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High-flying global breweries characterise What’s Brewing in Stavanger

What's Brewing, Stavanger, Norway
The Taste the World theme reflected in vintage airline-style destination posters. The idea continues with What’s Brewing’s accumulation of airport and flight related paraphernalia.

Visitors to Southwest Norway’s Stavanger adore the harbourside vista across Byfjorden fjord. The appeal complementing the city centre’s original, protected Norwegian architecture. Norway’s third largest city knows how to celebrate culture and heritage. Yet it’s What’s Brewing enticing the beer world to Stavanger.

What’s Brewing in Stavanger?

Gourmet cuisine, food-beer pairings, top music and live bands attract chic, fashionable people. 40 breweries from 15-countries form a world-class event. The Taste the World theme reflected in vintage airline-style destination posters. The idea continues with What’s Brewing’s accumulation of airport and flight related paraphernalia.

Signs suggest What’s Brewing will land on schedule, enjoying a perfect touch-down. Arrival at the gate is a cue for fun, laughter and enjoyment. Its crew of willing volunteers manning the controls.

What’s Tou Scene’s story?

Stavanger’s 20th century fortunes flourished in response to traditional regional industry. Sails and canned goods manufacturing, herring and beer brewing transformed Stavanger East. Tou Brewery had produced beer and flour for 50 years before settling in the area. Although brewing declined in the early 1970s and had ceased by 1980.

The early 21st century’s Urban Seafront project saw the area undergo urban development. Tou Scene’s artistical and resource centre repurposing the former Tou Brewery building. Today it ranks among Norway’s largest independent cultural institutions. Tou Scene is home to What’s Brewing.

What’s the reason to visit one day earlier?

BREW CON x What’s Brewing ’19 occupies Tou Scene’s Machine Hall on October 17. Beer industry manufacturers and suppliers present malt, hops, yeast and brewing equipment. It’s the ideal get-together for professionals and home brewers.

Selected beer or brewing lectures and presentations cover many topics. Beer styles, wild beer, wood aging, fruit additions, and getting the most from yeast, hops and malt.

There’s a lambic movie to enjoy. And the bars serve What’s Brewing participant beer.

The event’s highlight is the returning Norway Masters Home Brew Competition. Four entries or less per person permitted. All BJCP styles are welcome, including Kveik and Norwegian Farmhouse.

Breweries

The majority of participating breweries come from the USA (9) and the UK (6). With Scandinavian breweries — Sweden, Denmark, Norway — comprising over a quarter of participants. Other European participating countries include Germany, Italy, Ireland, Estonia, Spain, Switzerland and Portugal. Intercontinental visitors travel from Canada (2), Japan (2) and China.

Canada

  • Collective Arts

  • Malty National Brewing Co

Central Regina’s Malty National Brewing is a small microbrewery with an enormous roar. Its philosophy for brewing exciting, daring beer hollered with pride. As an alternative to industrialised homogeny, it produces unique, artisanal styles. A determined Canadian brewery taking its drinkers on a flavour adventure.

Malty National Brewing’s malty Saskatchewan creations challenge local ideas. Its small batch brews change perception about high-quality beer in low-quality monopolised markets.

Malty National Brewing presents its beer to Europe in October. Stavanger’s What’s Brewing privileged in offering exceptional Canadian beer to Norway’s discerning drinkers.

China

  • Great Leap Brewing

Denmark

  • Gamma

  • Mikkeller

  • To Øl

Estonia

  • Põhjala Brewery

Germany

  • Fuerst-Wiacek

Berlin’s brewing talent reaches back generations and its legacy remains compelling today. Contemporary brewers understanding how forebears stimulated drinkers. Modern beer enthusiasts stand in awe at city breweries’ continual ability to impress. A Berlin brewery is more than a product of the city — it is the city’s essence.

Consider the city’s award-winning FUERST WIACEK. It symbolises Berlin’s breweries by absorbing diverse, worldly inspiration to create modern beer. Yet keeping an eye on German brewing history and style.

