The spirit of Ægir, ruler of the sea, lingers in the hotel by the fjord in Flåm. According to Norse mythology he was a hospitable god and liked to throw beer banquets. Hosts Aud and Evan have carried Ægir’s traditions into our time.
Text: Edda Espeland / Translation: Linda Vikaune / Photo: Thor Brødreskift
The Flåmsbrygga complex is made up of Flåmsbrygga Hotell, Ægir Brewery & Pub, Flåmstova Restaurant and Furukroa Kafé, and is located down by the fjord. Hostess Aud Melås came to Flåm just over ten years ago from Silicon Valley, USA, where she and her husband Evan Lewis worked in the early 2000s. One day she got a phone call from her brother, psychologist Per Steinar, who enthusiastically told her that he now had an opportunity to buy a café in Flåm.
“The café had eight guest rooms and could be run as a bed and breakfast. He thought Evan and I should move to Flåm and run this goldmine,” Aud laughs. Her initial reaction was that it was out of the question, but Evan had other ideas! Five months later, in April 2004, they moved to Flåm with all their belongings and three cats in tow. Two years later they started rebuilding and expanding to create Ægir Bryggeri pub and Flåmsbrygga Hotell; old buildings were renovated and a new brewery, café and offices installed.
“I suppose we should have called it a brewery hotel,” says Aud. They were definitely introducing a new concept into the Norwegian hospitality industry when they built a hotel as well as a brewery. Evan has been a home brewer since he was 17, so the passion for beer and brewing has always been there, and they are both eager to teach people about quality beer – and which kinds of beer go with different foods.
A warm welcome
Flåmsbrygga is a small and intimate hotel with its own distinct style, traditional and modern at the same time with Norwegian wood, driftwood, stone and glass. All of it built around the hosts’ philosophy about welcoming their guests into the warmth of the house. Aud wants guests to feel as if a warm blanket is draped around their shoulders as soon as they open the door to their room. Coming to Flåmsbrygga should feel cosy and comfortable. The hotel is a typical family hotel which focuses on the personal contact between hosts and guests.
The rooms are rustic, with warm colours and modern design. They have balconies with a magnificent view of the fjord and the large cruise ships that glide into the fjord so their passengers can enjoy scenic Flåm village.
There shall be beer
Most of the menu at Flåmsbrygga varies depending on the season, but the hotel thinks that there should always be beer in and with a meal. The Ægir Viking menu is served as lunch or dinner and based on Viking food traditions, providing a thousand year old taste sensation. Ægir BryggeriPub offers à la carte meals all year round, and some of the dishes from the pub are also available in the restaurant, and in the summer there is a big lunch buffet with Norwegian as well as international dishes. In addition to the restaurant there is a function room and also a café with a modern interior in stone, glass and wood.
Hop on over and enjoy the beer, the hospitality and the beautiful Flåm scenery.