This tasting was slightly different from past tastings as it was a blind tasting. I had 12 beers, separated into four groups of three: lager, IPA, dark beer and wildcard. Each group consisted of a beer from Norway, a beer from Sweden and a beer from Denmark. The guests were given the style guidelines for the beers but tasted them without knowing what beer they were trying and from which country they came from. The guests then digitally voted to decide which beer best suited the style guidelines. The points of all the beers were then added at the end of the tasting to decide which country came top. Which country won? Read on to find out!
The first round was IPA, and all the beers were either hazy IPA or NEIPA to keep things simple. After sampling all three beers, a clear winner came out on top: Ölsnedkeren NE-IPA from Denmark topped the voting with 20 points, followed by Amundsen Double Apocalypse from Norway and Apex Leviathan from Sweden in joint second place with 12 points each.
The next round was lager, which was very close between the first and second place indeed! Coming in as a distance third was Denmark’s To Øl 45 Days Pilsner, which was surprising as I thought it would have fared much better. In second place was Sweden’s Kallholmen Levande Lager with 17 points, but just pipping it to victory with 18 points was Norway’s Sagene Pils. So close!
The third round was dark beers, with three different styles for the guests to judge and rate. In third place with 12 points was Lervig Doppelbock from Norway, with Denmark’s Limfjordsporter beating it to second place with 13 points. Out in front in this round though with 18 points was Nils Oscar Scotch Ale from Sweden. So far, every country had won a round. So which would pull ahead in the final round? Continue to read to find out!
The last round was the “wildcard” group, where the beers could be any style of beer. Unfortunately, Norway’s Berentsens Brygghus Catcher In The Rye Tripel fairly badly, receiving just 5 points to give it the lowest score of any beer at this tasting. Brygghuset Finn Wheat Blanc from Sweden faired a little better, with 9 points heading their way. Unfortunately for these two beers though, they came up against the guest’s favourite beer of the night by far, with Denmark’s Alefarm Blaze Sour (pictured in this review) getting a massive 29 votes!
In the end, the scores were all tallied together and Norway came third on the night, with just 47 votes. Sweden received 56 votes, which meant Denmark streaked away as the winner on the night with a massive 73 points! Strangely enough, this was the exact same order that happened in a similar tasting I held back in 2019. The Alefarm Blaze sour was the tiebreaker on the night, pushing Denmark into first place. Sweden was actually in the lead after the first 3 rounds, but it sadly came up against an amazing sour beer on the night.
Thank you to everyone who came to this tasting! I had such a good time, and it was great to see everyone studying the beers and judging them so intently. I hope to hold another similar tasting like this later in the year, so watch out for that coming soon!