There has been a dramatic increase in the number of microbreweries that have opened in Denmark over the past three years, making Tuborg and Carlsberg not the only choices anymore, as we experienced at Ølfestival 2006.
Jeanette Nielsen at Ĝlfestival 2006
As we traveled throughout the Danish countryside in May 2006 from Odense to Millinge to Århaus and to Copenhagen, we noticed that in each of the cities that we visited, they really promoted drinking their own special beers and local microbreweries. The importance of beer to Denmark became even more apparent to us when we attended Ølfestival 2006, an annual 3-day beer festival in Copenhagen, held this year from May 19-21, at Valby Hallen, where Danish and international producers and importers showcase their products. Distributors, retailers and consumers gathered to taste the latest products which included small barrel to large case production beers, ales, stouts, pilsners, lagers and ciders from over 80 distilleries from Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, Spain, the United States and more. The widely attended event provided the opportunity for visitors to sample new-to-market products as well as drink old favorites on tap as well as in bottles.
Kristian Moelhave, Jesper Nielsen - dry ice sorbet
Eager to prove that beer is now not only for drinking, distillers distributed samples of homemade ice cream and sorbet, and even dark and milk Belgian chocolates that were filled with a beer cream, hey, don't knock it until you try it. Kim H. Frederickson of Bosteels aptly said, "If you can make a chocolate stout, why can't you make a stout chocolate." Indeed, beer or stout and chocolate, although certainly an unusual pairing, was actually quite good. As for the ice cream, our favorite was a chocolate stout ice cream with chocolate pieces, and was made using 1-liter of chocolate stout, 1-liter of cream, lots of sugar, small chocolates pieces, and frozen with dry ice; we may just have to try creating this delectable creamy recipe ourselves sometime.
It was also interesting doing some comparative research of the different ciders made in Denmark and England. Our tasty research found that in Denmark they use a mix of culinary and baking apples to make their cider, which provides for a sweeter crisp apple taste, while in England they use a small apple that provides for a more draught like flavor; two distinctly different styles of making cider, to appeal to diverse palates, as well as how and when to drink the individual ciders.
The new emphasis in Denmark is that like wine, there is a beer for every course of a meal, beginning with having a lighter beer as an aperitif, followed by a heavier beer with the main course, and ending with a sweet "dessert" beer. On that note, we tried a beer liqueur (Bier Likeur) that had a light sweetness and definitely did not taste like beer that would work beautifully to accompany a dessert. With all the discussion about food and beer pairings, will restaurants soon have a Beer Sommelier? Perhaps.
Read our articles on Denmark in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, and Music Scene sections.
For additional information on Denmark please contact VisitDenmark at www.visitdenmark.com and Wonderful Copenhagen ® at www.visitcopenhagen.com. For SAS Scandinavian Airlines information, please contact them at www.sas.se. For information on DSB rail service, please contact them at www.dsb.dk.
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