Bayer, Bock, Ale and Pilsner. They are all beer, but beer isn’t just beer! Monday night, more than 30 lucky students had the pleasure of stimulating their taste buds and expanding their beer knowledge by participating in UKA in Ås’ Beer course. Tore Hage, who is Head of product development in Ringnes, took the students through the history of beer, from the start in Ancient Mesopotamia, to today’s hip and trendy craft beer. Tore could tell us that beer brewing in Norway was at first only done by women, like house work and child care, but later on it developed to something that both men and women likes doing as a hobby. The biological processes that are necessary to make a good beer were also thoroughly explained, and thus, most aspects of brewing were covered.

Photo: Espen Mikkelborg

Photo: Espen Mikkelborg

After the lecture, it was ready for what many had looked forward to; tasting the beer. With some guidance and explanation, everyone could suddenly define and taste the difference between a Ringnes and a Frydenlund Pilsner. After this, the horizon widened with tasting and comparison of other and more «exotic» beers like IPA, Weissbier and Ale. The attendees seemed to have a great time, and the night was rounded off by Tore taking home two bottles of UKA in Ås’ own beer from Spydeberg microbrewery. 

Did you know that
- One of the biggest pioneers in Norwegian brewer’s yeast research, Dr. Johan Oluf Olsen, chose to change his name to Olav Johan Sopp (=fungus)?
- Beer brewing is possibly the oldest type of applied biotechnology?
- The yeast that is used to make beer today is domesticated and not possible to find in nature? 
- Octoberfest was originally held in October, but was rapidly moved to September because of longer and warmer days?
- The beer «Lager», has its name from «zu lagern», or the fact that the beer is matured?

Translator: Kjersti Prestrud

Photos: Espen Mikkelborg