by admin on 30/08/2008


Web site

Map reference

Photo gallery

Haandbryggeriet or the Hand brewery was founded in 2005 by 4 middle-aged men who had been making beer on their own for many years. Instead of complaining about the selection and taste of beer made by commercial breweries in Norway at the time, they decided to found a craft brewery. At first, the brewery was situated in a an old hosiery factory from 1874 where they installed a new set of equipment in order to meet the requirements to producing beer commercially.

In order to make beer, they get water from Glitre lake, the same body of water from which drinking water for the town of Drammen is obtained.

Malt  is bought from various high quality producers in the UK and Germany, while they grind the malt themselves in their own mill just before mashing. Depending on which type of beer they want to make, different types of yeast are used. Naturally, they also have to buy hops  from abroad since there is no commercial cultivation in Norway.

A wide range of beers are made at Haandbryggeriet including India pale ale, which has a bitter taste due to a large amount of hops, via wheat beer to porter, which has a round, mild taste. However, a quick count of their beers resulted in 23 types in the core range, 12 seasonal, which are brewed at, for instance, Christmas or other special occasions, 14 barrel aged and some retired ones. The whole range of beers, which are produced at this brewery can be found here. After having grown out of their premises at the former hosier factory, the brewery was moved to a former railway workshop. In order to celebrate the move, the brewers made an India black ale called Sundland kreosot, where Sundland is the name of the railway works, while kreosot means creosote which was used to impregnate wooden beams supporting rails. They also make a beer called Norwegian wood, a traditional farmhouse ale spiced with juniper. The photo on the top of this page shows the brewer sprinkling juniper branches and berries before they would be put in the mash tun.

Haandbryggeriet arranges visits for groups regularly where they talk about how their beers are made and finishing with a menu of about 6 small courses together with a beer adapted to each course. For instance, they serve India pale ale to hot courses with chili pepper and curry, while they serve Norwegian wood to smoked salmon.

Drinking beer from this brewery afterwards should make it taste different since it now has a history and an identity in addition to its delicious taste.

Note that the beers made at this brewery are not filtered or pasteurised resulting a live beer with a finite shelf life. It may be a good idea to let their bottles rest some days before opening them, to pour out the contents carefully and not drink the remains at the bottom of the bottle.

It’s possible to see how beers from Haandbryggeriet are rated by using the ratebeer web site. Here is the rating of their beers. You can also add your own rating if you want.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Previous post:

Next post: