Then I got to thinking. Norway was one of the first places outside of central Europe to bottom ferment. There was a very simple reason why: they had an enormous supply of natural ice. Before the advent of artificial refrigeration, brewing Lager in a country with a temperate climate like the UK was problematic. Where would you get the ice required for lagering?
Some readers speculated that it was most likely Ringnes that brewed the imported Norwegian Lager. As it turns out, it looks like three breweries were in the business: Frydenlund and Schou, as well as Ringnes.
The Ringnes Export is a full-strength beer, so I doubt that it was made specifically for the UK market. The Frydenlund, on the other hand, has an OG similar to a domestic UK Lager. I'm not sure about Schou. The first two examples, though stronger than normal UK Lager, aren't quite full continental strength. While the final example is clearly designed for the UK.
I'm surprised at how strong Three Towns is. I though that was the classic mellanöl.
|Norwegian- and Swedish-brewed Lager in the UK 1955 - 1963|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||Price per pint d||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||colour|
|1957||Ringnes||Export Lager Beer||1052.5||1006.9||5.96||86.86%||13|
|1955||Swedish Beer Export Co.||Three Towns Beer||30||1052.9||1008.7||5.77||83.55%||9|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|