Mikkeller and more: Craft beer bars in Copenhagen

The Danish capital of Copenhagen is one of my favourite cities, mostly down to its fantastic craft beer scene. I’ve visited the city a fair few times now and managed to explore quite a few of its bars and found some firm favourites.

So here’s a full guide to beer in Copenhagen – without a Carlsberg in sight.

Carlsberg Brewery entrance

I don’t like their beer, but the entry to their brewery is pretty impressive

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The beer bars and bottle shops of Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus is Denmark’s second city and its good selection of bars and relatively small size (especially in comparison to Copenhagen) makes it a great place for a beery city break. Most of the craft beer bars in Aarhus are easy to walk between so you can visit quite a few in a short space of time, so here’s a look at some of them – including one that does a happy hour!

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A return visit to Copenhagen

Almost two years since my last visit, I recently made a return trip to Copenhagen. We’d got tickets for Copenhagen Beer Celebration and also decided to stay a few extra days before it to return to some old favourites and check out the new places that had sprung up since our last visit to the Danish capital. Here’s a little guide to the craft beer bars we went to during our five days in Copenhagen.

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Bundobust Manchester to have dedicated Mikkeller tap

Craft beer bar and Indian street food venue Bundobust will have Manchester’s only dedicated tap for Danish brewery Mikkeller when it opens its doors in the city.

Bundobust, which currently has a site in Leeds, has applied for a licensing application to open up a Manchester bar at 59 Piccadilly. The application will go before Manchester City Council’s licensing team on April 5.

Although Bundobust has been quiet on the plans for the new site since it announced it would open in Manchester last year, it has now been revealed that the bar will have its own dedicated Mikkeller tap. Bundobust Leeds also has a tap just for Mikkeller, which has previously been ranked as the world’s third best brewery.

Bundobust Manchester was originally expected to open in spring 2016 but it now says ‘late 2016’ on the venue’s Twitter.

 

Five great beer bars in Reykjavik

We’ve just got back from our second trip to Iceland – it was a multi-destination adventure that involved staying in seven different places across the country with a total of four nights spent in Reykjavik. It may be an expensive city but it’s also a very fun one and has plenty of places to get a decent beer. We visited a fair number of the bars while we were there, but here’s just five of the best places to drink beer in Reykjavik in my humble view.

Mikkeller & Friends Reykjavik
Mikkeller & Friends Reykjavik

I had to start with Mikkeller! Located in an attic on top of a restaurant (keep climbing, it’s not on the ground floor!), it’s a bit hidden away but was popular with both locals and visitors on each occasion we popped in. It’s the fourth Mikkeller bar I’ve visited now and the beer selection didn’t disappoint with the 20 taps dominated by Mikkeller and To Ol beers for the majority of the time we were there. I say majority as they held a Chicago tap takeover the day after our first weekend in Reykjavik and when we returned, there were still some US beers available.

Mikkeller & Friends Reykjavik Mikkeller & Friends Reykjavik

A fairly cosy venue, the main bar is in one room with the seating in another. This is a larger space featuring a wall filled with Mikkeller posters in frames, plenty of seating and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s not cheap but it’s a great place to spend a few hours.

Mikkeller & Friends Reykjavik

Micro Bar
Micro Bar Reykjavik

Micro Bar featured heavily in the post I did on beer in Iceland last year, and as we enjoyed it so much we decided to stay in the hotel which houses it (City Center Hotel) on our return to Reykjavik. It’s operated by brewery Gaedingur who are based in the countryside near Skagafjordur in North Iceland, and as a result their taps are dominated by their own beers but they also feature other Icelandic and international brands.

Micro Bar Reykjavik

They also have one experimental beer on, which was a Berliner Weiss during our stay. Boards of five or ten tasters are on offer if you want to sample the whole range and they also have a varied selection of bottles.

MIcro Bar Reykjavik

**Update November 2015 –
I’ve just found out that Micro Bar has moved to a bigger site in Reykjavik! They’re now located at Vesturgata 2 which is just around the corner from City Center Hotel opposite the Tourist Information centre. We’ll have to make a return visit to Reykjavík to check it out!

Kaldi Bar
Kaldi Bar Reykjavik

Located off one of the main shopping streets of Reykjavik, Kaldi looks deceptively small from the outside but do venture in! Alongside the main bar, there is a cosy snug room at the back and a small terrace out back. It feels rustic and intimate although it can get quite crowded but the beers are excellent and the staff friendly and helpful. Another bonus of Kaldi Bar is that they have a happy hour where a selection of their large beers are available for 700isk (about £3.50).
Kaldi Bar Reykjavik

Skuli
Skuli Craft Beer Bar Reykjavik

As a result of spending so much time in Mikkeller , we only actually had one drink in Skuli but it was a great little bar and the majority of patrons were locals. Most of the beers on keg were from Borg Brugghus but they also have options from Belgian brewers along with the likes of Mikkeller, To Ol and Omnipollo on too. It also has an outdoor seating area – which is very useful as we popped in about 10pm on a Friday evening and it was rammed (hence the lack of pics)! They also do a happy hour.
Skuli Craft Beer Bar Reykjavik

Kex
Kex Bar Reykjavik

When we travel, we generally stick to fairly mid-range accommodation but we decided to go for a night in Kex as it comes very highly rated and looked quite a fun and quirky place to stay. It was my first ever stay in a hostel (we didn’t stay in a dorm, we had a private double room although the bathrooms were shared – I don’t think I’m quite ready to sleep in a room with 14 strangers!) and I was impressed. It’s a huge building (a former biscuit factory) and alongside its accommodation, there is a bar open to all on the first floor. With an industrial theme, the Kex bar fits with its building and has a good atmosphere. On draught they mainly have Einstok but they also have one special on and while we were there it was Omnipollo’s Leon. We only had one in there before heading out for food, but when we returned later on it was bustling.
Kex Bar Reykjavik

Bonus: Vinbudin
Vinbudin Austurstraeti

Only low alcohol booze is available in your standard shop or supermarket, so it’s the off licence you have to head to for anything stronger. Although they have some odd opening times, it’s worth a visit if you can find one. We popped into the one on Austurstraeti where we found a good selection of Icelandic beers along with Mikkeller available. Different shops have different beer on offer as well – for example, we visited one Vinbudin in the north of Iceland that had a lot of Gaedingur so although it’s pricier than the shop at Keflavik Airport, it could be worth a visit for something a bit different to take home.

Wondering what else you can do in Iceland’s capital that doesn’t involve alcohol? See my guide to the ten things you need to do in Reykjavik on my other blog Jollies and Jaunts.

Three beer-filled days in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a lively and fast-paced city and fantastic place to visit for craft beer lovers. Forget Carlsberg and Tuborg, Denmark’s capital has so much to offer beer fans and a diverse selection of pubs and bars. I admit I didn’t know much about Danish beer until our visit but  three days exploring Copenhagen definitely gave me a good education!

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