There’s nothing like it whilst on vacation, and in Denmark, a Danish Beer is a special treat.
On a hot summer’s day, sit out at a streetside cafe, people watching and sipping on a cold one. In the winter, as the nights draw in, pop into a local pub and enjoy a cozy feel amongst locals before your evening meal.
In this article, we will explore all there is to know about famous Danish beers. We’ll also cover some of the best places to try a drink!
- 1 What Is Danish Beer Like?
- 2 How To Order A Beer In Danish
- 3 The Short History of Beers and Breweries of Denmark
- 4 Most Famous Breweries in Denmark Today – Danish Beer Copenhagen
- 5 The Most Popular Types Of Beer In Denmark
- 6 Most Popular Danish Beer Brands
- 7 Are There Any Special Danish Beer Glasses?
- 8 The Law and Legal Drinking Age in Denmark
- 9 Best Danish Beer Commercial
- 10 Best Places to Drink Danish Beers in Copenhagen
- 11 Where To Buy Danish Beers Online
- 12 FAQs about Danish Beers
- 13 Conclusion
What Is Danish Beer Like?
Danish breweries commonly brew pale lagers, although there are a number of microbreweries that focus on darker ales and stouts.
And although Carlsberg is by far the biggest of the breweries in Denmark, there are a lot of smaller companies that focus on craft beers.
How To Order A Beer In Danish
English is spoken widely in Denmark, and in the tourist hotspots and Copenhagen, you’ll have no trouble speaking English to order your beer or even a Danish nonalcoholic beer.
But don’t be shy to try to order in Danish! Beer consumption in Denmark is about 80 liters per person per annum – so it’s completely acceptable to order a cold one even in the morning!
So just how do you say “can I order a beer” in Danish? It's pretty straightforward – “kan jeg få en øl tak”. And don’t forget to learn the word for cheers too! (It’s Skål, by the way, and you pronounce it, so it rhymes with coal).
The Short History of Beers and Breweries of Denmark
Germany and Belgium are not the only European countries with a deeply ingrained passion for beer – Denmark has had a long tradition and culture of brewing their own since the Viking age.
There was a variety of beer, and every town and municipality would have their own brewery.
And even if, in the 20th century, there was the monopoly of beer giants Carlsberg and Royal Unibrew, there were still microbreweries that continued to flourish in the countryside.
Today – There is a so-called “beer revolution” in the country, with microbreweries popping up all over, producing hand-brewed beer in different ranges and processes.
There are a number of them that can be visited on arranged tours (and you can check with local tourist information offices for more information on this).
Some of the most notable ones include:
- The Beer Factory
- and Bøgedal
Most Famous Breweries in Denmark Today – Danish Beer Copenhagen
Carlsberg is by far the holder of the monopoly of beers of Denmark, and even makes a range of alcohol-free beers under the Birell brand.
As a result, Carlsberg is certainly the most famous Danish beer brand on the Danish market and one of the great options for beer from Copenhagen.
Their Copenhagen brewery offers tours as well as tastings, and it is on many visitors' top list of things to do, certainly because it is one of the best breweries in Copenhagen.
Oh, and if you want a slice of history, visit the oldest microbrewery in Copenhagen, Bryggeriet Apollo.
The Most Popular Types Of Beer In Denmark
As mentioned, Danish beer companies offer a range of beer styles, but pale lager pre-dominates in Denmark.
Dark beers, Danish Red Beer, and Danish craft beer are, however, gaining in popularity, and there is something for everyone available, especially in the capital Copenhagen.
Let’s check out a few of the best options for beer tasting in Denmark!
The most common type of beer, it is characteristically very pale with about 4.6% alcohol content. Named after the city in the Czech Republic where it was originally brewed, it has a hoppy taste. Carlsberg offers a pilsner as one of their most famous brews.
A caramel-tasting dark lager which uses pilsner malt. To qualify as a Muenchner Beer, it actually has to be brewed in Munich in specially designated breweries. An Augustiner or a Paulaner is usually a good bet.
It has a higher alcohol content than the classic and the pilsner, golden-colored and sweet. The beer originates in Sweden and has a catchy ad campaign that has made it famous in Denmark. The Tuborgs Gold is one of the popular Danish versions available in the bars of Copenhagen.
Typically has 7-8% alcohol content, it is a bottom-fermented beer usually served in Danish pubs. The Carlsberg Danish royal stout is available countrywide and is full-bodied and thick with a hint of caramel.
The name means “white beer,” but it usually comes in two kinds- the pale and the dark. This traditional Danish beer has a low alcohol content (around 2%) and is made from kilned malt.
The Carlsberg version is reputably good with some traditional Danish white pudding. The KB Hvidtol offered by Carlsberg comes from the Kings Brewery, which used to be the official supplier of the Danish monarchy.
This is a Seasonal beer (usually produced around Christmas) which is typically malty and varies in alcohol content and color.
Where in some other parts of Europe, a mulled wine at a Christmas market is the norm, in Denmark, you’ll want to order yourself a Julebryg!
