Monday, September 29, 2014

Day Three in Copenhagen

Feeling rested, Saturday noon I headed out to Søernes Ølbar (or basically "Lakeside Beer Bar") which is along one of the lakes in central Copenhagen.

The have 20 taps, mostly Danish but with a few imports.

I started off with Beer Here Harwood Porter.  The nice bartender described it as a typical London brown porter but at 8% it has a bit more oomph than the porters I've had in London.

They had a nice set up with a bar area and rooms off to either side. In nicer weather they have tables along the water as well.

They did a nice job with taps as well...

My second beer was Ghost Brewing Mosaic in Blocks.  I get that it was brewed with Mosaic hops, but I'm not sure about the Blocks thing. If somebody knows, explain it to me.  But it was a nice IPA, in any case.

It was getting time to move on, so I went big, To Øl Goliat Imperial Stout. Now while the IPAs and Pale Ales have been decent, none of them have really blown me away. But the darker beers have for the most part been excellent and some -- this one in particular -- were awesome.

The next stop was a bit of a walk away. which was good as it let me "digest" the Imperial Stout.  It is a corner bard on Østerbrogade called Tap10.

Surprisingly, they have 10 beers on tap. They call themselves a "Nordic Craft Beer Bar" as most of their draft beers were from Norway.  As Norway was once part of Denmark, I guess these count as "Danish" beers if you squint sideways.

I started off with the Haandbryggeriet Belgisk Pale Ale, at 6.5% just about right after the walk.

The pub itself was long a narrow and I can imagine it gets very crowded on weekend evenings.

The second beers was Nøgne Ø #500 Imperial IPA. I'm guessing this was their 500th batch. This one was a winner. You could taste the alcohol it went well with the hops plus there was a significant malt foundation holding the whole thing up.

I decided it was time for a darker beer and one at least partially Danish. This was a blend of Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel and Amager Bryghus Fredericksen Stout. I saw partially because none of the Mikkeller beers are brewed in Denmark -- most are brewed in Belgium with a few being brewed in Norway. I'm hoping this was one of the ones brewed in Norway.

The bartender didn't know why the beer had the appellation "Weasel." So I told her. She didn't believe me until she checked (How do you say "googled" in Danish?) on her own phone. If you don't know, goggle "Kopi Luwak" yourself...

My final beer was from Haandbryggeriet "Røyk uten Ild" which I was reliably informed meant "Smoke without fire." (Of course, my reliable informant had just found out about the Kopi Luwak coffee in the beer she drank...)  I can't pass up a smoke beer, especially an 8% smoked dobblebock, so I had one. It was so good I forgot to take a picture.

It was time for some fresh air and a walk, so I walked over to Stefansgade where there is a new Mikkeller pub, Mikkeller and Friends.

This pub has twice the taps (40) and probably three times the space as the original Mikkeller Bar.

The turquoise lighting and color scheme would get to me after a while, but I could stand it for a beer or two.

I started off with a To Øl Milk Stout named "By Udder Means."  The beer was better than the name. Much better.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but most of the second tap board was made up of beers from Brew By Numbers, a new small (but growing) brewery in London that I'd had a chance to visit last year.

The brewery gang was there as well so I went over and sat with them for a while and talked. They convinced me to try the Triple as Mikkeller had their last keg and it was one of their favorites.  I seem to remember that the Danes ruled England 1300 or so years ago (the Danelaw and all that) so I convinced myself by extension that this was a "Danish" beer. It is the best Danish Triple I've ever had...

On the way back to my hotel I passed the news Mikkeller bar, called Mikropolis. This one has half the taps of the original and probably about half the space. They also do a number of strange, but tasty cocktails -- or at least one is tasty -- I got a chance to try the Mezcal/Dubonnet/Raspberry/Lemon one. It was strange but very good.

For beer I was more mainstream -- the Mikkeller It's Alive Belgian Ale.  A decent Belgian ale, as it should be, being (most likely) brewed in Belgium.

I took a wrong turn on the way home and ended up back at the tap house. They had just put Schlenkerla Ur-Bock on so I had to have one. The price works out to about €8 for a half liter. And the people in Bamberg think Schlenkerla charges too much, they should visit Copenhagen.

The damage being done, I decided to compound it with a Mikkeller Black Ink and Blood. Nuff said.

Wandering back to the hotel I passed a (closed) supermarket. I thought it interesting they were advertising "Calif. Steam" as a style. Don't tell Anchor. Also that works out to be about $2.50 a can -- at grocery store for some generic "craft beer" (probably brewed by Carlsberg)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day Two in Copenhagen

Day two started out threatening to rain. It did so all day but luckily never followed thru.

I headed out towards the Torvehallerne Market. This covered market has about 80 stalls in two halls, plus some fresh fruit and vegetable stalls outside between the halls. There is a great selection of food, either cooked and ready to eat or from various specialty butchers, cheese sellers, etc.  On stand is called Omegn and in addition to meat and cheese they sell beer.