FUERST WIACEK produces its beer at other breweries. Although it’s building its own brewery. Georg and Lukasz, its founders, learnt from among the best international breweries. And in doing so were further inspired by a global beer culture brimming with knowledge.

Visitors to Norway’s Stavanger can sample FUERST WIACEK at October’s What’s Brewing. A taste of Berlin and an example of superior brewing talent.

  • Mahrs Bräu

Ireland

  • The White Hag Brewery

Irish Mythology’s Mother Nature appears as a White Hag providing beer’s raw ingredients. Northwest Ireland’s White Hag Brewing Company accepts her offerings. And in return the brewery produces modern and traditional craft beer.

The young, award-winning brewery launched only five years ago in Ballymote, County Sligo. Named Best New Irish Brewery, it is already a well-known international name.

Seizing the opportunity to sample White Hag Brewing are visitors to What’s Brewing. The brewery presenting a selection of its famous brews in Stavanger in mid-October.

  • Whiplash Beer

Italy

  • CR/AK Brewery

Italian beer’s international reputation changed over the past five or ten years. Craft beer culture perception used to be non-existent or limited to homogeneous brands. Yet today’s Italian craft beer scene is unrecognisable compared with the recent past. This writer first encountered the term ‘craft beer’ in Italy, for example.

A shift in thinking about Italian artisanal beer is due to brewers like Padova’s CR/AK. Since launching in 2015 it established an international presence, highlighting Italy’s brewing talent. Italian beer was not only unlike generic brands, but it also offered superior taste. CR/AK and its peers led the charge, bringing Italian craft beer to the mainstream.

And Italian craft beer fans are thankful.

Over recent years CR/AK has won many awards and is now a leading beer producer. Its Year Round range popular with local, national and international drinkers. Its collaborations introducing fans to other capable, interesting breweries. And its Cantina range acting as an exemplar of excellence. Furthermore, its Limited range offers rare, delightful treats.

CR/AK’s appearance at Stavanger’s What’s Brewing in October continues the international charge. Norway welcoming the best beers Italy can offer.

  • Loverbeer

Italian craft beer production is more than brewing. It’s synergy with regional produce, harmony with nature and respect for the terroir. Italian craft beer combines a love of taste, tradition, local heritage and history. Italian brewing goes beyond beer: it’s cooperating in ingredient production.

Turin’s LOVERBEER innovates and produces characteristic beer: flavoursome, aromatic and balanced. A result of meticulous attention to ingredients and production processes. The brewery experiments with spontaneous fermentation, Italian grapes and oak-aging, among other practices.

A former Brewer of the Year, Valter founded LOVERBEER almost 10-years ago. A homebrewer recognised by experts as among Italy’s best. LOVERBEER unites Valter’s desire for producing world-class beer with regional speciality admiration.

LOVERBEER presents some fine beers in Norway at October’s What’s Brewing. Stavanger’s drinkers thrilled by Italian passion and dexterity.

Japan

  • Coedo Brewery

「クラフトビール」というものが世界中のどこででもそれなりに飲めるようになってから暫く経つが, 主役のビールは主にアメリカ/ヨーロッパというのがごくごく普通. それでもここ数年, 大きくアジアとカテゴリーされる国々でも小さな醸造所が誕生し始め地元の人々に少しずつではあるものの新しいビールの世界を届け始めている. 勿論大手の名だたるビールメーカーはアジア各国には存在するし, 誰もが1度は味わったことがあるだろう.

そんなこともあって「日本のクラフトビールってどうなの?」と最近よくきかれる. それは実に現状を物語っている. 日本のクラフトビールの国外への露出度は…悲しいかな, まだまだ扉が開かれていない. 然しそんな中で BIG NEWS が! この 10月なんとノルウェーのスタヴァンゲルで 2日間に渡って開催される What’s Brewing に COEDO が登場するのだ! 「クラフトビール」という言葉がまだ存在してなかった頃から「安心で安全で美味しい」をコンセプトに, 大地との関りを大切に自然を何よりも愛する精神でビールを造り続けてきた彼らがなんと北欧までやってくるのである.