A pale gold and malty flavor, the Bock type of beer is showcased by Carlsberg in its Danish Elephant Beer. The Elephant was picked as the logo of this beer as it is found on the gates of the brewery.
Most Popular Danish Beer Brands
Of course, you have heard of Carlsberg – it is the dominant brand in the country, and the one most people will think of when they imagine Danish Beer. But what else is going on in the industry?
The Carlsberg Beer Danish Pilsner is by far one of the most known brands and marks of beer in Denmark.
And Carlsberg certainly holds a monopoly – even another well-known brand of Danish beer, Tuborg, has been owned by the giant since 1970!
Combined, Carlsberg Danish Pilsner beers and Tuborgs are the most popular Danish beer brands.
And there are other famous breweries too. You can enjoy, for example, the Danish Beer Mikkeller from its famous brewery.
But when you are in Copenhagen, make sure to seek out local businesses and craft beers that aren’t as famous – you will be surprised just how many there are.
Are There Any Special Danish Beer Glasses?
Keep your eye out for vintage Danish Beer Glasses on Etsy, such as the old-school Pilsner ones from Carlsberg.
You can also buy a range of different-sized traditional beer glasses from 25cl to 40cl, branded with Carlsberg logos online.
The Law and Legal Drinking Age in Denmark
Denmark has a relaxed attitude in some regards to alcohol – let’s uncover some of the rules and regulations around Danish drinking laws:
- Unlike in other countries such as the United Kingdom, it is not illegal to drink in certain public places.
- The attitude towards young people drinking is quite relaxed. Whilst it is illegal to sell alcohol to a minor under 15, there is actually no law to state it is illegal to drink at any age.
- The age you start drinking may depend on your parents. It is not uncommon for younger adolescents to have tried their first beer with their family at the age of 12
- It is, however, illegal to sell liquor to anyone under 17
- Drink driving laws carry heavy penalties for anyone caught drinking with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.5g/l
Best Danish Beer Commercial
It’s not surprising – given that beer is such a popular staple in Denmark – that there are a lot of adverts showcasing the best of Danish beer.
One of the most effective and popular advertising campaigns has been that of Carlsberg, using one of their most famous actors Mads Mikkelsen.
In the mini-series adverts, he runs around Denmark doing Danish things – including riding a big tall Danish bike – and enjoying a beer.
One of our favorites is this one here, known as the Danish Way. Why not check it out to get you in the mood for your trip to Denmark!
Best Places to Drink Danish Beers in Copenhagen
Of course, you can just walk into a pub and order a beer anywhere in Copenhagen and experience Danish hospitality at any time.
But let’s take a look at some of the places where you can taste and learn about Danish beers in more detail.
A Beer tasting Brewery Tour!
What better way to learn about Danish drinking culture than to take a tour of one of the breweries in the area.
Usually, you’ll get a few free samples as you go round. Check out the Carlsberg beer tours offered by the biggest beer giant in Denmark. Group tours on weekdays cost DKK 2500, or DKK 3500 on weekdays.
An organized Beer Tour around town
Looking to sample a more authentic experience around Copenhagen?
Then consider an organized tour where the tour guide picks out a bunch of great places to drink Danish beer.
Check out Beerwalks for such an experience.
Or perhaps you don’t want just beer – in that case, consider a food and drinks combined walking tour where your host will pair Danish Beers (and ever popular Danish wines!) with local delicacies. Tours like this one start from €160 per person).
Craft Beer Tours
Craft beers in Copenhagen are on the rise in popularity. But it can be hard to know where to get a good one.
Plus, we think drinking a craft beer is much more fun if you learn a bit about the Brewery when you sip. Check out this craft beer tour for a flavor.
Where To Buy Danish Beers Online
Danish beers are famous the world over, and you’ll have no problem ordering a Carlsberg no matter where you are.
In addition, those wanting to drink it at home are spoiled for choice online.
FAQs about Danish Beers
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about Danish beer from our readers!
Is Carlsberg beer Danish?
Yes, Carlsberg is a famous and proud Danish beer brand, and is by far the most popular of all Danish beers.
How to say drinking beer is good in Danish?
Drinking beer is GOOD! At drikke øl er godt. Make sure you also learn how to say Cheers in Danish – which is Skål.
Are there any Danish nonalcoholic beers?
Yes. As in many other countries, the nonalcoholic beer movement is growing. Carlsberg makes one called the Carlsberg Alcohol Free beer.
Where to buy Danish Christmas beer?
As soon as Julebryg Danish Christmas beer hits the shops and bars, you can buy it. It usually is released on J Day, which is the formal beginning of the Christmas celebrations in Denmark. Trucks parade through the city of Copenhagen, and if you are lucky enough, you will get handed a freebie!
Danish beer is the best! Whether you drink alcohol or will opt for one of the Danish nonalcoholic beers, you can be sure of a great tasting and authentic experience.
Why not book one of the tours mentioned in this article and then head on over to some of our other resources to plan the rest of your trip?