Wednesday, 9 December 2015


Juleøl, or Christmas beer, is a long-standing tradition in Norway. It's actually one of the oldest Christmas traditions, stretching as far back as to the Vikings who toasted to the Norse gods, and it was such an important tradition that when Christianity took over the Church adapted it and gave it a new symbolic meaning so that the tradition continued.

Graeme and I have our own annual Christmas beer tradition though, where we get a selection of Christmas beers and do a blind tasting, score the beers and declare a winner. But since I'm pregnant this year, a Christmas beer tasting was obviously not in the cards for me. And an evening where Graeme does all the tasting while I sit there going "so?! What was that one like?" sounded a bit lame. So instead of scrapping our tradition all together, we decided we'd expand it a bit and invited a couple of friends to join us! (Which in turn lead to some hilarity as we invited people before we announced our pregnancy, and had one guest in particular who was very concerned that the evening wasn't going to happen after all when he found out I was pregnant.)

So for our tasting, we asked each guest to bring two varieties of Christmas beer, about 500 - 750 ml of each. Graeme made and printed some scorecards, complete with a space for comments (they always seem to get better as we go haha). You can download these here if you'd like to host a similar night yourself! We kept the food simple and served a cheeseboard, but made sure to serve some Christmas cookies too, as a lot of these beers are quite dark and sweet with hints of coffee, chocolate and vanilla, and thus team up well with sweet cakes.

As for which one was this year's winner? Lucky for me, I have a leftover unopened bottle that doesn't expire until 2017. ;)

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