After visiting Bergen and travelling via train across the mountains, we ended up in Oslo. Like Bergen, the beer is expensive but there are considerably more places selling craft beer in Norway’s capital city to check out. We spent four nights in the city in total and managed to work our way through quite a few of Oslo’s beer bars visiting everywhere from cosy local bars to microbreweries to a well-known Scottish chain, so here’s a guide to some of them.
Beer and pinball – what’s not to love? Tilt is a fun and lively bar located in the Grünerløkka area of Oslo with 19 beers available on tap including options from Norway, Europe and the USA. It wasn’t the best beer selection out of all the bars we visited, but it was a great place to spend some time. Shuffleboard is free although you have to put your name on a waiting list at the bar and to use the pinball and video game machines, you need to swap your cash for some tokens (also at the bar).
Torggata 16 – tiltoslo.no
BD57 aka Brewdog Grünerløkka
Generally, I’d avoid visiting Brewdog bars abroad as I prefer to try local places but it was a busy Saturday night and we couldn’t get into somewhere else we wanted to try as I didn’t have any ID on me (never thought I’d get ID’d at the age of 29) so we decided to give it a go.
From the outside, it’s not as overtly ‘brand Brewdog’ as their other bars as there are no signs apart from some advertising the menu and events in the window – in fact, I only spotted it because I could see the ‘Craft beer for the people’ sign they seem to have in all their bars through the window.
I was impressed with the range – lots of Norwegian breweries on offer (as well as Cantillon!) across 20 taps and if you like the novelty factor, the Dead Pony Club was dispensed through the moose’s head. There were also plenty of bottles of tap water and glasses provided on the bar for you to help yourself to which is always a plus to me.
Markveien 57 – bd57.no
Located close to Oslo’s main train station, we stumbled across this place after checking out on Google Maps what was nearby. It’s not a huge venue and when you walk in, you’re pretty much stood at the bar. The beer choices are all on a monitor screen and pulled in from Untappd and it also had the novelty factor that if you checked in while in there your face would come up on the bottom of the screen. Not the most exciting range but still some decent Norwegian beer available.
Schweigaards gate 4 – fiasco.no
One of Oslo’s numerous brewpubs, Oslo Mikrobryggeri was founded in 1989 and has quite a traditional look. The bar had one quirk I spotted – it has adapted handpumps which actually dispense beer on keg (don’t tell CAMRA…).
It had quite a distinctive layout with the green-tiled bar filling the centre of the room with booths to one side and tables along the other two so even if it looks busy from outside, there’s probably more space available.
Nice atmosphere although a fair bit away from most of the other craft beer pubs in Oslo – we visited on our way back from Vigeland Sculpture Park but didn’t have chance to return.
Bogstadveien 6 – omb.no
This was one of our favourites in Oslo and we visited a couple of times. It’s a gastropub with its own brewery so it does attract a diverse crowd of a various ages and it’s got a fun, lively atmosphere although it can get very busy on weekend evenings (it also shows football but the sound was off).
My highlight was the Brussels Beer Project collab Hoptropic and there are plenty of other beers from their range of tap as well as a couple of guest beers. There’s also an extensive bottle menu with beer from across the globe available.
Stortingsgata 20 – amundsenbryggeri.no
Dr Jekyll’s Pub
Part sports bar but not in the horrendous tacky way, Dr Jekyll’s Pub seems to be more of a whisky bar but it did have a decent bottle list and the fella working on the bar was very keen to help us find something we wanted. Quite compact where we were sat on the ground floor but it does have a second floor below ground and a terrace out back.
Klingenberggata 4 – jekylls.no
Crowbar & Bryggeri
This wouldn’t have been out of place in Manchester’s Northern Quarter with its industrial look and relaxed atmosphere. It’s huge – there’s plenty of seating downstairs and even more on the first floor (which is where the kitchen is too).
It features a fairly extensive range of beer on offer including plenty of their own and some interesting guest beers, but it was quite quiet when we popped in.
Torggata 32 – crowbryggeri.com
This seems to be a popular place for food, so we visited for dinner one evening as well as another visit for drinks. It’s bigger than it looks initially as there is a second room through the back (as well as a small terrace) and felt very much like a neighbourhood bar.
A good range of beer was on offer – during our visit it was mainly high ABV stuff such as imp stouts and DIPAs available. The food was also good value for money – we had a pizza each and it wasn’t too pricey for Norway.
As well as having good beer, the staff at Cafe Sara were welcoming and the food was hearty so it’s one not to miss.
Hausmanns gate 29 – cafesara.no
Gaasa (which I assume means goose in Norwegian based on the sign and goose lamp on the bar) has more of a locals’ pub vibe and although it didn’t have the widest beer selection, it was an enjoyable place to visit – which was no doubt helped by a friendly dog that came and sat with us!
There’s two rooms – one with the bar in and another with a pool table – as well as a fairly large outdoor seating area out the front.
A couple of beers were available on draft and there were a few bottles on offer too, and there was a wide range of wine too if that’s your thing.
Storgata 36 B – gaasa.no
Due to Norway’s alcohol laws, most alcohol can only be sold in the government-owned Vinmonopolet stores and as a result of this, I’d assumed that you wouldn’t find bottle shops in the country. However, Oslo does have one – Growleriet. It’s located in the Grünerløkka area of the city and can only sell beer which is less than 4.7%, just like the country’s supermarkets. As the name suggests, they also do growler fills but you’re unable to drink on the premises.
I feel it’s more aimed at locals as although there is some Norwegian beer available, the majority of the range comes from elsewhere (including plenty from the UK), but the chap in the store was friendly and helpful and went away with some local beer we’d not seen elsewhere as well as a glass.
Seilduksgata 26 – facebook.com/growleriet
A traditional looking bar, Grünerløkka Brygghus is decorated with dark furniture and English bar memorabilia.
We visited in the afternoon so it was fairly quiet with only us, another couple and an older chap in there at that time so we didn’t really get a feel for the atmosphere but it’s a nice looking bar if you’re in the area.
Thorvald Meyers gate 30B – facebook.com/grunerlokkabrygghus
A large beer hall, Handverkerstuene is a very welcoming spot with whitewashed walls, beams on the ceiling and atmospheric lighting.
We’d accidentally wandered into an event – it seemed to be a paired dinner with two breweries competing to see which beer went best with the food but as it was all in Norwegian we had no idea what was going on so we just had the one in there, but I would’ve liked to visited again to experience it on a normal day.
Rosenkrantz’ gate 7 – www.hvks.no
Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri was my favourite bar in Oslo and worth the effort it took to find it! It’s not the most obvious entrance as it’s only a small door in a courtyard leading the way down to the subterranean bar and brewery.
Tucked away inside bricked vaults with a large open fire, it’s such a cosy spot that I would’ve loved it anyway but the excellent beer is what really made it stand out.
The highlight was the Imperial Roasty Roast and I also really liked the collab with 7fjells named Carolina’s Creeper. The bottle list was also excellent – and I was very tempted to go for Omnipollo’s Noa but, being Norway, it was even more expensive than it usually is so we went for Brussels Beer Project’s Orange is the New Black instead. Well worth seeking this place out.
Trondheimsveien 2 – schouskjelleren.no
Looking for more info on Oslo? See my guide to the best things to do in Oslo on my travel blog.