Haand Bryggeriet Haandbic marks the first beer review of a beer from Norway. It also marks one of the oddest beers I’ve reviewed so far. It’s brewed with currants, cranberries, and the iconic Scandinavian lingonberry. It uses both barley and wheat malt The beer is fermented with a Lambic style cocktail of several wild yeast and bacteria strains. Next, the beer spends 18 months in oak.
Haand Bryggeriet was started by 4 friends who decided to make their own beer. They operate on an 18 bbl English system with the goal of creating unique beers that hearken back to Norwegian brewing traditions and cultures. They brew on a voluntary basis when they’re not busy with their day jobs.
Appearance: Hazy ruby with garnet highlights. Off white head with ok retention.
Aroma: Smokey hints, beery, tart lingonberry (If you’ve been to Ikea, you’ll recognize that one), medicinal notes, candied cherry
Taste: Alder wood smokiness, berry, touch of leather. Lightly tart. A bit of smoke oiliness with a medium finish.
Overall Impression: This is an interesting beer. It has a lot of different things going on between the various ingredients and techniques used to make it. Honestly, I’m not sure I liked the beer. I’m still divided on that point. I did enjoy tasting the various elements and exercising my palate with all the different flavors. I AM sure that it’s worth trying. It’s a wonderfully unique beer from a cool, little brewery. I also know that I’ll be keeping an eye out for more beers from this brewery.
Availability: This beer is imported by Shelton Brothers, check with stores that carry their other beers to see if they have the Haand beers.