Another day in paradise and another set of beers being announced for Copenhagen Beer Celebration. In two weeks time I’ll be sitting in Copenhagen drinking beer, longing for CBC to start and to wake up to a day of witnessing some world class brewing (more on that later). So I thought it might be about time to announce some more beers? Except for Denmark the only Nordic country (however, Xbeeriment do have a collaboration with Swedish brewery Brekeriet, Bretty Boop) participating at CBC is Norway. Norway is sending one of their best breweries, Lervig and their friendly brewmaster Mike Murphy. We had a chat with Mike last year and some of what he said is probably still as interesting and will give you an idea of what Lervig is about. If you prefer the full interview you can find it here. At the bottom you find what Lervig is sending to Copenhagen – Bam!
MankerBeer (MB): You have lived in Europe for over a decade, brewing beers in Italy, Denmark and Norway so it seems as if you have experienced the European craft beer revolution first hand. How has the European beer scene changed while you have been here?
Mike Murphy (MM): I feel like I am riding the craftbeer wave as I have been in 3 countries and been there about the same time these countries have undergone a transformation from mundane pilsner to interest in craft beers. Italy was interstingly a non beer country when I was there in 99, about the only thing you could find other than pils was Guiniess or kilkenny, if you go to Italy today you can see for yourself what has happened, Italy is special as they have been doing it their way and you can see and taste it. Denmark and little after Sweden become huge markets for craft beer, perhaps the good economies and the pre exsitiing love of beer made the scandinavian beer scene one of the most interesting beer scenes in the world. the craft beer market is also on the rise here in Norway, I can see by our sales that new and different products are selling much better than lame boring macro pils.
The scene in scandinavia has changed and matured over the last 8 years starting with some influence from the US brewing scene, giving inspiration to many brewers in the area to produce simular beers and perhaps take it a bit further in some cases. Yet there is always those cult brewers who appeal to the more traditional drinker in scandinavia and you just dont see that anywhere else really. The scandinavian beer scene is the area is realitively small and yet so interesting that is never boring always changing and full of great people that you can meet out there in many festivals and tastings.
MB: What were you doing before you moved to Europe and started brewing beers?
MM: I was always a home brewer, but I was starting a buisness which deals with customizing swimming pools with stone walls, waterfalls & landscaping around the pools, I had this goal to make peoples mouth drop in awe when they come to the backyard of the customers who could afford these types of luxuries. I have an education in Landscape Architecture so I was heading that way when Europe called on me to be a brewer. I think things would be very different for me today if I had stayed on that path, I cant say I would have regreted anything and I probably would have been happy doing the previous line of work as well. I am however very happy to have spent my late 20?s and all my 30?s in Europe, i think it has fundementaly changed me and perhaps made me a better and open minded person.
MB: For those of us that follow your blog we read your take on canning beers. What are the biggest prejudices against canned beers here in Norden?
MM: Like most places people assimulate can beer with cheap beer, like a screw cap on wine, basically because most craft brewers can not afford a proper bottling line much less a canning line, therefore it must be a mass produced lame beer in there… I just tell people it’s not any differnet than a small keg, it may look and feel less special in the can but when you need to carry the dead bottles from your home to the recycle center you can feel the differnece as well. I like that the can has more printing options, better on the environment as far as trasnsport, and it actually stores the beer better than a glass bottle… It’s nice to have a choice and I really believe that cans are the future even for craft beer.
MB: Norway is starting to establish itself as a beer country just like Sweden and Denmark and I spoke to Kjetil from Nøgne Ø on how many small Norwegian breweries try to perfect their beers and production before “they go big”. What upcoming breweries are their to keep your yes on?
MM: I think it’s going to take some more time before you see many new breweries except for some brew pubs here in Norway, I think Kinn is an interesting brewery that is well distributed here in Norway and getting a lot of respect from the craft beer scene, It would only be better for all of us if we have more and more interest and choice. there is another local brewery near us which has always made more traditional beers, now they have launched a IPA as well… Just shows that they see it too.
You can find the descriptions of the below beers together with all the other beers at CBC in our complete CBC beer list - updated daily and found here. Just to clarify, changes in the beer lists may occur and not all beers are served at all sessions.
Lervig CBC Beer List:
- Brewers Reserve Rye IPA
- Brewers Reserve Konrads Stout
- Farmhouse Stout
- Bourbon B.A Barley Wine
- Flemish Brown Ale
- Oat IPA
- Galaxy Hopped IPA Super Passion Fruit
- Imperial Amber Ale