Archive

Posts Tagged ‘vesterbro’

Beer in Copenhagen: Fermentoren

As well as having Mikkeller Bar and some great restaurants in the meat packing district, Vesterbro is also the location of another great little beer bar in Fermentoren.  It’s at 29c Halmtorvet, along the same road as the meatpacking district and on the corner of another road (Skelbækgade) that takes you to Dybbølsbro railway station.

I expect that Fermentoren will always be secondary to Mikkeller Bar in most people’s eyes, but it’s a cosy basement bar with good music, helpful staff and a great little selection of craft beers, mainly from Danish microbreweries, and staff who are happy to help you choose. You can check out the current tap list on their Facebook page.

I should also make special mention of the gent’s toilets, which have a bunch of quotes from The Big Lebowski stencilled on the wall.

During the course of a couple of visits, Kate and I tried:

  • Dry-Hopped Saison Dupont on keg (lovely);
  • Croocked Moon Stonewall IPA , a fresh US-style IPA with a grapeskin hoppiness;
  • Flying Couch Paint It Black IPA, a good example of a black IPA which had a slightly stouty profile (coffee and vanilla), that burnt rubber/waterwings smell and taste that you only ever seem to get in this style, and a nice fresh hoppiness;
  • Fanø Edison Tripel, a delicious smooth tripel with a noticeable coriander taste; and
  • Beer Here Hopticulus, a malt-and-hop bomb of an IPA with a note of celery.

Fermentoren serves well as a place for winding down with a good Danish craft beer after dinner, but it also has an outside area if you’re lucky enough to get a warm, sunny afternoon.
Advertisements

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.

Beer in Copenhagen: Mikkeller Bar

If you’re reading this blog at all, I assume you’ve heard of Mikkeller, the Danish microbrewery which has since 2006 been producing a vast range of innovative beers in a range of styles, inspired by and building on the work of the most interesting American craft breweries.  I also assume you know that Mikkeller does not have a brewery of its own, but produces its beers at other breweries in Denmark and beyond.

I further assume that, knowing this, and having tried Mikkeller beers, you would already be excited to go to the small, stylish Mikkeller Bar in Copenhagen.  So, what with you being so well-informed, I’ll just make a few observations on it, why you should go, and why we visited three times when we were in Denmark:

  • It’s beautifully designed, as you can see from the pictures on Mikkeller’s new website. It’s clean and minimalist, but also stylish and quirky. The high tables look like drawers and the furniture makes the best use of the space.
  • It’s a small bar with good music at an appropriate level, which makes it feel cozy (hyggelig?), where the light colour scheme and bare design might otherwise make it feel cold.

  • They have the type of snacks that can be dealt with by a single member of staff, so nothing hot. However the porter sausage is superb.
  • There’s free wifi, which seems designed to allow you to send tweets to provoke jealousy.
  • It’s on Viktoriagade, not too far from Copenhagen Central Station (København H) and is in the trendy Vesterbro area.  Vesterbro seems to be one of those post-industrial up-and-coming areas has quite a few good bars and restaurants (on which more in a later post), although bear in mind that this sits alongside a (not unusually unpleasant) red light district, particularly on Istedgade.

And then, of course, there are the beers.  There are 20 taps with a fairly wide range of styles of beer beyond just Mikkeller, including a number of Danish breweries.  Most people seem to enjoy the beers in the smallest, 0.2l measures, in dinky stem glasses.

On keg we enjoyed:

  • Mikkeller G’Day Mate APA, a nice fresh fruity pale ale with hints of grapeskins and apples;
  • Heretic Evil Cousin IIPA, an excellent fresh slightly sweet IIPA with a building bitterness;
  • Triple Rock Pacific Gem Single Hop, which had a slightly wateriness and a sweet almost Belgian taste;
  • Hill Farmstead Genealogy, a powerful imperial stout from Vermont with a dark espresso foam head which nonetheless had a lot of fresh American hop flavour lifting it;
  • De Dolle Bos Keun, this year’s version of the hoppy Belgian Easter pale ale;
  • Mikkeller It’s Alight, a refreshing if slightly watery session strength version of Mikkeller’s Orvalalike It’s Alive, which had a little lemony sharpnes on the finish;
  • Mikkeller 1000 IBU, which despite its fearsome reputation was an enjoyable big sweet malt and hop bonanza not unlike Stone Double Bastard;
  • Mikkeller Big Worse, simply a good, bitter US-style barleywine; and
  • Mikkeller K:RELK, a pale ale with limes and orange on the nose but a relatively restrained flavour.

The bottle menu is pretty astonishing, and we also enjoyed a 2007 Orval, in which the leatheryness was cut through with a pleasant  gueuze-like citrus sharpness.  Following the wine-aged beers we had tried with Garrett Oliver, we also decided to buy a bottle of Hill Farmstead Flora, a wine barrel-aged version of their 5% wheat saison.  This was a wonderful, refreshing and refined drink, with all the charms of a Saison Dupont but rounded off with a little white wine.

If I were given to hyperbole, I might say that Mikkeller Bar is the craft beer equivalent of Copenhagen’s famous Noma restaurant. I will say, though, that if it were a restaurant it would similarly merit three Michelin stars: “exceptional… worth a special journey“. Or two special journeys, or even three.

%d bloggers like this: