Christmas beer is no longer just dark and under-fermented. Almost 250 different types of Christmas beer from breweries in Norway and abroad are now on store shelves.
“Many new brands are being launched and we see a huge increase in the selection in recent years. There is also much wider range in the category today,” said trade union adviser, Anders Roås Stueland from the Vinmonopolet.
The Christmas beer used to be dark, under-fermented beer but it now comes as both wheat beer, stout, bock and double beech, barley wine, red ale, IPA and double IPA, double, triple and quadruple.
At the same time, several breweries have begun experimenting with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, citrus peel and cardamom to add extra flavor. Seasoning of the Christmas beer is relatively new in Norway but is more common in Belgium where you get hot, spicy beer reminiscent of mulled wine during the season.
Christmas beer has been the established tradition in Norway for over 1,500 years. During the war, Christmas beer was banned but in the mid-1950s the tradition was resumed.
Traditional Christmas beer is usually stored longer than other beers before being released for sale but it has a much longer shelf life. The strongest types can be stored for several years.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today