Posts Tagged ‘Ølbutikken’

I try not to read too much of the advance buzz about the Copenhagen Beer Festival this weekend. Sure, I know that Three Floyds are in town. That there will be a Zillion new beers from Mikkeller. That Nøgne Ø have some real rarities.

But I’m not going this year.

but at least I can make a recommendation.

The new Ølbutikken store is open for business. They used to have a small kiosk that was filled when there were more than four customers at a time. Now they have bright and airy shop filled with fridges. The very best of Danish micros – plus a mind-blowing range of imports from Europe and the US. The best selection in Europe? At least one of the top 5.

For a small extra charge you can even sit down by the large table in the centre of the shop and enjoy a beer if the shopping exhausts you.

I am sure there will be special offers during the festival, and they will probably sell out of some beers. Better, perhaps, to visit during a hot day later in the year. Drink a bottle of their house brew, Istedgade Hipster Ale. Hoppy, refreshing, unpretentious. And then consider if you really need that huge Belgian bottle. You’ll never know if it’s the last time you’ll get the chance…

It is in Istedgade, just to the back of the Central Station. Don’t worry about the sex shops. This is Denmark, after all.

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If you are under the impression that I buy a lot of beer, you are seriously mistaken. This guy, however, has done some serious shopping.

I was told an anecdote on one of my visits to Øbutikken about a Swiss customer who got up at 2 in the morning, drove all the way to copenhagen and filled up his care with more or less the whole inventory. His total bill was even higher. But 6780 Danish kroner is real money. Almost 600 Euros.

Thanks to beerticker.dk for the tip.

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What do you do when you run a beer shop when ther’s a beer festival in town? Have an exclusive beer on tap for a few hours to get the tickers into your shop, of course.

So, that’s what Ølbutikken did.

As it’s run by the brother of Mikkel of Mikkeller fame, it was hardly surprising that it was a Mikkeller beer.  The Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch One-for-One Calvados Barrel Aged with Cherries. No less.

A merry crowd has turned up at ten on Saturday morning, the location being very convenient for those of us that stayed at the Sct Thomas Hotel just around the corner.

The beer? A lovely imperial stout from Mikkeller, strong Calvados aroma, a wee bit on the heavy side for the time of day. On the other hand it was warming on a chilly day. As for the cehrries, they gave a hint of fruit and sweetness, but they had some problems to cope with the rest of the mix.

And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad so I had one more for dessert

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So. Saturday morning. While the rest of the family had a lie-in, I tiptoed downstairs, took my wallet, phone and iPod and locked the door behind me. A carry on suitcase as well, empty except for a printout of the festival booklet and some bubble wrap.

I actually caught the 05.35 train, giving me ample time at the airport. Lots of charter tourists milling around, drinking beer, buying duty free booze and getting called up by name with the message that the gate was closing.

The plane was not quite full, most of the passengers were probably using the SAS network for onward connections.

My drinking buddy David had decided to check in his bag. After half an hour of waiting in the arrival hall, he was allowed to fill in a missing luggage form, and we were off for Central Copenhagen.

The sky was steel gray and the air was chilly, but we were in a very good mood as we walked out of Copenhagen Central Station. We were going to Ølbutikken first, and David was checking in at his hotel around the corner from the shop. I stopped at two supermarkets along the way, buying a few bottles of Italian Brunello wine at a nioce discount at the first, a few beers and some cheese at the next. We still had some time before Ølbutikken opened, so we bought a rater dismal breakfast at a 7-eleven on the corner. The only place open in the neighbourhood was a bar for Greenlanders, where the around the clock drinking atmosphere did not attract us too much.

We were hanging around outside the shop, and several other Norwegians turned up – Ole Richard and  Geir Ove were staying at the same hotel as David. Next were Yngvar and Danish top rater Henrik.

Ølfabrikken is an amazing place. There were about 10 of us in line when they opened, and we filled the place when we entered.Half Norwegians, a few Dutch-speaking. It is quite a contrast to the large beer shops in Rome, this is far more compact.

But packed onto the shelves of the tiny shop are the seven wonders of the world. Dugges from Sweden, Nøgne ø from Norway. The very best of the Danish breweries, meaning Mikkeller, Amager, Hornbeer, Beer Here and Xbeeriment. The top of the de Molen range from Beligum. De Dolle. Westvleteren. And American rare brews.

We all were calcutlating how much we could possibly cram into suitcases and bags. I ended up with a dozen beers. Two Mikkeller beers from their Single Hop series. Amager Rated XX. Two Hornbeer brews, including their Caribbean Rums Stout, which won “Best New Beer of the Year” award by the members of the Danish Beer Enthusiasts. De Molen Lang & Kaal. Lost Abbey Ten Commandments.

This is not a discount store. Sure, There are a few bottles just above the 10 kroner mark, but most fall within the 50-100 kroner range, some are beyond that. But this is not for casual drinking, it caters for the beer geek crowd. Only open for a few hours at the weekend, this is a labour of love by people who really care about this and want to share their finds with others. And for Norwegians, most bottles seem moderately priced anyway, though it is quite a contrast to the 5 kroner discount beers to be found on the next corner…

Would I like like this in Oslo? Of course, I’d love it. But I would not dare to go there more than once a month!

Last year there weres special festival packs of rare Mikkeller beers. Luckily they had not made any this year. Then I would have had to buy another suitcase…

Whats the duty free quota for Norway?

What's the duty free quota for Norway?

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Ølbutikken in Copenhagen, one of the best beer shops on the planet, has four new Mikkeller beers on sale:

  • Funky (e) Star – their Easter beer.
  • Drikkeriget DIPA – A double IPA.
  • Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA –  beer number four in their single hop series.
  • Oatgoop – a colloboration with  Three Floyds, which they call an oatwine .
Funky Easter

Funky Easter

What else? Cantillon Blåbær Lambik 2009.

And a dozen premium American beers. Southern Tier, Lost Abbey, Alesmith….

One of each, please. When private import of beer is legalized later this year, we’ll have to convince Ølbutikken to do mail order!

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