実は COEDO は日本のクラフトビール醸造所としてはかなり珍しく現在世界中へビールを届けている. 勿論このヨーロッパでも飲めるのだが場所は実に限定されている為, 恐らく来場者達はほぼ COEDO 初体験ではなかろうか. カウントダウンまであと約2週間弱, 日本のクラフトビールの代表として, そしてアメリカやヨーロッパのクラフトビールとはちょっと一味違ったユニークな味で来場者達をおおいに楽しませてくれるであろうと, 今からとても心待ちにしている.

Europe’s Japanese beer presence is, by and large, limited to a few industrial giants. Western perception of Japan’s beer culture are the household names saturating the market. That’s a shame.

There is a handful of Japanese craft beer producers visible in the European market. Alongside hundreds of less well-known artisanal beers with niche exposure. Smaller Japanese breweries find their sales limited to traditional outlets and ramen restaurants. That’s also a shame.

Japan’s craft beer scene and beer culture has much to offer. Yet it remains undiscovered by western beer connoisseurs. Till now.

Saitama’s COEDO brewery represents Japanese craft beer’s visibility in the west. It’s among the most well-known brands outside Japan. It sells its premium craft beer across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.

COEDO’s Norwegian appearance at Stavanger’s What’s Brewing in October promotes Japanese craft beer. Drinkers familiar with the industrial brands will be surprised at the quality and taste.

  • Shiga Kogen Beer

Norway

  • LERVIG

  • Lindheim Ølkompani

  • Yeastside Brewing Co

Portugal

  • Letra

Talk about Portuguese craft beer and one brewery name is always mentioned. Braga’s Cerveja LETRA stands prominent among Portugal’s many capable breweries. Its brewing talent producing proficient, flavoursome, high quality beer to the letter. And a popular international presence increases its reputation.

Cerveja LETRA’s Craft Beer alphabet defines a core artisanal beer range, A through to F. Starting with A, drinkers enjoy a Blonde Ale, Bohemian Pilsner, Oatmeal Stout and Red Ale. LETRA E and LETRA F refer to a Belgian Dark Strong Ale and American IPA. LETRA on Oak series matures for several years in port, wine, whiskey and brandy barrels.

The brewery releases laboratory experiments as the LETRA Craft Trials series. It also collaborates to produce unique tastes and a distinctive range of beers. There is even Cerveja LETRA gin and cider.

University of Minho Biological Engineering PhD researchers Filipe and Francisco established Cerveja LETRA. They formed FermentUM in 2013 before opening Letraria, Portugal’s first brewpub, in 2015.

Cerveja LETRA represents Portuguese brewing talent with ease. As demonstrated in Norway at Stavanger’s What’s Brewing. Visitors relishing superior beer from Portugal’s sole participating brewery.

Spain

  • Basqueland Brewing Project

Sweden

  • O/O Brewing

Something fabulous influences life around Gothenburg. Sweden’s second city producing higher than average numbers of superior breweries. The excess of breweries generating a wealth of excellent craft beer.

O/O Brewing exemplifies everything great about the city’s brewing culture. Olof Andersson and Olle Andersson (no relation) founded the brewery in 2011. Consistent interest means the brewery is popular with international drinkers. And growth has been constant.

While O/O Brewing remains a fine, world class brewery, its focus is quality ahead of quantity. It aims to complete with wines and other dining experience beverages. Beer connoisseurs also relish O/O Brewing’s work ethos for artisanal, exceptional beer.

O/O Brewing demonstrates its quality in Stavanger at October’s What’s Brewing. Another event at which Olof and Olle’s fine beer proves popular.