Amsterdam is known as a city of bicyclists. Copenhagen certainly meets Amsterdam, if not exceeds it in the number of cyclists and the amenities they enjoy. Sometimes you have to wait quite a while to cross a street because of all the bicycles.

Anyway, they start them young. In the square in from of the market was a group of kids being given riding lessons

The Torvehallerne is modern building...

And Omegn is easily found at stall E2 on the south east corner of the first building.

Only five taps, but all looked interesting.

Since it was still officially morning, I started easy with the 4% Landøl from Herslev Bryghus. A nice pale ale, very drinkable.

They sell lots of bottles as well. I don't know if these are only to take away or can be consumed on site. I forgot to ask.

For my second beer I had a Bogedal No. 413. This brewery seems to number rather than name their beers. This one was dark and fairly strong at 7% but hard to classify. Not hoppy enough for a black IPA but not really roasty enough for a porter (or stout). But it was quite tasty and enjoyable.

I headed west, past a few places that don't open until last (Copenhagen doesn't have much for early drinkers). Soon I reached Blågårds Plads where on the corner is Cafe Blågårds Apotek.

This is a former pharmacy that still has many of the old drawers around for decoration. They have about 16 taps with about half of them Danish beers (the rest German and Belgian) and a good selection of bottles, including many from the US.

 They had the Thisted Limfjords Porter, a beer I remember liking from my last trip, so I started with that.

It is a 7.9% Baltic Porter and I think one of the better examples of the style.

Next up was Midtfyns Bryghus Imperial Stout. There was no alcohol percentage on the tap but I'd guess it at least 9%. I read later that it is aged in oak barrels which explains the flavor I could't place. A very nice beer, but maybe too much on an empty stomach.

 They didn't serve food here so I wandered off to the next place on my list that I knew had food, Cafe Gavlen.

They had seven taps, all with interesting beers, including a house Pilsner (I didn't ask were it was brewed).

I had an Ugly Duck IPA (yes, that is a Danish brewery) and Fiskfrikadella Smørresbrød (an open faced sandwich on a rich, dark rye bread).

The lack of food and jet lag was catching up to me. I decide to call it an early day, but first I went around the corner where you'll find Nørrebro Bryghus, a very nice brewpub. I peeked in the window at the brewery but didn't order a beer.

Then it was back to the hotel room for 12 hours of sleep.

First Day in Copenhagen

This flight was uneventful, only about 10 minutes late. Found the hotel, checked in and the headed out for a beer or six.

First stop was Brew Pub Kobenhavn. It was opened last time I was here but I don't remember it at all so I must have skipped it.

They had 7 "ordinary" beers on tap and 4 or 5 "specials". You could get taster set of 5 of regulars so I went with that.

From left to right: Brewfather Lager, Brewster Pale Ale, Amarillo American Pale Ale, Cole Porter and Geronimo IPA.

All were well made and better than the average brewpub beer. The specials were mostly sour beers of some sort, I 'll have to come back for those if I have time.

On the way out I spotted the brewery. It did look used, so it wasn't just for show.

Nearby is a new place, the Taphouse. They have 61 beers on tap, (which they claim is a European record) typically about half of them Danish.

They also do samplers, which was great because otherwise it would take a while to work thru all the beers.

My first sample flight, from left to right was: Ebeltoft Saison, Crooked Moon Summer Saison, Beer Here Dead Cat Extra,  Mikkeller/To Øl Underall Mosaic and Mikkeller/To Øl Underall Galena.

All were very tasty and all around 5% alcohol. The Dead Cat Extra was probably my favorite.

The setup is quite high tech with video monitors showing the beers. During happy hour the specials are color coded. You order by number which helps us foreigners from mangling more Danish than we need to.

Second flight was: Ebeltoft The Mosaican, Beer Here Evil Yellow Star, Gudenåndlans IPA, Beer Here Høst IPA and Syndiketet Spionen Undercoder IPA. Again all where tasty a the IPA's were of the "Session" variety, all around 5%. The Undercover IPA was my favorite, but all where good.

For a final beer, I decided to go dark and strong, Noridc Brewing Knud den Store, a 9.1% Imperial Stout.  Delicious!

It was still early, so I walked over to another new (for me) place in Vesterbro called Fermentoren.

Like everything else in Copenhagen, it was down half a flight of stairs (of course, some like Taphouse are up half a flight of stairs)

Lots of choices there and a tough decision...

The insides were fairly small and very crowded, so I took my beer -- Ghost Brewing Dark 'n Hoppy and went outside. Ghost is another Copenhagen gypsy brewer (that is, someone who doesn't actually own a brewery).

 I decided it was getting time to call it a night. On the way back home I passed by the Mikkeller Bar, their first pub in Copenhagen.

Staying on the theme, I had a X-Imp Kakao, only 16%. A nice chocolatey night cap.