The Danish city had been a bit of a pilgrimage for the last three years for me and Will each May. Mikkeller's Copenhagen Beer Celebration has grown from its initial entity in 2012 in a sports hall just north of the city with roughly 500 people each session to 2016's 1k capacity in its central meat packing district space. If you wanted to get tickets previously you had to sit studiously at your computer waiting for that second they went online, then a quick burst of button tapping, and fingers crossed, you'd snagged some. This year was the first time, in the bigger venue, tickets were available for a number of weeks. The beer celebration itself brings together a list of breweries from across the world all connected by an affinity with Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. It's a festival where breweries bring their big guns out, often supplying one off or limited barrel aged beauties. If you want to try that Cigar City Hunaphu stout or 3 Floyd's Dark Lord, well, you better book those plane tickets now hey!
Here's our city guide to the spots to hit whilst you're there, enjoy, oh and make sure you've plenty of holiday money!
The original Mikkeller bar in the central area of Copenhagen with 20 taps and outside seating to the front. During Copenhagen Beer Celebration this is definitely THE bar to meet people and often hosts a street party on the final Sunday of the Copenhagen Beer Week. Last time I was in one of the Surly guys let me try his beer before I made my purchase - its that kinda friendly place!
The neighbourhood Mikkeller bar spot in Norrebro; friendly and laidback. Enter the bar by its corner door as the steps lead you down, opening to a wood and light palette coloured room. 40 taps spread across the main bar in the middle of the room, which reaches out either side. Their specialist bottle shop used to be adjoining but now you find their Belgian inspired sour wunderkind Koelschip.
A dimly lit bar full of Belgian breweriana sets the tone for this Belgian penned love letter to all things sour. I lost an afternoon in this place. Take a book and indulge your YOU time.
With multiple branches newly opened in 2016 Ramen is Mikkeller's ode to Japanese ramen noodles. No reservations needed, just rock up and order your ramen. I'd go extra egg....always. Oh and there's good beer on tap and in vending machines to wash down the hot noodles.
BBQ and beer collaboration between 3 Floyds Brewery and Mikkeller combining Texas inspired meat platters alongside Warpigs inventive beers brewed on site. Make sure you add burnt ends to your meaty selection and a big glass of double IPA, why not hey, you're on holiday.
Mikkel's previous science students have done alright for themselves! Brus opened its doors in 2016 right during the beer celebration and it was a stunning conversion. The building houses a deli shop, beer shop, bar, restaurant and brewery space. So essentially everything you could ever want or need. This place has set the bar high and they'll no doubt be ones to watch globally in terms of their beery influence.
Our favourite late night (and all day!) hang out is this underground boozer. A definite parteeee bar with an outstanding beer selection of Danish brews plus US heavies like Hoppin' Frog. Just down the road from the meat packing district and on the way to Kihoskh. Try Dry & Bitter beers - they're closely associated to Fermentoren.
The perfect corner store offering bread, the hippest magazines and fridges of the best beers you've ever seen. Brewers seem to ensure a drop off of their wares during the Copenhagen Beer Week, so it's worth popping in each day to check the newest additions. Ask at the counter to check out the beer cellar......they'll let you leave your bag whilst you head down to view the extra stocked beers downstairs.
A most pleasurable find tucked away at the edge of the historical navy quarter of Nyboder. One of the most recognisable bar like venues we visited with a rock'n'roll leaning. There was a picture of Patti Smith on the ladies and Lemmy on the men's. Friendly bar staff and relaxed vibe with a interesting selection of European beers on draught including a number we hadn't spotted in other bars.
A crazy number of taps +60 featured at this central industrial beer bar. We visited on our first CBC trip in 2013 when it was pretty much brand spanking new and a bit of an oddity for the area its in. An overwhelming choice and array of beers, though the interior is a little sparse!
A friendly neighbourhood beer bar by the river. Focus on Scandi beers, look out for Amager Bryghus beers here. A beautiful sculptured wooden bar and comfy little nooks to sit in and enjoy your beery purchase.
Just around the corner from Mikkeller, Viktoriagade. A specialist beer shop and tasting room that's been around for a number of years, let's say pre-Mikkeller. The former owner was Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso (Mikkel's brother). Moving swiftly on! Here you'll find lots of Scandanavian beers and rarities plus if you time it right, the elusive Cantillon beers.
This unassuming bar just opened whilst we visited, no sign out front, muted grey colours, concrete floors and a high class draught and bottled beer selection. We tried Pipeworks' Ninja v Unicorn cans, Cantillon on draught and big Evil Twn beers (think Jeppe is a partner in this operation). I even spotted Ron Extract of Jester King (though recently announced Ron is leaving JK, he still remains a shareholder) buying one of his own bottles (and Cantillon) to sample during his visit.
A central food hall housing lots of independent food and drink outlets, where you can sit and consume those delicious purchases. Mikkeller have moved their bottle shop into a unit here (from Mikkeller & Friends) and throughout Copenhagen Beer Week follow their social media to find out what daily US rarities are available in store - Dark Lord anyone....?
Out towards the east of the city near Christiania is Paper Island. A waterside warehouse filled with street food trucks and drinks vendors. Grab a Brazialian grilled meat platter, add Belgian style double cooked frites, and finish off with a classic Danish open sandwich (Smørrebrød) to sample the local cuisine too.
*TIP* You can pretty much find your beery hit list over at RATEBEER places.