Copenhagen

Nørrebro Bryghus: New Menu 2017

A little less than two years ago, when I was still working in Malmö, I had the pleasure of having Logan on the opposite side of the bar I was working at. Logan was visiting from Texas and was staying at the hotel next door. When he was done sightseeing in and around Malmø, I made sure to keep him hydrated. 

Tasting board anno 2017

Tasting board anno 2017

Fast forward almost two years, and Logan is back in Scandinavia, back in Copenhagen (because let's face it, Danes are cooler!), and ready to let me show him the wonders of good danish craft beer. 

I'm tasked with finding a place to eat. As Nørrebro Bryghus recently launched their new menu, it seems like a no-brainer to give it a try. In the basement, brewer, Emil, is having what appears to be his post-work beer(s), although he tries to convince me he's still working. The tanks are getting filled after having a wee rest over New Years. We talk about the successful launch of their new sub-brand Braw and Emil is quick to find a sample of their new Pale Ale - it seems exactly in the same vein as previous outings. Hoppy, crisp and delicious!

Logan arrives and we move upstairs, quickly deciding on the taster menu, consisting of five small servings. We are however surprised to receive a taster glass of the new quadruple from Braw. It doesn't have much going on in the nose, but the flavor is spot on. Sweet, heavy and to the point, just like a good Quadruple should be, but maybe also better suiting for a dessert than an appetizer.

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Before we are presented to our five food offerings, we get some bread with butter - and it brings me right back to Luksus (read more here) as a basic offering that just works - and works even better with the Quadruple (although probably not intentional). 

Then we actually, finally get to our five small servings. Smoked almonds, cod tapioca, tartar, salmon and porter braised pork jowls. 

We both decide to start with the salmon and we both find it to be a bit towards the fishy side, but in a good way. It's soft texture gives a good first impression, but the secret lies with the panko flour and the cress - together they turn it into a whole new serving, that works on all levels. Rich, umami, yet easy enough to not fill me up too fast.

Out of all the beers that was presented to us, finding a good match proved difficult though, most of the regular lineup proved to sweet, and most of the Braw brews proved too bitter.

Moving on to the tartar, which is my first meeting with tartar. I am a Tartar noob no more! None the less, it's apparently nicely paired with Ravnsborg Rød, a Red Ale to the sweeter side. It seems as though I like tartar. It disappeared fast and I blame the truffle purée!

The final "bigger" taster is the pork. It's been braised in beer, and when meat is braised in beer I am fairly certain there's something inexplainable sorcery happening. It's extremely soft! I would've loved it even more as a full dish, served warm, but I guess as a taster menu, this is what you get! Again, none of the beers seems to work for the dish - I would have loved an ESB, or in general something on the softer side. A dubbel could've worked wonders. 

Cod chip and Logan. One flown in directly from Texas. 

Cod chip and Logan. One flown in directly from Texas. 

The last of the five (nuts not included) is the cod chips. It's the weirdest serving on the plate and we both saved it for the end, because we have no idea what to think of it, or what to do with it. It's preferred pairing was the New York Lager, and although decent, we never quite seem to get why most of the "regular" beers seem so sweet. The chip seems mostly like a gimmick. It doesn't taste bad, it just seems very forgettable.

In conclusion, the food and the beers brewed on-site is really good. The pairings need some work and I would prefer some hot dishes next time.  I would - and will - come back to try the beers going under the Braw brand and maybe have a bite to eat if the beers are too good!

An American comes to Europe

When you take a good look at Stone, it's hard to combine that with the words micro brewery. But 'craft' is still deeply ingrained in their DNA. With several outlets in the US, they're the first American brewery to open their own facility overseas. Something like that doesn't go un-noticed. With such a name and brand behind you, there's bound to a grand opening party. And as a participant, I can guarantee they succeeded.

Part of the restaurant.

Part of the restaurant.

This is my second visit to Stone, as I was there only two months ago. Back then there was still a lot left to be done, but everyone pulled through and out of seemingly nothing an enormous beer garden rose. My partner in crime for the opening was Andrew and according to him, the Berlin chapter looks and feels quite a lot like the one in Escondido - in a really good way. Big, open, spacious and playful comes to mind, but organic and friendly shouldn't be left out. This place is massive, even if I tried to not count the outdoor area, which seems to be taken directly from California and planted in Berlin.

Andrew with our first couple of beers.

Andrew with our first couple of beers.

But what makes this so special, is not only the restaurant and beer garden. If not even more important, the brewery. The corner stone (pun intended) is the beer and all of the flagship beers will now be brewed in Berlin, with local, fresh ingredients. And that's important, especially for Berlin!

A city that seems to be in it's infancy when it comes to craft beer. Double IPA's are a rare sight, Imperial Stouts are far between, and craft beer places are in general hard to come by, spread across the city. With a giant production like Stone, the small brewers have got some serious competition on their hands.

One of the out door bars. Notice the Stone Farking W00tstout.

One of the out door bars. Notice the Stone Farking W00tstout.

Previously mention w00tstout posing for the camera

Previously mention w00tstout posing for the camera

I won't go into too much detail about what was present at the opening, mostly because I didn't take notes, but also because that list would be massive. I believe to have heard there was 88 different beers on tap during the opening night, where most was in the main bar located in the restaurant, some were in the library bar and yet some more were located outside at smaller stands. 

Fresh hops.

Fresh hops.

My hope is for Stone to bring their Enjoy By series to Berlin and start putting some much needed focus on freshness. Whether that'll be the case or not, Stone is here to stay and I'll be on the sideline, watching, waiting. Anticipating!

The happiest man at the opening

The happiest man at the opening

On a sidenote, I got to meet Greg (the happiest man at the opening) while he was in Copenhagen only a couple of weeks later. I even got to serve him food at Banksia, before bugging him about various beer related geeky questions at Taphouse.

Stone Brewing, welcome to Berlin and welcome to Copenhagen. 

Introducing the editor

If there's one thing The Editor loves more than beer...

If there's one thing The Editor loves more than beer...

Behind every good writer is a strong and passionate editor. Since English is a second language to me, I need someone to correct all my grammatical mishaps and catch all my typos. Luckily for me, my editor is a native American who edits more books than I read. I initially met her through Untappd when I got befriended by a stranger from Portland, who happened to be her sister. Two years later I call her both editor and wife!

Introducing the author

Although I did consider starting this post with the words "I'm Spider-Man" and then talk about superheroes, I decided it would probably be more fitting to mention why I love to travel in the craft beer community. After starting a beer blog in Danish because I was fed up with the lagers seen in all supermarkets in my country, I have rebuilt most of my life around my hobby.  

I now work full time as a bartender, teaching people the joy of craft beer and getting taught by people that know more than I do (basically the same type of people I spent most of my time off work with). In this community, I have found my closest friends and my trusted companion, editor and wife. I can honestly say, my life would be much different if it wasn't for craft beer. 

I have friends all over the globe because I've either served them at work, met them at a beer tasting with mutual friends or just because we started talking about craft beer at a bar. These people are the reason I've learned so much and they're the reason I want to learn more. 

I've come to the conclusion that I learn better when I write, so it was only natural that I start my newest craft beer chapter with a fitting second blog about the subject. 

The second chapter will be as much about my travels around the world to see new breweries, bars and restaurants as it will be about my journey to becoming a certified cicerone. This place will soon be filled with notes from my studies as I get through them. At the same time, there will probably be some writing about my home town (Copenhagen) and the bars, restaurants and bottle shops around me.

Do I need to warn you that it might get a little nerdy?