Jacobsen Export 1874 – Historical Carlsberg Beer

The original Export Lager around 1874 was brewed at Carlsberg, but bottled at independent export bottlers Alliance
The original Export Lager around 1874 was brewed at Carlsberg, but bottled at independent export bottlers Alliance

Jacobsen Export 1874 is a brand new beer, meticulously reconstructed from an old recipe in the archives of the Carlsberg Brewery. It’s brewed by Carlsberg’s craft brewery, Jacobsen Brewhouse, to honour the Danish fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen who enjoyed Carlsberg Export Lager in in his day. I was invited to a presentation of the beer for lunch on Wednesday, at the Hans Christian Andersen museum café, Café Fyrtøjet.

Here in Odense we have the annual H.C. Andersen Festivals, a week with 500 cultural events happening in Odense. Carlsberg is a sponsor of this, and therefore the festival asked them if the could brew a special historical beer. The first step to make this happen would be to find a tie between Hans Christian Andersen and Carlsberg. Læs mere Jacobsen Export 1874 – Historical Carlsberg Beer

Nine Places to Drink Czech Lager in Prague

Four wonderful glasses of fresh Jihomestsky Svetly Lezak
Four glasses of fresh Jihomestsky Svetly Lezak

When visiting Prague as a beer tourist, there is a lot to do these days, but don’t forget what they’re best at: The classic Czech lager!. Last weekend, I was in Prague on a short beer trip with four friends. I didn’t have any blog writings planned, but just wanted to see what I felt inspired to write about. The trip ended up as a celebration of the Czech lager styles, so it turned out to be pretty easy.

There is a very lively beer scene in Prague, with new beer bars opening all the time, but as a foreigner, I go there to drink the fresh pilsner that you just can’t get at the same level anywhere else in the world. I’d better apologize in advance, that I will be writing out Czech words simplified in standard lettering, without the correct Czech accents. Læs mere Nine Places to Drink Czech Lager in Prague

Poperinge Hop Museum

The Poperinge Hop Museum
The Poperinge Hop Museum

Poperinge is the center of the Belgian hop growing area, and as such, it’s natural that you would find a hop museum here. Poperinge Hop Museum is an interesting little exhibition in a very exciting building. In the 19th century, hops had to be brought to the communal storage, where they would be weighed and quality checked by the authorities. That is the building that houses the museum today, and that’s a big part of the experience.

Hops can be grown in a broad belt spanning between latitudes 35 and 55 degrees, north or south of the equator, though in Europe, it’s limited to a few small areas. In Belgium, hop growing has diminished to almost nothing compared to a hundred years ago. In 1900, 2200 ha. was used for hops, with more half of it being in the Aalst area,  and most of the rest in Poperinge. In 1980 there were still 800 ha., but today, the figure is just 160 ha. and 98% of it is in Poperinge. Læs mere Poperinge Hop Museum

Brouwerij Roman – Brewing Through Generations

Lode and Carlo Roman in the heart of Brouwerij Roman
Lode and Carlo Roman in the heart of Brouwerij Roman

Brouwerij Roman is the oldest family owned brewery in Belgium, making a wide range of Belgian beer styles as well as the Romy Pils. The brewery in Oudenaarde dates back 1545, and is now in the hands of Lode and Carlo Roman, 14th generation of the brewing family.

The current buildings are from the 1930s and they are an awe-inspiring sight. The huge yard with buildings on all four sides reminded me of a Danish country estate (like Hagenskov), and I suppose with its private quarters, horse stables and grain storage, it isn’t very far from the truth, though further production buildings make the brewery even bigger. Læs mere Brouwerij Roman – Brewing Through Generations

Stokerij de Molenberg – Gouden Carolus Whisky

Tasting Gouden Carolus Tripel, and the whisky that's made from the same base
Tasting Gouden Carolus Tripel, and the whisky that’s made from the same base

Stokerij de Molenberg, which is brewery Het Anker’s whisky distillery, was our first visit on the second day of my trip to Belgium. Malt makes beer and malt makes whisky, so it’s no wonder that many brewers have thought about making whisky. However, the Gouden Carolus brewers, Het Anker, had a special reason to go into distilling.

The brewery in Mechelen dates back to 1471 when nuns brewed beer, but it was taken over by a genever distilling family in 1872. The fifth generation owner of the brewery, Charles Leclef, bought back and renovated the buildings of the long gone Distillery de Molenberg in 2009 and has started whisky production. Læs mere Stokerij de Molenberg – Gouden Carolus Whisky

Belgian Family Brewers – generations of passion

Correct glassware and the Belgian pour are vital parts of Belgian beer culture
Correct glassware and the Belgian pour are vital parts of Belgian beer culture

I have just spent a wonderful long weekend in Belgian Flanders, visiting breweries, drinking great beer and enjoying wonderful beer cuisine. As I begin writing this, on the train from Gent to Brussels, I’m overwhelmed with impressions. The Belgian Family Brewers is an association of breweries with a long history and family ownership, but they are also very different, in size, style and goals. What they have in common is passion. They’re showing passion for their heritage and passion for their beer quality, before passion for empty story telling and bottom line results.

What I’m left with is a newfound respect for the history of some of these breweries. The Belgian beer landscape can be confusing with every brewery seeling their different beers under two, three, four or ten different brand names. Some brands with a long and interesting history, while others are invented/developed or bought up by big international corporations. How do I know which is which? Læs mere Belgian Family Brewers – generations of passion

Hophead? A few words on IPA freshness

Ugly Duck Amarillo Citra IPA bottled four days before the blog was written. IPA doesn't always have to be quite that fresh though, but IPA freshness matters.
Ugly Duck Amarillo Citra IPA bottled four days before the blog was written. IPA doesn’t always have to be quite that fresh though!

If you’re a true hophead and love the smell and taste of a well hopped IPA, you’re better off enjoying it under ideal conditions. Which basically means: As fresh as possible! I wrote this blog Saturday afternoon in Danish, and I thought it was good enough to share with an international audience too.

If one single beer style leads the way for the current global beer revolution, it’s probably the IPA. The India Pale Ale takes it name from a beer in 19th century England, but to be frank, it doesn’t have much more than the name in common.

Læs mere Hophead? A few words on IPA freshness

Book Review: The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer

The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer by Ron PattinsonA new book called The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer presents beer history in a new and very tangible way, through homebrew recipes of historical beers. Home brewing is one of the beer enthusiast’s ultimate joys – not just because you get to enjoy the fruits of your effort, but also because you learn so much about beer. And what better way to learn, than through this book about historical beer for home brewers.

Ron Pattinson has studied historical beer for years, and he has now put together The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer full of old recipes from British breweries, “translated” to modern home brewing. Divided into nine broad beer styles, the book takes us through numerous recipes used between 1800 and 1950. In most cases, they are based on the brewer’s actual brewing log from the brew day. You don’t find a much more authentic recipe on an early 19th century porter, an 1850s India Pale Ale, or mild ale or Burton Ale as they were served at the time of the First World War.. Læs mere Book Review: The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer