292. Release of the Danish Christmas Beer

IMG_8281 (480x640)There should be a giant sign at the Danish border that says “Be warned: you are now entering Beer Country.”

The Danes love beer like a fat kid loves cake. And at Christmas, the breweries bring out all their Christmas beers. Tuborg in particular does a massive marketing push, with the release of their Christmas Beer being a massive event all over town on the first Friday of November. It used to be a Tuesday, but apparently workplaces and Universities nationwide were unimpressed with Wednesday’s productivity.

Most bars in town will have a free keg of the Christmas beer to give away from exactly 8:59pm. From 8:56pm there was quite the mosh pit at the bar, but in an orderly Danish kind of way, as patrons competed to be the first to taste the slightly darker Tuborg. Once the keg had been given away, the natural progression from there was the limbo, and the more Danish Shnaps.IMG_8275 (640x480) IMG_8270 (640x480) IMG_8300 (640x480) IMG_8307 (640x480) IMG_8335 (640x480) IMG_8349 (640x480) IMG_8356 (480x640) IMG_8358 (640x480) IMG_8359 (640x480)

Just as I thought the free beer fun was over, suddenly a bunch of blue santas turned up and were handing out bottles, unloaded direct from the giant Christmas Tuborg truck. IMG_8362 (480x640) IMG_8363 (480x640) IMG_8366 (640x480) IMG_8368 (480x640) IMG_8369 (480x640) IMG_8371 (480x640) IMG_8373 (640x480) IMG_8375 (480x640) IMG_8379 (640x480)

The madness didn’t stop there, though, as we arrived in town later on to find even MORE blue santas, and a selection of other bars giving out Christmas beers from other breweries.IMG_8381 (480x640) The most entertaining part of the night was when people started drunkenly confessing that despite all the hysteria and excitement, most of them don’t actually like the Christmas beer!

116. Sexist Beer

Tromso is home to the world’s northernmost brewery – Mack’s Brewery. I thought that was a little coincidental, given there’s a Mac’s in New Zealand, where you’ll also find a (different) brewery laying claim to the world’s southernmost brewery in the thriving metropolis that is Invercargill.

Anyway, the Brewery tours weren’t open on the weekend but the bar was, so we decided to pop inside for a warmup drink around 1 or 2pm. And it was one of the more interesting customer service experiences I have had, all thanks to a man I like to call  “presumptuous bartender.”

He probably thought of himself more as some kind of beer oracle. As we walked up to the bar, we asked him for a couple of pints of Arctic Beer. Mostly for the novel name. The rest followed something like this:

Presumptuous Bartender: No you don’t want that.

Harriet: I think I do, I just ordered it.

Presumptuous Bartender: You can get that anywhere in town, have one of the beers that can only be sold here.

Harriet: Let me guess, they are more expensive?

Presumptuous Bartender: Well this one here (points to main beer on tap) is our award-winning beer, much better than Arctic Beer.

Ryan (sensing a scene): OK I’ll have one of those then

Harriet: Ok fine me too.

Presumptuous Bartender: No you (points to me) can’t have that one. You can have the ladies beer.

Harriet: The what?! And why can’t I have the other one?

[Note: I really don’t like being told (as opposed to helpful recommendations) what to order. And I really really don’t like being told I can’t have/do the same thing as a male for no good reason, so this guy was really grinding my gears]

Presumptuous Bartender: This one has won awards too, and girls seem to really like it. It is slightly lighter blah blah trivial beer stuff

Harriet (getting irritated and wanting to sit down): OK fine just give me your sexist beer then!

Presumptuous bartender: [has the audacity to look offended]

Sexist beer to the right