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Beer in Copenhagen: Jacobsen Saaz Blonde in The Laundromat Cafe, Nørrebro

I mentioned in my last post that Copenhagen occasionally comes across as a utopia for Guardian-readers, but I think one of the best examples of the achingly hip chic is a cafe bar we went to by accident: The Laundromat Cafe in Nørrebro.

After Nørrebro Bryghus, we intended to go to Ølbaren on Elmegade.  However it was a busy Friday night and we didn’t feel like standing, so we went for a nightcap to a cool-looking cafe we’d seen across the road.

The Laundromat Cafe is also actually a laundromat, although the four or so washing machines in the back were dormant at 10.30pm.  However there were still a few people sitting around eating some appetising-looking burgers and so on.

Apart from the concept, the decor makes the cafe a wet dream for readers of the glossy supplements.  One detail in particular stood out: bookshelves with paperbacks arranged by colour.

It’s not exactly a beer destination, but I recall that the menu had around 10-12 different bottled beers.  Kate had a reliable Brooklyn East India Pale Ale whilst I had a Jacobsen Saaz Blonde.  As I will hopefully get round to explaining in more detail in a future post, Jacobsen is basically Carlsberg’s version of the recently-popular macro-owned-craft/speciality beer brewery operating from the old brewery site in Copenhagen, whilst most  production has been moved elsewhere.

Saaz Blonde is a 7.1% top-fermented blonde ale made with pilsner malts and Czech Saaz hops.  I found it a pleasant Belgianish blonde with an unexpected amount of yeast flavour (I had expected a strong pilsner) up front followed by a moderate grassy/floral bitterness. I had hoped for a cleaner, punchier hit of Saaz, but it was a pleasant beer to enjoy at the end of the night nonetheless.

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Beer in Copenhagen: Nørrebro Bryghus & Bio Mio

There are quite a few brewpubs in Copenhagen, although most seem to offer only two types of beer: a Vienna-style lager and a pilsner, which is perhaps unsurprising given the city’s lager-brewing history.  I was pleased to see that Nørrebro Bryghus offered a wider selection.

Nørrebro Bryghus is a brewpub in the multicultural Nørrebro area to the north west of the city centre.  It has a bar/cafe downstairs and a large, informal restaurant upstairs, with the brewery kit at one end of the building.  Kate and I tried:

  • Pacific Pale Ale, a fruity and pleasant, if unchallenging American style pale ale;
  • Bombay Pale Ale, a take on a historic English IPA;
  • Better Dead Than Red Ale, a delicious hoppy red IPA created in collaboration with Beer Here;
  • London Porter, a tasty, chocolatey 7% porter; and
  • Czech Bohem, a pilsner with an unusual banana yeast character.

We both enjoyed our meals in the restaurant: a perfect ribeye steak and a hearty beef brisket.  Whilst it wasn’t cheap, nowhere in Copenhagen is, and we didn’t feel that we’d paid over the odds given the quality of the food and beer.  Nørrebro also has a number of other good bars and cafes to go on for more drinks afterwards, so it’s a good option for an evening out.

You can also get Nørrebro Bryghus beers on draft and bottle in Bio Mio in Vesterbro, not far from Mikkeller Bar.  In the old meatpacking district, this large organic restaurant with high tables and stools has an interesting menu full of healthy things like stir fries, shellfish broth, and meatballs with pearl barley. The menu even has a key with information as to whether the dishes are high in minerals, improve the libido, or (as is likely to be most relevant) good for your liver.  It’s very vegetarian friendly but also has some great meat dishes.

It has an interesting ordering system, where you get given a swipecard as you go in, order the food directly from a chef in the kitchen and buy your drinks using the same card at the bar.  Service is efficient and friendly and it’s no hardship to enjoy some good beer as you wait for your food.

We drank Nørrebro Bryghus New York Lager, a sweet and interesting Vienna-style lager that Kate thought was even better than Brooklyn Lager.  It went well with a lot of dishes, including the “Fitness Wok” and the “Happy Pork On Your Fork”.

Again Bio Mio isn’t cheap in English terms (most of the main courses are 150-185DK), you get good portions of really good food, meaning that we were happy to go back on the last night of our visit.  It’s a great option for hearty but healthy food to load up on before or after you go to Mikkeller Bar or Fermentoren.

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