Home away from home? A Norwegian affair.
This story begins some months ago when a Norwegian beer importer, Jon Sigurd Smith Johnsen, left Norway in search of some new beers for the growing Norwegian market. Following an extensive search of some of the Britain's most famous Breweries, Jon fell upon, and indeed, in love with, Hook Norton.
The range of Hooky beers were exactly what Jon was looking for, in particular he was enamoured with the Christmas Ale, 12 Days, a 5.5% abv, full bodied, rich and fruity, Porter style beer.
Order placed, beer delivered, time to introduce Norway to Hook Norton and what better way to showcase his new find, than to invite James Clarke, Managing Director and Head Brewer at Hook Norton Brewery, to host a five course Norwegian meal matched to a clean sweep of Hooky Beers at The Norwegian Beer Academy's 'Beer makers dinner'. The menu was designed and created by custom signed chef, Christian Thalina at the Akersberget Restaurant and James's co-host was none other than Jørn Tore Persen, one of the founders of the Norwegian Beer Academy.
At 7.00pm the night began with Hooky (3.5% abv) as the welcome drink. Once ready, the packed restaurant of beer enthusiasts sat down to the first course; Variations of Swedish "Gubbröra" (anchovies, eggs, potato, mayonnaise, puff pastry and beer cooked onions) matched to Hooky Gold (4.1% abv), amazingly James had never eaten anchovies before and was quoted to say; 'clearly I've been missing out for the last 30 odd years'.
The second course was a Caramelized Lemon Curd Cod with beer topped pea puré, homemade mustard, brown goat cheese and bacon accompanied by Hook Norton's IPA, Flagship (5.3% abv).
Main course, a luscious Pork Sirloin from "Valdres Gårdsgris" matched to Hooky Haymaker (5% abv)
Course 4 was a ripe, full flavoured blue cheese with Jon Sigurd Smith Johnsen's favourite, Hooky 12 Days (5.5%). To cap the meal off, a typical Norwegian dessert, Chocolate Bread matched to.......There can be only one choice..... Hook Norton's Double Stout (4.8%)
Matching beer to food is one of the most exciting and convivial things one can do. At Hook Norton Brewery, we pride ourselves in our ability to do this accurately using our experience and passion. Our fervor is constantly fuelled by the varying styles of British and International cuisine matched to the fine Cask ales we produce.
Many thanks to Jon Sigurd Smith Johnsen, Christian Thalina and Jørn Tore Persen for the convivial company and oportunity to taste our beers with traditional Norwegian fare.