Copenhagen Beer Guide | Denmark
Drinkers flock to Copenhagen in May for the Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen (MBCC) to get their hands on some rare and exceptional beer. Whether they’re attending all four sessions or merely flirting with one, there are some hours that inevitably have to be filled with interim drinks, food or even sober activities.
Here’s a helpful guide to surviving Mikkeller Beer Celebration – oh, and these suggestions are equally as relevant if you’re visiting Copenhagen and in need of a great watering hole or pizza.
Where to Drink
Halmtorvet 29C, 1700 København V, Denmark
Located in-between Øksnehallen, where Mikkeller Beer Celebration is based, and Warpigs, this cosy bar is always teeming. Its rotating tap list make this a beer mecca, where you’ll find 24 beers flowing that aim to appeal to all palates, including some beers brewed exclusively for Fermentoren bars. The shifting menu makes this spot always worth a trip, even if it can get a bit stuffy – but thankfully, crowds tend to spill outside in search of fresh air. The staff are knowledgeable and the vibe is intensely casual, making this a gem in Copenhagen’s meat packing district.
Try: asking the staff what they’re drinking.
Viktoriagade 8, 1655 København V, Denmark
You can’t visit Copenhagen without swinging by a Mikkeller bar, so make time to visit this Vesterbro location. Its décor is intensely stylish, oozing with Scandinavian charm and teetering between modern and traditional. Glossy black tiles adorn the bar area while the seating is classically Danish with minimalist wooden tables and chairs. There’s a lovely spot outside on the street to enjoy your beer, letting visitors take in the quiet neighbourhood surroundings. The bar’s 20 taps will keep you occupied for at least an afternoon and staff are well-versed on everything pouring. This Mikkeller bar is a real find and is so relaxed that you’ll find it hard to move on whether in town for Mikkeller Beer Celebration or any time of the year.
Try: whatever you fancy – there’s loads of choice and you really can’t go wrong.
Flæsketorvet 25, 1711 København V, Denmark
Just a hop and skip away from Øksnehallen, it’s no surprise that Warpigs gets rammed before, in-between and after the morning and afternoon sessions. Beer loving crowds flock here for their extensive tap list that boasts 20 beers and for the authentic Texas barbecue. The bar is a joint venture between American brewery Three Floyds Brewing and Denmark’s Mikkeller, so this culture clash gives Warpigs a fantastic and unique atmosphere. Food comes on trays and is served from the kitchen canteen style. There’s a selection of homemade sauces on every table, including Alabama Creamy BBQ, Texas Spicy BBQ, Kansas City Sweet BBQ and Caroline Sweet Mustard.
Warpigs is a meat-lovers proverbial heaven with succulent ribs, juicy chicken and smoky brisket flying out of the kitchen. All meats are smoked for between 12 and 14 hours, meaning that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more tender anywhere in the city. During Mikkeller Beer Celebration, expect waits of up to 45 minutes – so unless you’re ravenous between sessions, it’s worth stopping by for food when it’s quieter, such as the Sunday following the event.
The beer is ranged with a number of styles represented. There are 6 beers on tap from Warpigs and 14 guest beers. During MBCC, also expect a long wait for drinks.
If you get a sunny day, be sure to grab a spot on the outdoor communal tables to bask in the sun. You’re guaranteed to get cosy with strangers and make some friends, both local and tourists.
Try: the beef brisket with pickles.
Where to Eat
Høkerboderne 9, 1712 København V, Denmark
Only a minute from Warpigs is Mother – an Italian restaurant with some of the best sourdough pizza in Copenhagen. This buzzing spot is perfect for a filling carb-heavy meal, ideal following a day drinking session, and service is prompt and friendly. Diners spill out of the venue, sitting both indoors and outside and the vibe is Danish-casual. Pizza is the most ubiquitous dish here and comes in a variety of traditional and quirky choices – neighbours will be chowing down on a Margherita or maybe the ‘Nick says it’s good’ with mozzarella, cauliflower, green olives, anchovies, capers, chili and pecorino cheese. The Bufala is gorgeous, topped with bursting vine tomatoes mingling with hot and gooey buffalo mozzarella, dressed with basil on a squidgy, warm soughdough base. The ethos here is good, simple food and Mother nails it – even the dessert, a manageable individual portion of creamy tiramisu, is worth leaving room for.
And they have their own in-house beers, the Mother #1 Pilsner and the Mother Classic Lager, both acting as the perfect accompaniment to a pizza.
Try: the tiramisu, even if you think you can’t manage another bite.
Copenhagen Street Food
PapirØen/ The Paper Island, Trangravsvej 14, Warehouse 7/8, 1436 København, Denmark
This is one that will appeal to the foodies: Copenhagen Street Food is a cool warehouse that houses a giant street food market on the water. It’s enormous, packed with almost 40 stalls and bars with culinary delights from a spectrum of cultures – Thai, Korean, Mediterranean, Italian and Mexican were represented on our visit – a fantastic outdoor space, live music and a general buzzing atmosphere. The food selection is of varying quality – some stalls look like something you’d be more likely to find in a local weekend market rather than from a trendy food truck – but we enjoyed some delicious bibimbap from Bulko, a purveyor of modern Korean barbeque.
Seating can be sparse when it’s busy, but we were able to hop on some banquet style communal tables outside. The beer selection is adequate, boasting organic Danish craft beers that were fine to wash down our meal. The ambiance was something out of East London, but as most of the market is indoors, it means that this is a spot to visit come rain or shine. From the meat packing district, it’s a short bus ride on the 9A and a jaunt across the harbour, which offered a scenic tour of another section of the city on the Friday night before our Mikkeller Beer Celebration session.
Try: the duck fat fries at Copper & Wheat. We were told about these incessantly and they’re cut in front of you, then twice-fried in duck fat. The homemade ketchup also comes recommended.
Frederiksborggade 21, 1360 København K, Denmark
Torvehallerne is a street supermarket located in the heart of Copenhagen, with 60 stalls selling fish, meat, fresh foodstuffs and delicious baked goods. Most of the market is indoors, but there are outdoor areas with kiosks dishing out street food. The reason we made a beeline here was for one of these stalls, the highly lauded taqueria, Hija de Sanchez, who make what are often referred to as the best tacos in Europe. Made from authentic Mexican ingredients, the rotating daily menu of three tacos is worth the journey alone. But don’t dawdle, as we only just squeezed in a plate before the market began closing down at 5pm on a Sunday. Don’t miss the Mikkeller bottle shop here either.
Try: any of the daily rotating tacos from Hija de Sanchez. And then try them again.
Where to have Sober Fun
Roskildevej 32, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Because you’ll need to wean yourself off beer eventually, be sure to check out one of Europe’s oldest zoos. Worth putting aside an entire afternoon for, Copenhagen Zoo is a breath-taking space holds over 3,000 animals, including elephants, hippos, polar bears and giraffes. It’s a charming, open space and the pens are very spacious and well-kept. Animals were very active, especially during our visit, where the sun was beaming and many were taking to the water. Their elephant house is deemed one of the best in the world and their Arctic Ring complex allows visitors to walk beneath a polar bear’s water enclosure, an experience that was very thrilling (one whizzed around excited spectators on our visit).
While zoos aren’t for everyone, we enjoyed this day out and got very close to a giraffe, nearly feeding it out of our hands. A visit is a good 3-4 hours and there’s plenty of ice cream, slushies and treats to keep you as sugar-fuelled as the children running about.
Try: the ‘mix your own’ slushie stand if you’ve remotely hungover and need a sugar kick after all the Mikkeller Beer Celebration fun!