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Copenhagen, Allegedly

We’ve booked a short break in Copenhagen at the end of the month and, for my sins, I enjoy reading about and preparing for this type of holiday almost as much as going on it. I always get a city guidebook such as a Time Out Guide well in advance, although in the absence of a specific beer guide such as an “Around X in 80 Beers” sometimes there’s not quite enough dedication to beer for my liking.

The following is therefore merely a summary of my pre-reading on beer in Copenhagen, principally for my own benefit, with pretty much all of the opinions being someone else’s. All the information below is gleaned solely from the internet and is therefore caveated up the ying-yang.

I would be very grateful for further hints, tips, advice, corrections, warnings, persuasion and dissuasion as appropriate. I’m very grateful to those who’ve provided recommendations on Twitter already, with special thanks to @Ryan_Witter , @dannybrown76 , @Marc__T , @thornbridgedom and @maltjerry.

I probably won’t get to all these places, and don’t want to ruin the holiday by trying to, so prioritisation is key. A couple of atmospheric bars with good Danish craft beer and nice, reasonably-priced food is all that I’m really looking for.  The ones I’m most keen on from first impressions are asterisked.


Bishops Arms
http://www.bishopsarms.com/K_benhavn/Presentation , Ny Østergade 14, 1101 Copenhagen

Swedish chain gastropub with 400 whiskies, English cask, Swedish and Danish amongst the keg and bottle, English pub décor, free WiFi, slightly expensive food, allegedly. Distressing absence of apostrophe.

Carlsberg Visitors Centre*
http://www.visitcarlsberg.dk/ , Gamle Carlsberg Vej 11, 1799 København V, Valby
Admission Tuesday-Sunday 10.00-16.30

Carlsberg owns Tuborg, Mythos and Tetley, amongst others. In a move familiar to the people of Leeds, the company moved principal production from this old brewery in Copenhagen in favour of a new site 200km away in Frederica. However, unlike the Tetley Brewery, the Copenhagen brewery in the Valby area of the city remains open as a visitors centre and a smaller-scale brewery brewing “special beers aimed at connoisseurs”. Some reports state that Carlsberg Elephant Beer, a strong (7.2%) pilsner inspired by the elephant statues at the gates of the brewery, is still brewed onsite. Ratebeer doesn’t really like it. Allegedly.

Charlies Bar
http://www.charlies.dk/ , Pilestræde 33, 1112 København, Strøget
Monday 14.00-00.00; Tuesday-Wednesday 12.00-1.00; Thursday-Saturday 12.00-02.00; Sunday 14.00-23.00

Small, cosy, English-style pub with an emphasis on cask ale and session beer. Not sure I really want to go to Denmark for cask Black Sheep, Brains and Ruddles County, but looks like a nice pub nonetheless with some good Belgian beers, spirits etc. Really annoying style of website. Distressing absence of apostrophe, again.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002657200741 , Halmtorvet 29 c, 1700 Copenhagen, Vesterbro
Sunday-Thursday from 15.00; Friday-Saturday from 14.00

Another Vesterbro craft beer bar with around 10 taps. Indicative beer list from time of writing includes the likes of Fanø, Beer Here, Croocked Moon, To Øl, Grassroots. A good opportunity to try a range of Danish craft breweries beyond Mikkeller, perhaps?

Lord Nelson
http://lordnelson.dk/ , Hyskenstræde 9, 1207 Copenhagen K Strøget
Monday 15.30-22.00; Tuesday-Thursday 15.30 -00.00; Friday 15.00-late; Saturday 12.00-late

Basement bar with a British owner, but a focus on Danish microbreweries. Potentially smoky. Has its own cider. 14 draft beers currently include Beer Here, Herslev, Andrik, Warwik, Sirius. Some cask. Free WiFi, newspapers and magazines, board games.

Mikkeller Bar*
http://www.mikkeller.dk/ , Viktoriagade No. 8 B-C, 1655 Copenhagen, Vesterbro
Sunday-Wednesday 15:00-24:00; Thursday-Friday 14:00-02:00; Saturday 12:00-02:00

It goes without saying that Mikkeller is probably the Danish brewery (albeit a gypsy brewery) that I’ve tried the most and am most excited about. Mikkeller Bar has 20 taps of their own and guest beers. Hosts the Mikkeller Beer Celebration in May. The décor is also really stylish, allegedy.

Nørrebro Bryghus*
http://www.norrebrobryghus.dk/ , Ryesgade 3, 2200 København N, Nørrebro
Monday-Thursday: 11.00-00.00; Friday-Saturday: 11.00-02.00. Kitchen open: Monday-Thursday: 11.30-15.00 & 17.30-22.00; Friday-Saturday: 11.00-15.00 & 17.30-22.30

Allegedly the best of the city’s brewpubs and also recommended in the Time Out Guide for a modern take on a traditional Danish smørrebrød (open sandwich) lunch. In the multicultural Nørrebro area of the city, north west of the main shopping area. The highest and most widely rated of their beers on ratebeer include styles such as a US-influenced Imperial IPA (Nørrebro North Bridge Extreme), a strong coffee stout (Nørrebro La Granja Stout), a honey porter (Nørrebro Skärgaards Porter) and a Belgian Old Ale (Nørrebro Old Odense Ale), brewed with Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and possibly spiced with “fir trees”. Allegedly.

http://oelbaren.dk/ , Elmegade 2, 2200 Copenhagen N.
Monday 21.00-01.00; Tuesday-Thursday 16.00-01.00; Friday 15.00-01.00; Saturday 16.00-01.00

10 taps, 100 bottles. Indicative tap list at present includes Beer Here, Mikkeller, Flying Couch, Herslev, Southern Tier, Aecht Schlenkerla. Bottles appear to be a good range of Belgian, American and German. Website suggests the bar is up for sale but the bar appears to be open as the list is regularly updated. Allegedly.

http://www.olbutikken.dk/ , Istedgade 44, København V, Vesterbro
Tuesday-Friday 13.00-19.00; Saturday 11.00-16.00

One of the most recommended beer shops in Copenhagen. Allegedly. Note to self: 20kg baggage allowance. See also: Barleywine, Admiralgade 21, http://www.barleywine.dk/ .

