Vesterbro Bryghus (Vesterbro Brewery) in Copenhagen is a locale I’d been hearing about for some time. Having visited now, I think you guys should hear about it too. While I enjoy the odd beer paraphernalians, it’s a killer for the low carb lifestyle so let me introduce you to someone with far more experience in the beer drinking field. He’s been on our travels before, but I’d like to formally introduce you to my partner in crime. Please welcome The Baron….
Hi paraphernalians, here goes. In the spring of 2007, I was walking along the Vesterbrogade in Copenhagen, when something caught my eye. Through an open doorway a row of polished copper beer taps sparkled in the afternoon sun, I stood back and looked up. “Vesterbro Bryghus”, it proclaimed in gold capitals against a rusted steel facade.
Well, I was a bit thirsty come to think of it, and this looked too good to refuse. The place was jumping, with beer and fare being enjoyed on what turned out to be three levels, counting mezzanine and basement. And there, right beside the front door were a pair of huge copper beer fermenting devices. I had no idea what these things were actually called (Kettles I learn later) so it was just as well the two blokes working at it had just finished up for the day and were easily convinced to join me at the bar for a chat. And so began my friendship with Biermeister Georg Lassacher.
For anyone unfamiliar with the Danish Capital, the Vesterbro is easily found. Opposite the famous Tivoli Gardens and just west of the Rådhuspladsen (Town Square), it’s in the heart of the city.
Georg is Austrian, a graduate of the Freising-Wiehe Stephan academy, having studied for 6 years to get to “Engineer” level and another 3 for the “Meister” or Brewmaster level. He’s lived and worked in Denmark for many years having brewed all through Europe. I’m getting a crash-course in the art of beer making as we work our way left-to-right along the taps and Georg adds a tour of the basement where the beer is stored in huge stainless steel barrels.
There are five varieties on tap today; India Pale Ale, Brown and Red Ale, Blond and Amber lager. Excellent in appearance, the ales present various fruity and floral esters while the lagers are clean, with malt and hop personalities delighting the palate. The taste, mouth-feel and overall impression is very good indeed. There is a master at work here! Georg makes an interesting point about serving temperature. Beer is served chilled where I come from, but this can mask flavour. Georg suggests drinking these beers cold but not chilled, and more character will emerge. If getting through pints to taste all 5 is a bit much, take the 5 for Kr. 65 and taste 100ml of each before deciding on your favourite.
Georg mentions he also brews across the road at Faergekroen Bryghus in the Tivoli. I immediately see this as an invitation, and we are shortly on our way. It’s a great little spot by the lake. I’m armed with another Lassacher masterpiece and we settle in to watch the ducks paddle by as the sun sets and the Tivoli gears up for the night. The party-people are streaming through the gates now for live bands and other fun.
Georg has an early start so we finish up at a reasonable hour. As I wander back to my hotel, the sounds of the city fading behind me, I reflect on what a great afternoon it’s been. It’s easy to meet people and make friends too, at the Vesterbro Bryghus, Copenhagen: it’s a place we love….