Craft Beer from Denmark
This small neighbour in the north of Germany has only 5.8 million inhabitants, but almost 130 breweries. Doesn't sound like much, but Denmark also has a beer consumption of 62 litres per capita. That is not bad. But Danes especially love creative beer from small breweries.
One of the largest beer companies in the world: Carlsberg
This may at first seem surprising. After all, one of the largest beer companies in the world is based in the Danish capital Copenhagen: Carlsberg. In the meantime the company has become the 4th largest in the world. German brands such as Holsten, Astra and Lübzer also belong to the group. That's not necessarily appealing, but Carlsberg is an important protagonist in global beer history. In 1883, Emil Christian Hansen, the person responsible for the Carlsberg laboratory, developed a method of isolating yeast bacteria and cultivating them in pure-bred form. A revolution for the entire brewing industry. Beer became more durable, cleaner and the danger of so-called "beer sickness" was minimised enormously.
Because Carlsberg was and is such a big player on the world market, it is also an omnipresent brewery in Denmark. For decades, the brewery expanded in small Denmark and became one of the country's largest food producers.
The counter-trend of the small Microbreweries
But as it is, with too much control, there is always a movement that does something differently and fights against it. This is also the case in the Danish beer scene. Nowadays it is fair to say that Denmark is one of the most interesting craft beer markets in Europe. One of the most famous beer brands in Denmark, if not the world, is Mikkeller. The company was founded in 2006 in Copenhagen as Gypsy Brewery (brewed primarily at Brouwerij De Proef in Belgium). There are now three breweries in San Diego, New York and London, and numerous bars around the world and a branch with spontaneously fermented and cask-conditioned beers: Mikkeller Baghaven.
But To Øl is also one of the first breweries to fight the big ones and set a counter-trend. Warpigs Brewpub, Alefarm, Dry&Bitter and Gamma Brewing follow a few years later. In the meantime, Lager and light ales are no longer the only remaining beer styles in Denmark. IPA, Sour and Stouts conquer the market more and more. Likes to be creative, likes to be crazy and likes to be served in beautifully designed bottles and cans. After all, the Scandinavians can do this at least as well as they can brew great beer.