Ørsted Ølbar*
http://oerstedoelbar.dk/ , Norre Farimagsgade 13, 1364 København K, Strøget
Monday 16.00-00.00; Tuesday-Torsdag 15.00-01.00; Fredag 15.00-03.00, Saturday 13.30-03.00, Sunday 14.00-23.00

Next to a park and near the central shopping streets. From the pictures looks like a nice pub-come-brown café with a dart board, table football, sofas, tellies showing sport, and handpulls. Danish beers listed on Ratebeer as being previously available here include Mikkeller, Flying Couch and Det Lille Bryggeri, some of which are Ørsted-branded, as well as a selection of imported beers from Belgium, the US and elsewhere from the likes of Stone, Boon, Nøgne Ø.

Vinstue 90
http://www.vinstue90.dk/ , Gammel Kongevej 90, Copenhagen, Frederiksberg
Sunday-Wednesday 11.00-01.00, Thursday-Saturday 11.00-02.00

A beer bar with an interior preserved from the 1920s that sells itself on a “slow beer” thing, where it takes 15 minutes to pour a glass of Carlsberg. Google Translate offers this:

The whole secret of Slow Beer is very opskænkningen. The beer is the same Carlsberg beer, available in many other places, but a Slow beer is quite different. The beer poured without the use of carbonic acid with a Czech studs cock, which only pours foam. The glass is completely filled with foam, which is allowed to settle. When the foam has calmed down and fill up again with foam. This process is repeated 10 to 15 times, and that’s why it takes about 15 minutes to pour a Slow beer. The method originates from the days where you pumped draft beers by hand – as they still do in many places in England and Germany. The finished Slow Beer is a very soft and round with letbittert beer foam.

My head hurts.

Now: what did I miss and what should I have left out?

Categories: Beer Tags: , ,
  1. April 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Nice one. I’ll be a thief and use this as a basis for my Copenhagen explorations a couple of weeks later

    • April 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Pleased to be of service Mark! Hopefully i’ll have an update for you after I get back and before you go.

  2. Anonymous Cow
    April 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    As a Copenhagener I’d submit that you missed out an important part of the city in your research – especially seeing as the week of your stay is likely to be 20+ degrees with sun and little wind. The area around “Islands Brygge” (basically equivalent to the South Bank of London) features at least two stops noteworthy for beer enthusiasts in addition to being an interesting area to visit for general tourists with it’s good views of the harbour and the Copenhagen skyline. When it’s sunny you will generally find that droves of copenhageners seek out a cosy spot on the grass or the piers bringing along disposable barbecues, footballs and homemade potato salad to spend the afternoon and evening out in the sun. Islands Brygge also holds the public harbour bath where people can go swim in the harbour from June through August.

    Now beerwise the area features both a good and reasonably priced bottle shop as well as a pub with some interesting micros on tap: Toft Vin has around 150 different bottles from US, Belgian, Danish and Pacific microbrewers. Café Langebro also offers around 20 different taps including stuff from Mikkeller, Beer Here and sometimes American microbrewers.

    Personally I’d probably pass on Vinstue 90 and the Carlsberg Visitor Centre as these are somewhat far from all the other sights you mention and don’t offer anything unique. However, the Fermentor is within walking distance from Mikkeller (200 metres max) and is often much less crowded than Mikkeller with an overlapping selection. It is however also worth noting that Mikkeller carries other beer than their own. Ølbaren and Nørrebro Bryghus are also located reasonably close to each other – i.e. within walking distance. And the walk from Ølbaren to Nørrebro Bryghus can be quite lovely if you choose to walk on the gravel promenade along the lakes. However, getting to Nørrebro from the city centre can be a bit … demanding. Walking is a bit far and the buses 350S and 5A are usually full of people making it a bit difficult to assess what is the right stop. Best bet is probably to use one of the city bikes if you’re familiar with bicycling as the conditions for bicycling down Nørrebrogade are pretty safe.

    As for Islands Brygge it’s easy to reach by metro – even has its own stop. Vesterbro is also relatively easy to reach as it’s just behind the central station.

    Barley Wine is cool – the owner is kind and very talkative and I think the prices are a bit lower than at Ølbutikken, where I find the selection to be somewhat limited. The Barley Wine owner is also into vintage ale, which means you can sometimes find some nice things to cellar.

    • April 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      This is really useful AC, thanks very much!


  3. Anonymous Cow
    April 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    BTW if you’re interested in doing an in person trade I’d be more than happy to meet up for a bottle swap. I’m interested in the Kernel and Magic Rock predominantly and could get you stuff like Ølfabrikken Porter, Amager Bryghus Old Man’s Ale, Ayinger Celebrator and most of the new stuff from Amager Bryghus (like POP, Hr. Frederiksen barrel aged etc.) is available to me as I live close to the brewery (they’re only open on Saturdays though). Drop me a mail at a538w9jh59 (insert a big at-sign here) snkmail (insert a full stop here) com if you think it might be worth your while.

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