveled spirit. It is customary for the ships to sail all the way to Australia and back.  The idea behind the beer is to recreate the flavor of historic porters, when all beers were kept in oak barrels. The wood aging has made this beer fantastically round and smooth, with a fantastic intermingling of the Aquavit and wood as well as roasted dark malts. The aroma is so powerful and interesting that you won’t be able to resist taking a sip.

Haandbryggeriet Norwegian Wood...$7.99 / pint
Years ago in Norway, farmers were required to brew by law. Failure to do so resulted in forfeiture of the farm. And if that wasn’t peculiar enough, the strength of the beer that each farmer brewed was based on a mathematical calculation involving the combined weight of the farmer and his wife — an incentive, it is believed, for farmers not to grow fat and rich off the labor of the farm hands for whom the beer was brewed.  The beer had a naturally smoky flavor — the malts would have been kilned on an open fire — and because hops were not cultivated in this northern climate, local juniper berries were added for flavor.  Inevitably, this law — finally one that we could have gotten behind! — was abolished, and the tradition of smoked beer in Norway was lost. The Haand brewery, however, has brought it back to life, with this studied recreation.


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