Down A Fine Danish Beer
11 July, 2016
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and its largest city, with a population of almost two million inhabitants, including its metropolitan area. Not bad for a northern city with long, harsh winters. However, the high population density is actually the result of brilliant economic planning. Copenhagen has managed to become the main trade hub between continental Europe and the whole of Scandinavia. Its healthy economy has led to such sectors as the leisure market expanding inordinately in the last few years. This has in turn prompted an upsurge in the number of restaurants, discos, bars and countless beer houses. We are going to recommend the ones we consider most inviting, but we will also be focusing on Carlsberg, the mother of all beers in Denmark. The label is a veritable institution for the Danes. And, we urge you to visit the Carlsberg brewery, one of the oldest in the world.
Possibly the Best Beer in the World
Before venturing into the vaporous world of Danish beer houses, let’s take a stroll through the crown jewel of that hops culture. I am referring to the Carlsberg Brewery, located in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district, just 2 km from the Central Station. Buses no. 8A and 26 have stops very near the entrance gate. There is also a free shuttle bus which leaves every hour (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) from Vesterbrogade, 6.
The Carlsberg Brewery is sited in one of Copenhagen’s most vibrant districts. On arrival, the first thing that drew our attention was the iconic Elephant Gate – Elephant is one of the label’s most popular varieties – in addition to numerous architectural monuments, including contemporary ones like the Bohr Tower. This year sees the completion of a whole new quarter adjoining the brewery and a new train station named Carlsberg has been unveiled, further facilitating travel to and from the city centre.
Housed in the factory complex is the Carlsberg Museum. It is made up of several historic buildings containing rooms replete with art objects. Some of them were originally the private showroom of Carl Jacobsen, founder of the famous brewery. However, nowadays most of the collection is housed in Glyptoteket, in downtown Copenhagen. If you dine in the restaurant, you will be escorted by 19th-century paintings by Krøyer and empresses in marble. We were awed by the mosaics on the ceiling and the marble columns.
In the summer months, admission is free on Fridays. The brewery is turned into a bar with a patio where you can enjoy a cold beer or eat a barbecued meal with a funk, jazz or groove DJ session in the background.
The Best Beer Houses in Copenhagen
Denmark’s most famous beers are Carlsberg and Tuborg, but these two pilseners are not your only options when touring the city, as its beer houses offer a seemingly endless variety. Here, then, is a list of our three favourites.
1) Mikkeller & Friends
One of the most popular beer houses in Vesterbro. They have also just opened another venue three times as large in Nørrebro, and offer up to 40 different types of barrel beer. The interior is divided into compartments which are opened as and when the premises fill up. At Mikkeller & Friends you can also buy beer to take away – they have a list of 350 types of bottled beer from all over the world.
Here you will find a large variety of beers – they have 22 fonts on the bar counter. WarPigs is actually an enormous Texan-style barbecue restaurant with two breweries on the premises. One belongs to the Danish brewer, Mikkeller, and the other to the American brewer, 3 Floyds. The two of them came together here with the aim of creating the best beer in the world. We don’t know if they achieved this, but, what we do know is that they crafted the only Danish-American beer on the planet.
We regard this as our great discovery, hands down! Dia’legd lies in the heart of Vesterbro and is home to beer from the island of Fionia. Dia’legd focuses heavily on the Danish brewer, Refsvindinge. We heard the story from Michael Jensen, Kim Hoffmann-Madsen and Claus Jordan, the three friends who decided to specialise in this spectacular beer. “We offer the whole range of Refsvindinge beer, of which there are over 20 types, from pale ale to bock lager, pilseners, wheat beer… right down to porter,” remarked Claus Jordan, enthusiastically. If you visit Dia’legd, be sure to try the Ale no. 16, which was acclaimed the best Danish beer of 1997.
Why wait to cool down on some of the most refreshing beers in the world? Come and discover them for yourself – check out our flights here.
Text by Los viajes de ISABELYLUIS
11 July, 2016