I’m a wine drinker myself, but couldn't leave Copenhagen without visiting the Carlsberg Brewery. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the reality was more encompassing than simply strolling among the monster-sized tanks and pumps, fittings and valves. The tour encompasses the history, art, and culture of beer over the centuries. Well worth the entrance fee of about $15 ( when I visited in 2018 but free with the Copenhagen Card) which includes a beer and a small souvenir. For 2019 / early 2020 visits, please see Addendum at end.
I never gave much thought to beer but the tour begins at the Carlsberg’s collection of distinctive beer bottles—22,558 —all unopened which makes it largest collection in the world.
Particularly interesting is the museum section which details the history of beer from prehistoric times. My feminist side was fascinated by the fact that in the Middle Ages, women did the brewing. (It didn’t say who actually drank all the results.)
The stable includes some of the beloved horses (and a few antique beer delivery carts and early trucks.) . The sculpture garden even included a few surprises, such as a Rodin sculpture and a replica of the famous little mermaid on the rock in Copenhagen’s harbor. Carl Jacobsen donated that to Copenhagen in 1913.
The tour ends with the gift of a pin in the shape of the Carlsberg hops symbol and a choice of four beers, ranging from light to ale. I tasted the second strongest but a bit fruity for my taste so went for the light lager. Delicious.
The heat of that day and walking made me thirsty so started guzzling before I realized that the peach for breakfast was not enough to sop up beer. There’s a casual sandwich place in the courtyard but the restaurant upstairs is more relaxing and offers the perfect companion to beer….a Danish pølse (sausage a little like a hot dog served in a grilled open style topped with mustard, and crispy curls of fried onion.) And an order of peanuts… definitely good with beer!
PS: The 'brand store' is a good place to find souvenirs from beer glasses to clothing, jewelry, books and more.
* NOTE: As of this writing, the brewery tour is closed until 2020 for renovations on site. The brand store is still open. Check the Carlsberg site for updates before you go.