Monday, November 1, 2010

Off-Season Part 1 - Stockholm's Hidden Treasure - Micro-brews

I came off a half-ironman and I had a "un-plan" - not doing shit for a couple weeks until I could figure out my new "plan." I am quoting the word "plan" for a reason. Plans are awesome, if I didn't have a good plan, I wouldn't succeed at what I accomplished this year. Plans also have me stay on track with just life!

So I didn't have a training "plan" but I did have a POA (corporate slang – plan of attack)- vacation#1 - Stockholm, Sweden, work, travel for work, vacation #2 Disney - Food and Wine Festival, etc...

Diamondman was on Sun, Sept 12. September 15th was my birthday and that same day I was leaving for Stockholm. Mike had a work trip and we decided - why not go a couple days early, use my ridiculous amount of miles from my years of too much travel, and have fun!! Plus, we have been vacationing with family, so it was nice to go away just the two of us.

Vacation #1 - Stockholm
Stockholm was fabulous.

We arrived to this beautiful, clean, and friendly country. And although it was misty rain we had an amazing time. We didn't know a lot about Sweden but we were pleasantly surprised with the great beer selection and food. They are the biggest importer of American micro-brew (seriously). The bars, including the Bishops Arms, had a tremendous amount of beers on tap -English, Scottish, German, Czech, Swedish, etc… - AND not to mention the copious amounts of bottled beers from around the world (including the most US micro-brews in one location) was ridiculously extensive. We were really digging the Swedish micro-brews, especially when you are suffering through some jet lag. Nothing that a Gotland Bryggeri Wisby Pils couldn't fix :)

A short side story – one of my good friends whom I used to work with at Pfizer introduced me to Gabriel from the Sweden office via email. Long story short - he was an amazing host! Him and his sister, Emily, cooked an incredible dinner in his apartment in SOFO (we found out this was the American take on SOHO)...and then we went to the Fotografiska museum, saw an exhibit by Annie Leibovitz, followed by the renowned Belgium bar Akkurat -

where we had the Swedish beer - Jamtlands Bryggeri Heaven and Mike drank Hell (we didn't have the Fallen Angel).

I then fell in love with a brewery called Nynashamns Angbryggeri and their Bedaro Bitter.And of course Mike indulged in our ole favorite that is no longer available in the States - the Belgium Verboden Vrucht....yummmmy.

We stayed at the coolest hotel - called Nordic Light in Downtown Sweden - I highly recommend - the staff and price of the hotel was great.

After a day of window shopping in Gamla Stan…

Eating Swedish meatballs, ligonberries and potatoes (an IKEA favorite, but much better tasting)…

We then went to dinner for my birthday, it was great! After dinner we stopped at yet another bar that we saw during the day that had an amazing selection, Jarnet Matsal & Bar and met some exchange American students from University of Wisconsin. We helped acquaint them and some other locals to none other than Colorado’s Dale’s Pale Ale while they told us that their parents were shipping them the red cups so they can teach their none-American friends traditions such as Flip Cup and Beer Pong…

Between the two of us, we finished up the trip taking in some more sights,

and yes, drinking more beer such as Nils Oscar - Imperial Porter

Oppigards - Amarillo

more from Nynashamns Angbryggeri and their Indian Viken Pale Ale...

a Landsort Lager...

a Sothholmen Stout...drinking some California beer - AVBC pale ale... and another Swedish micro-brew called Sigtuna South Pacific Pale Ale that uses it's hops from New Zealand versus the US - was AWESOME!!

and completing my last night with a dessert of chocolate molten cake with a granata made from Peche lambic (why didn’t I ever think of this).

I said good night to this beautiful city and was on my way home...

Meanwhile, Mike stayed and went to another popular beer bar called Oliver Twist from a recommendation, which had wireless and beer - meaning he could watch the Phillies and have the sought after porter - Smorpundet Lagrad Argangsporter in Sweden!! Heaven (I was so jealous)!!

Following this wonderful short trip was a whirlwind of work and traveling that would lead me to the Annual Big Onion Vacation - my next post.... I did fit in some yoga and some decent runs while contemplating my next journey...a marathon - I will save that post for later- we need to continue with my vacation fun - then we'll get down to business...


  1. Wow! Looks and sounds like a fabulous trip! :)

  2. That looks like a great off season plan, I want to try that!!!!


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