Kristiansand is Norway’s fifth largest town and a popular cruise port when heading north to the Fjords or Northern Lights or heading east to the Baltic. Like so many Norwegian towns these days, it has also become a craft beer hot-spot (warm really but anything’s better than nothing in the hunt for good beer).
My last visit was a surprise one. In November 2017, on P&O Aurora, heading to (hopefully) see the Northern Lights, most passengers were disappointed to be informed by the Captain that poor weather made it less safe to head north and we would be seeking safe-haven in Kristiansand in the south rather than Åndalsnes in the Fjords.
Firstly the touristy stuff : a leg-stretching walk along the waterfront taking in the fresh, clean but cold, crisp air. Then head into the town and a walk around Posebyen, a large historic settlement of wooden houses followed by, if time affords, a climb up towards Baneheia Forest, a delightful area of forests, lakes and walking paths – an unmissable peaceful haven just a few minutes walk to the north of the city.
Later in the day as you think about refreshment you will be keen to find a beer and luckily there are a couple of places I can recommend.
There are a few bars in Kristiansand where you can find craft beer, particularly from local Norwegian breweries.
Patrick’s is in the main town at 10 Markens gate and my guess is that it was once a faux Irish bar given its name and the fact the interior is pretty pubby, all shiny with plenty of dark wood. It now prides itself on its rotating range of craft beers, mainly Norwegian, some very local, a sprinkling of UK, German and Belgian. The 18 taps are all described on the large TV screen on the wall. This all includes brewery, style, price and also each beer’s rating on Untappd – all pretty helpful if you need some guidance. The fridges are also stuffed full and the bottle list is a great read. I suggest you linger and take your time to make a considered choice – the staff are pretty knowledgable and helpful too. Not cheap, but beer in Norway is always premium priced – about NOK100-130 for a glass (a half litre or 33cl depending usually on strength).
You can get beers from the local Christianssand brewery here but I was a bit confused regarding which beers are brewed in the microbrewery in Kristiansand and which are brewed in the more commercial out-of-town facility. To get word from the horses mouth so-to-speak I suggest a walk around the corner to the brewpub at 9 Tollbodgata.
I did not get a chance to visit here as no Sunday opening. However, I’m sure you’ll be able to get the low-down on which beers are brewed on the premises and which are brewed out of town.
Kombinat bar and restaurant
The Kombinat is at 8 Dronningens gate and another bar that I did not really get a chance to visit as they only opened shortly before the ship was about to set sail for Tromso.
They have only recently reopened following a refit where they removed a beautiful rack of about 20 traditional handpumps. The latest offering is a bank of 12 craft beer taps (pictured above) and although it is now more foody than it was previously they are more than happy to serve you if you simply want a beer or two.
Vinmonopolet is the Government run off-licence and the most centrally located one in Kristiansand is situated at Lillemarkens Shopping on Gyldenløves gate. However, the recent changes to the P&O policy on bringing aboard your own beer makes this information a bit redundant for the beer loving cruiser – I’ll expand on this in the next post.
See the next stop Cruising for Craft Beer in Tromsø