Beer in Copenhagen: Smørrebrød and Mikkeller at Torvehallerne
At times Copenhagen can seem like a Guardian-reader’s utopia: all bikes, roughage, serious television drama and Scandanavian design. Naturally, to complete the picture, it needs its own gastro-oriented food market to rival Borough Market or Mercado De San Miguel in Madrid.
Copenhagen’s version is Torvehallerne, which opened on a square near Nørreport railway station in September 2011. There’s an open area and two covered markets full of units selling a wide range of fresh fish, meat, cheese, vegetables and various prepared foods.
One Danish speciality we’d read about was smørrebrød: open sandwiches on rye bread. On one stall in Torevehallerne (Hallernes) we sat at the bar and ordered some impressive-looking smørrebrød with a glass of Mikkeller beer.
It wasn’t clear which beer it was (“fadøl” just means draught beer) but I think it may have been Green Gold or, if not, a similar IPA.
In any event, it was a very nice beer and went especially well with the breaded fish, cured herring and even, at a stretch, the roast beef-topped smørrebrød. It was particularly effective with the herring, which was delicious, but nonetheless it good to have a strong acidic beer to balance the taste and ultimately clear the palate.
Also at Torvehallerne on the weekend we visited, Carlsberg were giving away free four-packs of their new beer, Carlsberg Copen*hagen, a beer sold in a clear bottle apparently designed to be “gender-neutral” in its branding and marketing. The bottle I drank was a slightly skunked light pilsner with little to commend it over, say, Corona. In stark contrast to the Mikkeller and smørrebrød, it was far from the best Denmark had to offer.