Warpigs, the new barbecue place in Copenhagen

Warpigs brewpub and barbequeLast month Mikkeller and Three Floyds opened Warpigs, a new barbecue place and brewpub in Copenhagen. In the past weeks I have been there a few times, and had the opportunity to eat there once. First visit was after the brewday at Amager Bryghus, and then a couple of times in the Copenhagen Beer Celebration weekend.

I’m no expert on American barbecue, but Warpigs have brought in an experienced BBQ chef in Andrew Hroza who makes it a very different experience from anything I have had before.

Mads and I visited Warpigs at around 5pm on the Copenhagen Beer Celebration Saturday, for an early dinner. At that time it was reasonably easy to get a table indoors, and we waited in line for the food maybe 10 minutes. After the festival closing time, it was insane.

I picked a quarter pound of brisket, a quarter pound of “hot links”, spicy sausages and small sides of potato salad, coleslaw and mac’n’cheese. The slice of absolutely awful, original American wonderbread came free of charge, and was actually quite useful to pair with the very hot sausage.

A tray of delicious meat, good enough sides and a somewhat boring pale ale at Warpigs
A tray of delicious meat, good enough sides and a somewhat boring pale ale at Warpigs

The food is served directly on your grease paper lined tray, and you get about as much service as at McDonald’s. The meal, with a 0.4 liter beer was 280 Danish Kroner or 42 USD. Not exactly cheap, but it’s hard to argue prices with a kitchen that sells out every night, I guess.

The brisket was awesome. Smoked and seasoned to perfection, and deliciously tender. This particular cut doesn’t exist at Danish butchers, so I obviously haven’t had it before. But who doesn’t love a tender piece of beef, smoked for well over 10 hours. The sausage, as mentioned, was really hot, but that was my own choice. It’s good quality sausage, and there’s also a less spicy version.

The potato salad was good, with more potato and less dressing than you usually see in Denmark. Perhaps there was a little too much raw onion in it, at least for my taste and on a beer tasting night. The coleslaw was middle of the road, but definitely fresh and crunchy. The mac’n’cheese is just what it is. soft and pretty tasteless, with no efforts made to produce a gourmet version. I had to try it but will not have it next time.

The beer at Warpigs is a different story. For a recently opened brewpub, I suppose it’s alright, but my hopes were higher for a Mikkeler-Three Floyds collaboration. The pale hoppy beers, that I would expect the most from, given the Three Floyds connection, were just not up to standard, unclean and filled with diacetyl in several cases. I really hope it gets better. And of course also that they will make some more challenging, dry and bitter IPAs instead of the sweet and mild pale ales that are there to please everyone. There is definitely room for improvement, and I’m sure it will get better once the brewers get to know their equipment better.

Whether or not you like the whole concept is probably a matter of taste. The raw, white tiled walls from the old meat market/butchers and the simple long tables and benches give it a raw, no-bullshit feel. The heavy metal music is a little loud if you want to just enjoy your meal and have a quiet conversation, but how could that be any different from these guys?

And the service, well, as I said, it’s like at McDonald’s except they serve beer. But if you can afford it (and you can, at least once!), you must try eating there. Whether you’re a local, a European on a beer trip to Copenhagen, or a homesick American, go there at least once for a meal.

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