In December (or really mid-November – Norway is like the US, pushing Christmas earlier and earlier each year) Juleøl makes an appearance. The Norwegian breweries take a break from all the pilsners and lagers and bust out darker, richer and often a bit sweeter beers (comparable to winter ales). It is common that people gather up several of these Christmas beers and make a party out trying them all. On Saturday one of my coworkers invited me over for my first ever Juleøl smaker.
Eight different beers were purchased, poured, and placed in front of us along with descriptions of the beers. It was our job to taste the beer, read the descriptions, and decided which beer was which. We also got to pick our favorite.
Of course the descriptions were in Norwegian, making it a bit more challenging for me! But I didn’t do half bad (I know my food words, priorities…). I got 4 out of 8 right (above average for the group) and found my favorite Christmas beer of the bunch!
Ringnes Julebokk: An especially good balanced beer with a slightly burnt character. Quite easily drinkable. It compliments most the Christmas foods but especially pork and lamb ribs.
I think this would be fun to try with some winter beers back home! Hmmm…