Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Copenhagen Beer Cafés: Plan B

The old working class area of Nørreport (translating into Northern Gate) is a good base for the beer tourist to Copenhagen. Many of the city's best beer bars are situated in this area and in the adjoining Nørrebro at the other side of Søerne (the Lakes). The connections to and from the airport are also excellent with trains leaving every 10 minutes from Nørreport station. All the local trains (S-trains) as well as the metro stop at this station making it the second hub of the Copenhagen public transport system. In addition, it is a short walk from the main pedestrian streets, called Strøget.

In Nørrebro you will find the excellent brewpub Nørrebro Bryghus, the small, but well-stocked beer café Ølbaren as well as the friendly specialist beer shop Høkeren. Nearer the Nørreport station you could have a look into the Arbejdermuséet and taste some quality beers in their Café & Øl-halle (café and beer hall).

But the true gem in this area is the café too modestly called Plan B. This should be no spare solution when the other places are closed or full (which, by the way, is often the case with Ølbaren and Nørrebro Bryghus). The cosy café consists of two departments, with living room-feel where you will be served sandwiches and other small dishes. The main draw of the place is the drinks selection. Here even choosy coffee and tea drinkers will feel at home- there is a good selection for wine-snobs and last, but not least it is one of the greatest places to drink Danish craft brews in the capital. Oh, and they also have a respectable range of imported quality beers.

On my visit I enjoyed a Wintercoat ESB, served at perfect temperature, releasing its earthy character. The beers from this newly-established, but already highly-praised Århus microbrewery are difficult to come across other places in the capital (it is, for now, only sold on tap). I also got to taste the café's "own" brew, brewed for them by another Jutland microbrewery, Grauballe. It is appropriately called Nørrebryg and is a delightful Danish version of the classic Bigfoot Ale. The recipe comes from the big man behind Plan B, Mr Niels Steenstrum Zeeberg, which really makes his jovial and knowledgable presence felt.

And now the details. Open all days from 10 am to 10 pm (the critics are praising them for closing so early as many a following workday might otherwise have been ruined!) Located on one of the main roads, at Fredriksborggade no 48. They even have their own web site, www.cafeplanb.dk. All I can say is, this is one beer bar not to miss in Copenhagen!

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