I love a brewery tour, maybe because I love beer. Yes it’s not lady like and yes it’s full of calories but how nice is a cold refreshing beer on a hot sunny day? So when conducting my research into things to do in Copenhagen I was over the moon to find that there’s the Carlsberg Brewery there and they offer tours. Having been on a number of brewery tours – Guinness in Dublin, Heineken in Amsterdam, Castlemaine XXXX in Brisbane the tickets were booked for this brewery tour before you could say ‘bottle of beer’! Even better was the price which was roughly £10 each and included two pots of Carlsberg each either during or after your self guided tour.
We had hop on hop off bus tickets which included the ‘Carlsberg Line’ which drops off and picks up right outside the brewery. However, on the day that we had decided to visit the line wasn’t running due to the roads being closed because of a cycle race. Nevermind, instead we jumped in a taxi which cost us just under £10 from near Tivoli right to the doorstep of the brewery. I have a paper ticket as I had pre-booked on their website therefore the first port of call on arrival was to the ticket desk which is located in the gift shop. Here my paper ticket was changed for our Carlsberg tickets with two tabs at the bottom for our inclusive drinks.
Next to the ticket desk you will find a board listing all the activities which are being held at the brewery that day. We arrived at just gone 2.00pm and noticed that there was a beer tasting session due to start at 2.00pm. Beer tasting – yes please and at £4.50 each I considered this to be a bargain. So grabbed our maps of the brewery and we hot-footed it up to the bar where the beer tasting was going to take place and eagerly swapped one of tabs for a quick drink of the good stuff as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive.
We were warmly greeted by the leader of the beer tasting, Lotte who asked us all to take our seats and gave us all a tasting glass. She proceeded to open the first beer, a light beer. She passed bottles around the tables and invited us to fill our glasses up. This was a very clear beer which reminded many of the group of a British ale. I myself as a Brit would say it was actually lighter than most British ales but nice nonetheless. Next up was a Weissbeer which is similar to a German beer, slight darker and slightly more bitter with a Banana(ish) taste. This was not my favourite but still nice and worth a try. The last one was a Dark Larger which Lotte informed us was a traditional Danish beer. This is the one I would say was most like a British Ale.
When I have taken part in beer or wine tastings before you normally get a thimble of booze at the bottom of the glass that you are supposed to sniff, swill and savour. Not here, full glasses and if the bottles run dry more are opened. At the end of the official tasting session Lotte invited us to drink the rest of the beers that had been opened as otherwise they would have gone to waste. What? waste beer? NEVER. Therefore Mr ESLT and I happily refilled our glasses and had a rerun of the beer tasting on our own. Needless to say we were a little bit tipsy by the time we had finished although I’m putting that down to not having any lunch.
So then we completed the self guided tour of the brewery, learning about the origins of the Jacobsen family and Carlsberg. We then visited the world’s biggest bottle collection. Here you will find bottles of beer from every corner of the world. Only bottles with correct labels are accepted into the collection therefore you will not find any spelling mistakes or colour variations. The latest bottle count which was conducted in July 2014 states that there are now 22,346 bottles in the collection and they are organised in geographical order. We had fun spotting the ones we had tried from different parts of the world on our travels.
Following the map we walked through the brewery and learnt all about how Carlsberg is made. In the exhibition we will followed the processing of beer’s main ingredients – yeast, water, barley and malt. I will admit we kind of rushed this bit as it was quite busy and the lure of the bright sunshine and beer was calling us outside. I’m glad I checked the map when we got outside otherwise we would have missed my favourite part of the tour – the stables! Yes actually stables housing actual horses. Big, beautiful horses. I’m not a horse rider and have never spent a considerable amount of time with or around horses but I seriously did not want to leave here. If horses are your thing you can also take the additional option of a horse carriage ride. You can buy tickets in the storehouse.
So Mr ESLT dragged me away from the horses and to the brewhouse bar, with one tab each we swapped them for two pots and enjoyed them in the late afternoon Copenhagen sunshine. We did try to get a late lunch but unfortunately the kitchen had finished serving, which we were quite gutted about because the food people was eating around us looked really good. So with our bellies full of beer we decided that we would walk the 2km back to our hotel telling ourselves that the fresh air would do us good and to be honest I think we needed it. I thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon at the Carlsberg brewery and if you like a beer too I would definitely recommend paying a visit if you can spare the time when in Copenhagen.