Ola on Hjemmebrent: Part I

Hi guys and galls! Just had a great talk to Ola from Norway. Now, even though I am called Odin, and supposedly of divine decent, my Norwegian is a bit rusty. So we agreed to talk English. More agreeable to both of us. Well, to me at least!

Odin: What does “Hjemmebrent mean?”

Ola: “If we translate it directly into English “Homeburned” would come close. “Hjemme” means “home”, “brent” means “burned”. And since I want to polish up your Norwegian, let’s educate you some more. Do you know what “Har du brent noe mer i det siste?” means?”

Odin: “Well, if you want me to make a guess (a not particularly educated one at that), I would say: “Why have you burned down my sister?””

Ola (sighing): “Not exactly. It is a way to ask someone if he (or she) has made some moonshine, lately.”

Odin: “I first heard about Norwegian Hjemmebrent over 25 years ago. Is the art of home distilling that old in Norway?”

Ola: “Actually it is much older. Home distilling is not something new. It has been done for ages. Every farm, every village had  someone who distilled. I think home distilling became popular over here, because spirits have always been taxed to the limit in Norway. To the limit and beyond. If you want to buy the cheapest vodka in this country, it will cost around Euro 45.-. That’s close to USD 60.-! And that’s just the cheapest stuff. What matters as well, is that there is a state monopoly on selling spirits. Shops that have limited opening hours and can only be found at specific places.”

Odin: “When was the first time you got interested in home distilling?”

Ola: “The first time I got interested in home distilling, was when I discovered the father of my girlfriend had a special and secret room in the basement of his house, where he had a large home made still! Soon after that, I started building my own stills.”

The story on Hjemmebrent will continue in a few days!
This is a still that i have made my selfe.
Ola’s handmade still

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