Monday, April 11, 2011

Day Trip to Malmö, Sweden

We took the train over the Øresund bridge over to Malmö, Sweden. We met a beer friend Lennart (and his friend Lars) but the bulk of our Malmö beerfriends had just left that day for a trip to the US.

We arrive a little early before our meeting place pub was open,  so we walked around the town a bit.

The pub was called The Bishops Arms. Not very Swedish sounding, is it.  Lots of British Cask Ales, a good selection of continental lagers and, of course, some Swedish beers.

It was getting on time for dinner. We walked thru town to another The Bishops Arms. Own by the same people but this one had a better kitchen, according to our friends. Also a bigger selection of beers.

Herring Appitizer

Salmon Dinner


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day Two in Copenhagen

A full day of drinking beer with some touristy stuff at the start.

We went to see the Little Mermaid. Not that we really wanted to see it, but that would be the first thing anybody asked us if we told them we had been to Copenhagen. It actually was a nice walk along the harbor, so it wasn't a total waste.

After the excitement of the Little Mermaid we needed a beer. We got on a bus towards the city center and the driver was not having a good day. He actually stalled the bus in the left turn lane once. The he totally ignored the "Stop" request and drove a couple blocks past the stop. A few other people wanted to get off when we did and they started yelling at the driver. Finally he pulled over in the middle of the block and let us off.

So we ended up a few blocks out of our way. We passed a restaurant with a nice outdoor patio. I noticed they were serving Brøckhouse beers so we decided to stop for lunch. We order one each of the Classic Lager and Pilsner.

The lager was pretty bland. The Pilsner was refreshing and had a nice hoppy finish.

It took us a while to get a menu and in the meantime the two guys at the table next to use received this large platter for food. There was what looked like roast pork, red cabbage some live pate and a bunch of other stuff. We found what we thought was that in the menu and ordered it.

After a bit our waitress came back with a platter, that had fried flounder and some pickled herring in sour cream and a basket of bread. OK, we must have pointed to the wrong thing but I hadn't had any herring yet so no big deal. The herring was wonderful, it practically melted in your mouth and on the heavy Danish rye bread it was a treat.

We finished the food and gulp down the last of our bills and I was trying to catch the eye of the waitress so we could pay, when she comes by with platter number 2, the one we had seen earlier. It turns out the fish was just the appetizer. Oops.

We now knew why we each had been give two sets of plates and silverware.

We struggled and managed to make respectable dent in the food but in the end it defeated us.

Heading on to our beer destination, the Lord Nelson Bar, we passed a number of these bicycle parking spaces. They were on the street where normally they'd be two car parking spaces. I can just imaging the uproar in LA if they started converting car parking to bicycle parking. Chaos in the streets!

If you are not paying close attention, you could easily miss the Lord Nelson, there is just a small sign and the pub itself is in the basement.

Lord Nelson is a interesting name for pub in Copenhagen, as Nelson pretty much wiped out the Danish fleet in a battle off Copenhagen in 1801. Sort of like naming your pub in Savannah, Georgia "The General Sherman."

The first beers we had was a Croocked Moona "The Blind Eye" -- a red rye ale, and a "Lord Neslon IPA" brewed for the pub by Herslev. Both were hoppy and good but the rye ale was the better of the two.

The pub itself is very tiny and has low ceilings with beams. The barmaid said the owner was going to name the place "Mind Your Head" but went with Lord Nelson as the more controversial name.

Next up was a Beer Here Black Cat black IPA and a Refsvindinge Ale 16, a brown ale. The brown ale was nice and malt and a nice change from all the hops. The Black Cat was nice but not my favorite of the style.

The huge lunch was still making us a bit lethargic, so we decided to walk a bit. On the way we passed a restaurant named "Kreuzberg." I stopped to check the menu to see if there was anything about the name when I noticed their beers were from Nørrebro Bryghus -- a local brewpub that was on the list if we had time. They had three beers on draft, so we order a small one of each.

Well, it turns out the "small" is .4 l (while the "large" is .6 l) so we had a bit more beer that we expected.
The three beers were Ravnsborg Red, Ceske Böhmer and Påskebryg, literally "Easter Brew"

The Ceske Bömer was misnamed. It was nothing like a Czech pils. It wasn't bad, just way too sweet not dry enough (under attenuated).  The Red ale was a typical red ale and the Påskebryg was dark and strong and my favorite of the bunch. All three had common house character (from the yeast?) that you either liked or hated.

The restaurant had a decent bottle selection for a non-beer place. Westmalle, Rochefort, Anchor among the breweries represented.

We continued our walk and happened on this pub. We did not go in.

A pub we did not visit!

As we walked to our bus stop we passed a statue of Hans Christian Andersen. I figured he rated a photo.

Statue of Hans Christian Andersen

As we neared a major intersection there there was this interesting device next to the bike lane. As best we could figure out it counted the number of bikes passing by that day (3287) and the number since it was erected (658,641). A lot of bikes.

There was some construction were we thought our bus stop should be, so we had to detour around it and found ourselves in front of the Scottish Pub. It seemed work a look.

The only Scottish beer they had was Bellhaven St Andrews. Instead we had a "Carls Ale" -- on Carlsberg's line of "craft" beers, and a Tuborg Gold. The Carl's Ale was better than I expected and the Turborg wasn't that bad either -- a little on the bland side but well made.

The railing in from the of bar was attached with these interesting elephant designs.  Leaves no doubt who owns the pub (or at least did own it)

We found our bus stop and in due time our bus came.  In a few minutes we were in front of Plan B on Frederiksborggade.

They had 10 taps, 9 of which were "Danish" beers (the quotes are there because who knows where the Mikkeller one was brewed) and the tenth, Sam Adams Boston Lager.

They had the Beer Here Smokestack Porter I'd had the previous night so I got one for my Dad, I had the Beer Here Weed, a slightly smoked wheat beer. (Staying with the smoked theme). The weed was very lightly smoked and if fact if they didn't tell you, you might miss the smoke. The beer I didn't have was the Beer Here Tia Loca -- described as a cross between a Belgian and German wheat beer. Later I found out the label for the beer shows Hitler as Tintin.  (Belgian/German).  I guess the Danes really do like stirring up trouble.

Like all the pubs we've been to, it was fairly small -- cozy I'd guess you'd say. I liked my Dad's Smokestack so much I went back and got one for myself.

We continued walking up Frederiksborggade (though it changed name when we cross the canal) and so were at Ølbaren.

They had Mahrs Ungespundet from Bamberg so I had to have a mug of that. My dad had the Limfjords Porter that I had the night before. Both were delicious.

While we were sitting there a young lady came up and asked the bartender about it a beer -- the Green Flash West Coast IPA -- a regular of mine when at home. I told her it was a great beer but was very hoppy. "I like hops" she replied. Be still my heart!

While we drinking our beer, one of the bartenders -- Mads -- opened a beer for us to sample, Bierwerk Aardwolf, a coffee stout from South Africa. The brewer is from Denmark, though (which explains why they had it). It was a very nice coffee stout.

Bierwerk Aardwolf

It was time for another beer, so I had an Amager Kogsaa a barleywine. I can't tell you much about. I must of liked it because I finished it. I vaguely remember lots of malt.

As we were leaving Mads poured us another Bierwerk beer, Vlakvark, and Ordinary Bitter. Not the best beer to drink after a barleywine. It was pretty good, though. They used all South African malts and hops -- didn't know they grew hops in South Africa.

By now it was way past our bedtime. So back to the hotel to sleep. Tomorrow we go cross the channel to Malmö, Sweden -- just because.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Arrived in Copenhagen

Our hotel room was ready so we thought we'd kill some time looking for a beer. One place I though opened early was Den Tatovevede Enke. We took a bus out to the area but had a hard time finding it -- it turns out to be in a little courtyard off the main street. Unfortunately my information was incorrect -- it didn't open unto 2pm.

Not far from Den Tatovevede Enke is a sandwich shop called Ida Davidson. It is listed in the book "1000 Places to See Before You Die" so we thought we'd check it out. It turns out lots of people want to see it before they die because a reservation is required.

Bicycles are everywhere. I like how this bike rack was just bolted to the side of the building.

We headed back to the hotel and were able to check in. After getting settled, we walked over to the Mikkeller Bar, which is about 3 blocks away. You really have to be looking for it, there is not any signage, just the name on the door.

Dried Sausage made with hops

My dad decided to call it a day. The sun had come out and I was feeling ok so I tool the bus up to Ølbaren, where a beer friend Jacob works.