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Harpoon Trip Day 5: Flam

May 8, 2011

post updated: May 8th, 2011

This blog entry is from Chris, Regional Sales Manager for Harpoon, reporting live from the annual Harpoon Employee European beer culture trip to Scandinavia. To learn more about the Harpoon Trip to Europe, read this post first.

Thursday – Train to Flam/Flam 

I’ll break for a moment from the travel writing and reflect on the trip in general. First of all, it’s a very real honor to work at a company that values its employees enough to plan these kinds of trips. I do not take it for granted. That said, (having run marathons I can say this), it is also a test of endurance and willpower. 6:30 AM comes early in a foreign country, and the combination of travel and beer consumption do not make for chipper mornings. Five days in, were starting to feel the effects. But we owe it to you, dear reader, to continue on our drinking quest, and rest assured, we will not let you down.

After enjoying a beautiful train ride from Oslo to Myrdal and a connection from Myrdal to Flam, we were greeted by Dave, an employee of the Aegir Brewery. Dave showed us into the brewpub as soon as we dropped our luggage and after a quick beer we were off for a fjord safari. Flam is indescribably beautiful and the kind of place that will most likely not translate into pictures, thought we tried. The trip from snow-covered Myrdal into the two is a must-do for anyone visiting Norway.

As soon as we got back from the fjord we travelled the few feet (it’s a small town) back to the Brewery, where we met up with Evan, the owner of the Brewery. Like many of our employees, Evan originally hails from Rochester, NY. After his marriage to a Norwegian woman, they came across the opportunity to buy the property and almost immediately decided to put in a brewpub. They are now the second largest craft brewery in the country, producing approximately 1,000 barrels of beer. Like so many of the breweries we have seen, they have maxed out their capacity and are struggling to keep up with demand. They just invested in a brand new facility that they will be building to keep up production.

It truly is a remarkable time to see these breweries at the forefront of the Scandinavian craft revolution. They recognize the scope of what they are taking on, and their dedication to an enthusiasm for the craft is impressive. Over a buffet dinner of local specialities (including moose stew, a first for me), we discussed the state of the industry and the future of beer in Norway. They’re optimistic, but also detail-oriented and looking to prepare for the future. It was another impressive visit in what was unquestionably the most beautiful town we had seen.

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