We think it’s time to have a chat with Linda Skogholt, co-owner of the BRUS Oslo bar – and International Sales Manager for To Øl – to tell us all about how it all got started.
Hello Linda! Let’s start by introducing you for those that haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you yet. How and when did you get into this industry? And how long have you been with To Øl?
I started working in bars and restaurants close to 20 years ago, in all different sorts of roles. Slowly growing in to being a flavor junkie driven by taste, I did my Wine Sommelier training close to 10 years ago, and continued with Beer- and then Sake Sommelier later on. However, I was getting tired of working nights, and so started working with beer importing in 2011. As a young Portfolio Developer, I was hungry for new and crazy beers – and this hunt led me to To Øl, which soon became one of my most important suppliers. Tore and I always worked really well together, so even though I left the import company, I stayed in touch with Tore, planning the opening of Brus Oslo. I signed my contract as an International Sales Manager for To Øl back in 2016, and in the spring of 2017 we opened the bar.
What’s your favourite part of working in this industry?
I think for me the coolest part right now is being able to follow the beers from playing around with names and concepts in the brewery, all the way to tasting it fresh from the taps at the bar. My main reason for staying in the industry is still, and probably always will be, taste, – and my urge to learn more about it. But I also love the hospitality side of it, where giving people an opportunity to taste new and exciting stuff while having a really fucking good time is what makes it all worth it.
When did you open BRUS? Was it a long time in the making, or a spontaneous adventure?
We opened the doors of Brus Oslo in March 2017. Tore and I always joked that we should open a bar in Norway if I could find an oil sheik to pay for it, so it was always somewhere in the back of our heads. One day we just thought ‘fuck it, let’s make this thing happen!’ Norway was always a good market for To Øl, so having a tap room with our best beers makes a lot of sense. After 6 months scouting for a venue, we found the cozy little space in Osterhausgate, and the rest is history.
What are the differences you notice between the Norwegian version of BRUS and Copenhagen’s?
It is a whole different experience. At Nørrebro you have a brewpub, restaurant, café etc. There is SO much stuff going on, with the place changing from a place to have a cup of coffee and a sandwich for lunch, chugging fresh IPA´s and burgers in the evening.Brus Oslo is a small tap room with a massive tap list, slinging out the freshest beers To Øl has available at all times. Even if there are locals and loyal customers also here, I would say the beer geek level is a little higher than at Brus CPH. People come to enjoy the beers and the beer selection more than anything else.
What are you most proud of in relation to BRUS Oslo?
I think the staff is doing an amazing job telling the story of To Øl / To Øl CPH, making sure the Norwegians stays hungry for even more ridiculous stuff coming out of our brewery. Also, I think the designers, Rømer/Harbo, really did a good job building the place – from the Venetian marble plastering, to the pink(!) tiles on the front bar!
Ok, I walk into BRUS and I know nothing about beer. Will I feel out of my depth?
Absolutely not. We have very knowledgeable and friendly staff, ready to guide you through all the questions you might possibly have about the beers we are serving. We recently also started doing beer flights, which will give you the opportunity to get smaller pours of different styles of beer – so you can easily understand the difference of different beer styles etc. Ask the bartender for help on building the flight in an interesting way!
Lastly, the hardest question: Favourite BRUS beer at the moment?
I have been drinking a lot of our hoppy stuff lately, which is also my everyday style of beers – so probably The Boss!
You can drop by BRUS Oslo and see for all the happenings for yourself. Check the BRUS Oslo facebook page for opening hours, and follow @brusbaroslo on instagram too.