Category Archives: Haand Bryggeriet

Review of Haand Bryggeriet Kreklingøl

What’s up guys?  Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  For today’s review I’m going to be trying the Kreklingøl produced by the Haand Bryggeriet Brewery located in Drammen, Norway.

If you guys have followed my reviews for a while you’ll know that I, for the most part, have really enjoyed the beers I’ve tried from Haand Bryggeriet, so if all holds true, this should be a very pleasing brew.

From the website,, I couldn’t find any info about the Kreklingøl, therefore, I checked on and found this.

This is a collaborate brew with Erlann Eldorsen based on his recipe. Kreklingøl is made with crowbrerries, a very special berry that is picked in Finnmark, the part of Norway north of the Polar circle. The beer is very refreshing with a reddish hue from the berries.

Hmm.  Never had a beer with crowberries before.  Let’s give it a try.


This beverage came in a 16.9 oz. bottle with an ABV of 7.1%.

It poured a cloudy/muddy, deep burgundy to brown color with some ruby outlines around the curves of the snifter.  A smooth, creamy, tan head with a very light purple tint was formed from a relatively easy discharge.  It was sized well and the retention time was rather good.  The lacing was consistent, but a bit thin.

The nose presented some tones of red apple skins.  Almost an an apple juice kind of fragrance.  It also had a cranberry and grape type of aroma too.  That must have been the crowberries.  It seemed a touch sour with just a smidgen of tartness as well.  A little bit of woodiness was accounted for also.  This brew smelled pretty good I thought.

The flavor also released those tones of apple, grape and cranberry   A nice relish of oak and wood helped to add some earth and it also seemed to weaken the sourness and tartness a touch.  Toward the very end I began to discern a taste of chocolate malt.  Very nice.  Overall, it was complex and rather harmonious.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, slick and dry.  The carbonation was medium to medium/low.  Not really any warmth to speak of, but a decent shot of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy between sips.

All in all, I found this to be a very solid beer.  In my opinion, Haand Bryggeriet is a really unique brewery that really pushes the limits and likes to try odd and off the wall recipes.  They are not quite in the league of Dogfish Head or Short’s in terms of getting too crazy, but they seem more contemporary if that makes sense. The Kreklingøl is a very nice brew that I would suggest trying if you have the opportunity.  The drinkability is decent and the style is a bit different, however it would most definitely warrant some conversation if shared with a friend.  Be sure to let me know what you think if you get the chance to taste it.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.8 out of 5

Grade:  B+


Review of Haand Bryggeriet Røyk Uten Ild (Smoke Without Fire)

Hello again everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Haand Bryggeriet Røyk Uten Ild (Smoke Without Fire) produced by the Haand Bryggeriet Brewery located in Drammen, Norway.

The label stated that this was batch #426, which had 2160 total bottles.

Let’s get to the website,, and see what it has to say about this brew.

Røyk Uten Ild (smoke without fire) is our smoky beer, here we have tried to make a beer as smoky as we can using our smoked malt from Weiermann.  We have made a fairly dark and flavourful beer.  Apart from the special malt the rest of the malt bill (86%) is smoked malt.  You could also say that this is a smoked wheat beer, because we have used our wheat beer yeast here. The beer is not scary but actually very nice even for those that aren’t smoke beer fanatics….try it and you will see.

That sounds very intriguing.  Let’s get it in a glass and see how it is, shall we?

The beer had an 8.0% ABV and it came in a 16.9 oz. bottle.

It poured a deep brown color with shimmers of ruby showing through when held toward a light source.  The crown was light tan, relatively smooth and creamy.  It was sized well, the retention time was ok and the lacing looked alright too.  Not bad to begin with I must say.

The aroma released a nice and sturdy waft of smoke.  Hints of bacon grease and smoked ham along with some toasted breads, worn leather and charred wood.  I didn’t really find any of the wheat characteristics that the description spoke of, but that was fine by me because this beer smelled very good nonetheless.  It seemed a little one dimensional, however when sampling a smoked beer I don’t want complex…  I want smoke.

The taste was more of the same.  Savors of smokey bacon and pork fat.  A taste or two of burnt toast and wood as well as a very light relish of alcohol.  I will say that I did kind of pick up on some yeast as the beer warmed a bit.  It may have just been my mind playing tricks on me though since I was searching for it.  Again, a very nice and enjoyable flavor.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.  Dry, chewy and smooth.  The carbonation was of medium strength with a light feeling of warmth.  An excellent shot of flavor was left behind on the palate after each sip too.

Overall, I found this to be a great smoked beer.  In my opinion, one of the better smoked beers on the market.  I really, really like this style of brew, although my intake is usually limited to just one bottle.  I tend to get a bit overwhelmed if I have more than that.  With that being said, I definitely think the Haand Bryggeriet Røyk Uten Ild (Smoke Without Fire) is worth a try and it would totally hit the spot on a cool Winter’s night.  Like I mentioned before, this smoked beer is a bit one dimensional, but that shouldn’t deter you from giving it a go if you happen to see a bottle at your bottle shop.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me all about your experience if you have tried this beer.  I love to hear a second take.  

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-


Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Country: Norway, Haand Bryggeriet


Review of Haand Bryggeriet/Närke Unionöl

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Haand Bryggeriet/Närke Unionöl brewed by both the Haand Bryggeriet Brewery located in Drammen, Norway and the Närke Brewery situated in Örebro, Sweden.

So far I’ve really enjoyed the few brews that I’ve tried from Haand Bryggeriet, but I’ve yet to try anything from Närke therefore, I’m pretty excited about tasting this brew.

I couldn’t find any info on the website,, nor Närke’s website,, so let’s just see for ourselves what this beer has to offer.

Time for a pour.

This beer came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 8.5%.

It poured a very dark brown color with an aesthetically pleasing purple hue when held toward a light source. The crown was off white, sized very well, smooth, but slightly fizzy.  The retention time was decent, yet the lacing was a bit thin.  A slight skim of alcohol was left clinging to the sides of the snifter when I tilted the liquid from side to side.  It looked decent enough.

The nose was very odd smelling.  I gathered hints of plastic and rubber.  A very deep smoke and only a very light waft of wood.  That is, honestly, all I could pick out.  It didn’t smell all that pleasurable to tell the truth.  The overwhelming plastic and rubber aroma was a bit of a turn off.

The taste wasn’t much better.  Again, burnt plastic and rubber with a woody/smokey undertone.  A very, very strong earthy/dirt savor was discovered and quite off putting. I struggled with it.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, dry and a tad creamy.  The carbonation was on the lower side and, surprisingly, I didn’t get any warmth from the relatively high ABV.  A lot of flavor was left on the palate after the sip, although I’m not so sure that was a good thing in this regard.

Well….  I didn’t much care for this beer.  I couldn’t finish it.  That’s not to say that others may not like it.  By all means, give it a try.  It wasn’t “rotten” or anything, but, to me it was just too hard to drink and it possessed characteristics that I wasn’t extremely fond of.  It was just a bit too weird and maybe too advanced for me.  Have you guys ever tried the Haand Bryggeriet/Närke Unionöl?  What was your opinion?  I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  1.8 out of 5
Grade:  D-   

%d bloggers like this: