Just returned from Copenhagen, which if you like beer, sausages and herrings is the place for you. As you’d expect it’s not the cheapest place in the world for a drink - £5 to £6 a pint and the beer is a bit odd, ranging from industrial Carlsberg to micro-brewery stuff.
I really wasn’t looking forward to the beer in Copenhagen simply because of Carlsberg. I have to say that I wouldn’t order it in a bar out of choice. It has a pretty poor reputation, it’s a cheap and cheerful lager, inoffensive and mass produced for swilling by the gallon. In the UK Carlsberg is brewed in Northampton and sadly, I have to say, that there is no discernable difference between the two.
The other big seller in Denmark is Tuborg, also made by Carlsberg and occasionally sold in the UK. Tuborg is another bland brand lager, however what they sell as ‘Tuborg Classic’ points us in the direction of some much more interesting Danish beers. Tuborg Classic is a darker and stronger ale style beer. This style of keg beers is extremely popular in Denmark and is fairly challenging for an old fashioned real ale man like me. These beers are quite fizzy but they do have a good range of styles including stout and porter as well as some light ales, which are not strictly lagers. Carlsberg too make a range of these beers, branded as Carls Ale, Carls Porter etc.
There are also some really good local drinks to look out for such as Kemmel Dansk which is a herb based spirit, quite bitter but very interesting. There is also a good local range of Akavit, clear spirits often flavoured with a kind of syrup or essence - I had one flavoured with gorse - very good.
I'll be going back in late 2010 and have every intention of visiting Noma, recently voted the Best Restaurant in the World in the San Pelegrino Top 100. Can't wait...
Me at the iconic Carlsberg Gate