The others drop off their Ølbutikken purchases at their hotel while I enjoy my coffee, and then we set out for the Central station again. The train arrives right away, and it’s only 8 minutes to our destination. There is a huge sign outside the venue, but all others passengers are going there anyway, so we just follow the crowd, including taking a short cut across a four lane road.
We are just in time for the opening at noon. I’ve been promised a place on the VIP list, so I go for the special entrance. I am not on the list, but I get a free entry anyway. Sampler glass, festival booklet, 20 beer tokens and I’m ready to start sampling.
Arriving at opening time means you get a feeling of the layout of the place. This is obviously a venue used to arrange fairs, sports events etc, meaning that for example toilet facilites are more advanced than last year’s festival.
It is more compact than last year, but there certainly is enough beer to go around.
I head for a familiar logo – Nørrebro Bryghus has a very long list of beers, just like the last festival. They are struggling economically, with a large deficit last year, but the shareholders have refilled the coffers so they are hopefully with us for a long time to come. Nørrebro started out as a brewpub/restaurant centrally located in Copenhagen, thay have later added a bottling plant. They used to have a bar at Copenhagen Airport as well – a welcome contrast to all the Carlsberg lagers, but there are no signs of that any more.
I try a Spring Saison, very true to type. Fruit, barnyard and citrus, a refreshing beer well sutied to kick off the festival. Their Globe Ale is bottled, with claims of being CO2 neutral. That might be, but it is a sweetish beer without much of a character. Far better then their Saison/Vermouth/Lambic blend, wonderfully balanced beer. Fruity, spicy, fresh lemon tang, bordering on vinegar without falling into it.
The best Nørrebro beer of the day is Seven, a collaboration of seven Danish brewers, all contributing to the recipe. It is an imperial stout. Coffee aroma, not overpowering. Salt, liquorice. some sourness in the finish. A bit vinous, but very drinkable. There was a barrel aged version of this presented later on, but I missed that. Never mind, the standard was just fine.