Needless to say, the morning after our night at the Mikkeller Bar in Copenhagen was probably the roughest of the whole trip. The day before, we had great plans for our second day, doing all the touristy things available to visitors of Copenhagen. Unfortunately, we got a late start. We blame the Mikkeller Bar.
We did manage to figure out the trains and even survived the short ride out to visit the Jacobsen Brewhouse at the Carlsberg Visitor’s Center. When we got off the train, a large building with ‘Carlsberg’ on it was readily visible and just a few blocks away. “Cool! That was easy,” we thought. Well, the Carlsberg compound is a large place and while we were close to the visitor’s center as the crow flies, to get there we had to go all the way around. Other people seemed to be having an equally challenging time finding it. We did see the humongous elephants along the way, though, which I admit was pretty cool.
After a frustrating 45 minutes, we finally found it. (We discovered later that by approaching the complex from Valby Langgade by bus, signs clearly mark the 5-minute walk to the center.) The Jacobsen Brewhouse is a line of beers that Carlsberg says are an “expression of our ambitious plans for the development and marketing of uncompromising specialty beers and serves as a living embodiment of Carlsberg’s cultural history.” The brewhouse is located in the heart of the visitor’s center.
Seeing that we got a late start and it took so long for us to find the place, we only had time to try one beer, the Saaz Blonde. Chris thought the beer was on the sweet side, more like a Belgian Blonde. I found it reasonably acceptable. We added Jacobsen to The List and headed back out. (In hind sight, we should have added Carlsberg as well because it’s brewed on the premises on a separate system. However, we didn’t have a Carlsberg while there, so we can’t count it on The List now.)
We decided that a long walk from the Carlsberg Visitor’s Center/Jacobsen Brewhouse to the next brewery, Nørrebro, would clear the cobwebs out of our Mikkeller Bar head. So, an hour later, we arrived there ready for more beer and a spot of lunch. Chris had decided before we left that he would try herring, a Danish delicacy. At Nørrebro he had his chance – and took it.
Nørrebro is set-up on two floors with a keller-like drinking space and brewery downstairs and a dining room upstairs. The dining room is furnished in classic Danish furniture that Chris thought looked like an Ikea catalog. We were lucky enough to be seated at a table with a clear view down into the brewery. Though the only action happening down there was cleaning.
Among the beers we tried were the Çeske Böhmer, a Czech Pilsner, and a high alcohol (imperial?) porter conditioned in Cabernet barrels. To go with his trio of herring, Chris drank the Bombay Pale Ale, an IPA.
For his herring adventure, Chris tried the first style on his plate, which was in some sort of white, creamy sauce. Taking a small bite, he made a face and remarked that it was “very fishy” and “a weird texture.” He moved on to the second style, red herring served with capers. He managed more or less with that one until he took too big of a bite. He very nearly threw up on the table and thereafter lost the stomach to try the third style, which was pan fried. I gotta hand it to him, he gave it a go. He’s definitely braver than me! The decent-length walk back to the hotel, helped Chris regain his composure and feel better.
After a short break at the hotel, Chris and I ventured to our next brewery. We took this visit with a grain of salt because all the reviews clearly stated that Færgekroen Bryghus (located inside Tivoli) was not worth visiting. However, we like to try places for ourselves rather than completely depend on the reviews of others. Plus, we’re what Evan Rail calls “completists.” We must make every effort to get to every brewery in the area. It was unfathomable to pass on a brewery so near our hotel just because of poor reviews.
So we paid our entrance fee to Tivoli and wandered through the theme restaurants, candy kiosks, and trinket shops to find Færgekroen on the far side of the park. The restaurant is located by the side of a lake and the deck where we sat (covered and heated for the winter) offered a nice view of the sparkling Christmas lights. We ate a quick bite and tried their Blonde. The place was full and the service good. Færgekroen was added to The List and we left for one last visit to the Mikkeller Bar.
Except for a going away party in the corner, the Mikkeller Bar was not as busy as the night before, which bode well for us to actually make a short night of it. Jannik had hoped to get a Mikkeller beer on that had been conditioned in Cognac barrels. Unfortunately, the bartender relayed a message from Jannik apologizing that he was unable to access the warehouse to get it. I thought it was incredibly hospitable that Jannik made the effort and even remembered to get the message to us.
Our second go at the Mikkeller Bar was actually as short a visit as we intended it to be. We had tried most of the beers the night before, so we tried a few others and called it a night. Next stop: Amsterdam.