Saturday, May 27, 2006


Denmark Twelve Points, le Danemark Douze Points!

Last weekend it was time for the annual festival again, proving beyond any doubt Denmark as a winner. There are no prizes for guessing that I am not referring to the Eurovision Song Contest, where Denmark ended up disappointingly as no 18.

Danske Ølentusiaster, however, made it again, bigger than ever before. More than 11000 visitors could taste more than 1000 Danish and foreign beers during the Københavnske Øldage. Great numbers, but actually the quality of the beers on offer was even more impressive. I cannot recall tasting a single mediocre beer.

Well-organised the festival is as well. Conveniently scattered around in the Valbyhallen are containers of water, so that both the glass and the palate can be rinsed before a new 10 cl tasting. Another great invention was the glass carrier featured in the picture.

Seating may be scarce, though, unlike at many Belgian beer festivals, where seating seems to be essential. But then again, whereas the latter seems to draw mostly middle-aged men, the Danish festivals also draw a much younger and sexually mixed crowd. A reflection of the society it probably is- a modern society embracing equality, a society where even young people have the ability to spend a little extra on a craft brew rather than having to accept a cheap mass-produced lager. Add to it a population-wide enthusiasm for craft beer not found in the rest of Scandinavia and genuinely friendly people, 12 points from the Norwegian beer jury is practically guaranteed.

Denmark may be a young superpower of the beer world, but has already 8 of the 50 top Ratebeerians, some of the world's most promising breweries and not to mention world-class beer bars like Ølbaren and Plan B. The latter can be found in an excellent little (free) leaflet called the CPH Ølguiden (the CPH beer guide).

Short in distance, but yet so far is indeed the beer desert of Norway from this beer mecca.

I wasn't at the festival, but I agree with your views. And it is quite easy to find micro brews in the big supermarket chains in Denmark as well. It will be very interesting to see the number of breweries in Denmark when the market levels out.
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