With no better reason to plan our travels than for beer, Denmark was our new country for May specifically to attend the 5th year of the Copenhagen Beer Celebration festival with 65 different international brewers sampling well over 100 beers, ciders, meads, sours, and even some wine. It was sort-of a reunion too since there were more than five Florida-based brewers there that we knew and loved. The world is small.
The flight was easy from Stuttgart, though getting to and through the airport in Stuttgart for a morning flight departing before 7 a.m. is nuts since the trains don’t start running until 5 a.m. at our particular stop. We took a car2go to the closest train station in order to catch the S bahn train on time. The airport was absolutely packed from everyone arriving at once. Next time, we will know to plan at least two hours minimum for those early flights. We have never seen the airport so jammed.
Upon arrival to Copenhagen, the train from the airport is only three stops away from the central station, running every 10-20 minutes. Cost is 72 krone (less than $15 for 2 people).
We booked a hotel to be close to the fest, near the old Meatpacking District, and it turned out to be the best location for everything; five minutes walk to the main train station, 15 minutes to shopping, 5-10 minutes to amazing restaurants and craft beer bars in the area… we didn’t use public transit once as we had previously thought we would need too.
The Copenhagen Beer Celebration is two days broken into sessions, and tickets do sell out so we booked a few months in advance. There are two sessions per day. You can purchase a ticket for one session, or all of them. The tickets were pricey though, so one session was perfect for our first time there since we wanted to also spend some time seeing the city too. Next year, maybe we’ll do two sessions, a morning, and an evening to spread out the fest time, and to experience the rotating taps from the morning to evening sessions.
The 2016 CBC beer list:
This fest was not for the casual beer person in comparison to the other beer fests we have been to in countries outside of the U.S. This is the first I have experienced abroad that reminded us of the U.S. craft fests where most everyone was serious, bearded and keeping score on the above beer list. We met a lot of cool people though and will hopefully meet some of them again on our travels soon. It was a really fun time with good people. Not to mention, Cigar City Brewing from Tampa was there amongst so many others that gave us a little taste of home. In September of this year, CBC is actually bringing the fest to Boston too. Visit the CBC Facebook page for the info here.
Boat Canal Tour – Booking in advance online saved us 2 dollars, spending $6 per person. The hour-long cruise is a must on a nice day. The boat was uncovered so bring a hat or sunblock even if it is a little cold. The boat tour gives a good brief overview of the history and layout of the city passing by areas you could not see on foot, like the old military barracks that were built on a manmade island and are now unique houses and an art school. The opera from the water, plus the bridges are amazing photos opps., not to mention of all the boats docked along the water’s edge. It reminded us a little of Amsterdam.
The Little Mermaid – Along the boat tour, we passed this famous bronze statue of the mermaid on the rock. The statue is over 100 years old. Apparently her head and arms have been stolen so much of it is not the original anymore. She was modeled after a ballerina.
Free Walking Tours – There were several daily that met in 2-3 different locations. We took the boat trip this time, next time we will walk. The free walking tours are always our first stop to do in a new city and get a better lay of the land, and the history.
Nyhavn is the most popular picturesque tourist town that is packed with people when the sun comes out. The street is one cafe, bar and restaurant after another and is a good spot to people watch. No shopping as we had initially thought and it is not a big street either, it took us an hour or so to wander around there and back. We did not leave however, without finding our number one reason to go back there – the best hand-made waffle cone ice cream – ever. They press and roll the cone right in front of you. Visit Rajissimo – they have lots of churros and ice cream places too in Copenhagen too which we did not know.
While on the boat tour, we passed the Copenhagen Street Food island called PapirØen. We didn’t get the chance to get over there, but looked so fun to grab a cheap bite there, then sit outside in the lawn chairs by the water.
First note: there is a 7-eleven on literally every corner in Copenhagen. Really strange to see. The food was all great in every place we visited. We did not eat at the 7-eleven.
- Fiskebaren – Must do Fish Bar and Restaurant, worth it for dinner but definitely make a reservation. We were able to sit, but only because we agreed to camp outside in the cold with blankets for our dinner. So happy we did it, but next time we will plan to call ahead for an indoor table.
- Warpigs -BBQ and Craft Beer. (spicy, good size portions).
- Neighborhood – organic unique pizza and house cocktails.
- Granola – cute cafe, breakfast or lunch, plus one of the only places that opens by 9 a.m. for breakfast.
- Kødbyens Mad & Marked – Food truck rally in the Meatpacking District open Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer with up to 70 food stalls.
- Johns Hotdog Deli was at the CBC fest and I couldn’t leave without having a typical Hotdog, loaded up with everything from pickles, sauces and carrots. It was more like a sausage than a hotdog as we know it, and also very hard to eat with all the stuff, but still delish for fest food.
- Fermentoren – great bar, casual atmosphere, lots of selections.
- Mikkeller Bar – There is more than one location, the bar is down a minute from the restaurant. The menu is expensive but of course everything is good. The tastings come in small or full pours too so you can just taste if you want. Grab a seat in or outside as soon as you see one, they fill up fast.
- Taphouse – bigger, more touristy in the shopping area, but also a good selection with no issue finding a seat for a break.