  • Omnipollo

Omnipollo’s uncommon brewing approach differentiates it. Beer producers without a brewhouse collaborate with physical breweries and access their facilities. Producers brew consistent beer and breweries utilise their spare capacity with this approach. Loyal partnerships remain regular and constant, benefitting both the producer and brewery.

Stockholm’s Omnipollo‘s prefers an alternative. Travelling the world, collaborating with a different brewery on each beer. Brewing and beer recipes thus improve through continuous learning, improvement and experimentation.

“Omnipollo” derives from “omnipotent” — having great power and influence. Beer production gains omnipotence from flexibility, agility and learning.
Omnipollo showcases its omnipotence at Stavanger’s What’s Brewing. Its beers showcase the unique combination of recipe and physical production brewery’s influence.

  • Stigbergets Bryggeri

  • Stockholm Brewing Co

Sweden’s Stockholm Brewing Co applies practical winemaking knowledge during beer production. Thanks to a partner wine company, aging beer in oak wine-barrels is common practice. It also experiments with fruit and wild yeast for a small-batch Cellar Series.

Being certified organic is important to Stockholm Brewing Co. It only brews with organic ingredients and focuses on local produce. Whether it’s inner-city foraging or supporting local organic farms.

Almost at its tenth anniversary, Stockholm Brewing Co. has a reputation for balanced, drinkable beers. Its one-offs provide the brewery with scope for pushing beer production limits. Everything the brewery does gains beer enthusiast approval.

The brewery’s October What’s Brewing appearance in Stavanger is likely to be successful.

Switzerland

  • WhiteFrontier Brewery

UK

  • Cloudwater Brew Co

  • Harbour Brewing Co

  • Left Handed Giant Brewing Co.

  • Manchester Union Brewing

Manchester Union Brewery stakes an unequivocal claim. More than a generic craft beer brewer, it is the city’s first and only dedicated craft lager brewery. And we commend a razor-sharp focus on producing fine lager.

Manchester Union Brewery: classic and contemporary, nostalgic and modern. Its name a testament to Manchester’s industrial heritage and hard-working people. Its innovative interpretation of a classic style offers a distinctive twist. Its northern passion for central European techniques and decoction mashing is unique.

Manchester Union Lager’s smooth, refreshing mouthfeel delights the palate. Its sweet caramel hint and light bitter tannins tantalise the taste buds. It urges today’s craft beer drinkers to reminiscence about a familiar, timeless classic.

Manchester Union Brewery represents lager excellence at Stavanger’s What’s Brewing in October.

  • Siren Craft Brew

  • Verdant Brewing Co.

USA

  • Cascade Brewing

  • Finback Brewery

The smaller craft beer breweries in NYC often present the largest taste profiles. Popular among drinkers, Queens’ Finback Brewery offers complex and hoppy beers. The passionate, dedicated team use quality ingredients to produce beers bursting with flavour. Artisanal, small batch beer production reflecting Finback Brewery’s importance to community and culture.

Releasing its first Queens-produced beer in 2014, the brewery ranks as one of NYC’s newest. It’s also recognised among the Five Boroughs’ most exciting beer producers. Visitors at the tasting room and other outlet in the city always relish beer excellence. And great beer tastes best in the company of wonderful people.

Its elegant beer exhibits diverse qualities, whether it’s hoppy, sour, dark or wood-aged. Finback Brewery brings a selection of its beer to Europe in October. Its appearance at Stavanger’s What’s Brewing promising to be an event highlight.

  • Lamplighter Brewing Co

  • Modern Times Beer

  • Norway Brewing Co

  • Other Half

  • Sand City Brewing Co

  • Stillwater Artisanal

  • The Bruery

Practicalities

What’s Brewing takes place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October at Tou Scene: Kvitsøygata 25, 4014 Stavanger. Doors open on both days at 14:00, and it closes around 23:00. Tickets are available via: https://www.whatsbrewing.no/