Empties spent four nights sinking some heavies in one of the best beer cities in Europe. A mix of some of the best stocked bottle shops imaginable, a 22 tap brewpub with authentic Texas BBQ, a dedicated lambic bar and a serious city wide Mikkeller monopoly.
Mikkeller and Friends Bottle Shop Torvehallerne
Right in the centre of Copenhagen is Torvehallerne Indoor market. 60 different stalls inside two Incredible all glass buildings. There’s a lot going on with serious espresso, pour overs and filters from the coffee collective, a ton of bizarre danish pastry stalls and a nightmare inducing seafood section with man sized monster fish with human teeth and squid that would swallow your dog. Slightly hidden away is the new Mikkeller bottle shop which recently moved from it’s previous location to facilitate the opening of Koelschip lambic bar.
It looks great, it’s compact but manages to hold an awful lot of bottles. There’s a small amount of seating provided, but you’ve fucked it if you’re not sitting outside making the most of the buzz of the market. Also when you buy something they ask would you like it opened and then it dawns on you that it’s grand to drink at the market and you buy two more and fooking crack the bastids.
The majority of the stuff here is Mikkeller and To øl but it’s vast and varied. It’s got all the well known favourites like beer geek breakfast and regulars like green gold, american dream and stateside IPA as well as some brand new releases like the Recipe No.1000 brown malty sour aged in chardonnay barrels. It’s really something special.
There’s far too much stuff to attempt to go through it all but some examples of some serious bangers they had during my visit include, Toppling Goliath, Crooked Stave, Ale Smith, Trappist Westvleteren (Yep, Including westy 12) and Petite Orval which is normally just reserved for the monks who brew it (V.rare obv)
This is a lovely spot in a really beautiful central location. The market setting makes this a nice spot for the casual beer drinker looking to try something a bit different, it’s a bit less daunting for someone who isn’t a pain in the hole beer drinker (Yours truly). It’s the handiest spot to find but it’s also the most expensive for picking up bottles. And Copenhagen is already fucking expensive.
Mikkeller – Barrel aged Beer Geek Brunch Weasel 10.9%
Imperial stout brewed with civet coffee (Civet coffee involves civet cats eating coffee cherries and shitting out the beans…. it’s a delicacy) and aged in whiskey barrels. It’s a really silky smooth drinker. A lot of coffee in smell and taste but without the astringency found in a lot of coffee beers.
Mikkeller – Help pale ale 4.6%
Released the day we arrived in Copenhagen. A simple, fruity, refreshing pale ale. Decently bitter, creeping up on IPA territory but without the Abv. All proceeds from this beer go to the Danish Refugee Council.
Warpigs brewpub – All of it
Some Warpigs beers get bottled in very limited numbers and apart from at the brewpub itself this appears to be the only spot to get them. Like the nice bottle number 360 out of 360 of their “smouldering holes” imperial stout I managed to pick up. Yeah go and fucking do one.
Nørrebro Bryghus microbrewery and brewpub. In a nice location and easy to find. It’s got an impressive set up with mash tun, fermenters and bright tanks all on display, it’s dimly lit, dark interiors, leather couches but it’s all a bit soulless really. It probably sounds like I’m being an arsehole and I’ll admit I visited it during lunch time, it was quiet and maybe the atmosphere was a bit subdued but I just found the place lacking. The beers are nice but compared to the wide selection of world class beer found around the city it just doesn’t stand out. They have 10 beers on rotation at a time and maybe we came when the selection wasn’t at it’s best but out of the ten taps, five were IPA’s, the rest were a pale, a session (another IPA really) a wheat and two lagers. Not a dark beer in the bunch. Nothing even slightly out of the ordinary. The IPA’s sampled were malty, too malty for my tastes and the bitterness and hops are restrained. The wheat beer was great though, very nice, true to style.
I feel like I’m giving this place a hard time but with what’s on offer in Copenhagen I wouldn’t be too arsed killing myself to get here. Maybe on a busy night with a better buzz and a few different beers on tap it’s a good spot but I wouldn’t be too fussed going back to find out.
Koelschip by Mikkeller
Only in Copenhagen could a dedicated lambic bar exist. Situated next door to the Mikkeller and Friends bar, previously it’s bottle shop, you could almost walk past the place and miss it. Described as dedicated to Belgian styles the highlight of this place really is its selection of lambics. It’s an intimate little place, a small bar with a very limited capacity. While I have no point of reference it’s what I imagine an old Belgian bar would be like in my head. Wooden furnishings, hanging lights, candles and vintage metal signs.
The idea is niche and the bar knows it. That’s not to say it feels elitist or unwelcoming, one of the lads who ran the bar (a genuine Belgian) chatted away with us for the night and shared his serious knowledge of lambics and beer in general. It’s a unique experience and even if you’re not a seasoned sour drinker it would be worth sticking the neck in and seeing whats on the taps. The fact that it’s next door to Mikkeller and Friends means you’ve no excuse.
There’s a large bottle selection with Cantillon, Brouwerij Boon, Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen, Oud Beersel, Mikkellers Spontan range as well as non lambic Belgians like Orval and Westvleteren. I can list them off like it’s no big deal but jesus there are some serious beers here and I’ve never come across half of them. The four taps had some particulary good beers pouring the night I visited, a 2013 Cantillon, Mikkeller/Boon 2008 calva lambic (it was the second last keg in the world apparently), Spontancassis and Spontantriplecassis.
For the most obsessed lambic fans the bar also boasts a cellar of vintages. Lambics from decades ago. According to a post made by Koelschip awhile ago they go back to at least 1959. This is one of a kind territory but heartbreakingly out of my (and most peoples) price range.
This place comes across as a bit of a passion project for Mikkeller which is great. I can’t imagine anyone else attempting something like this so it’s proper whopper that someone’s willing to take a bit of a risk on it. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
A lovely colour from the black currents and a light fluffy head. Smells strongly of black current but also has a decent bang of brett and lactic acid. A two pronged beer it starts sweet and fruity upfront and finishes with a long lasting acidic sourness. It’s mouth drying and it lingers. Light body for 10%, very easy to drink and had a bit more of a farmhouse quality towards the end of the glass as it started to warm up.