Beer doesn’t just flow through Copenhagen, it’s an inescapable part of life here. From the rich heritage of Carlsberg and Tuborg, to the numerous craft beer bars and microbreweries popping up in the Danish capital, you can get everything from zesty pale lagers to dark, rich stouts that almost count as meals in themselves. This also means that, in some cases, Copenhagen beer is not as subject to the relatively high prices you expect from other expenses on a Danish holiday, depending on what you order and where you order it. If you’re thinking about heading to the Danish capital and want to learn a little more about the beer culture before you go, we’ve got you covered.
How much is a beer in Copenhagen?
Like most capital cities and cities with a lot of tourists, there are some places in Copenhagen where you will pay an arm and a leg for a beer that shouldn’t be worth more than a finger or two. The most expensive areas are, expectedly, the fancier and more tourist-filled ones, including inside Tivoli and in the Nyhavn district, where you can expect to pay around DKK 70 (EUR 9.40/GBP 8.20) for a pint.
However, if you’re keen on getting the real Danish drinking experience then you need to head to one of the many bodegas in the city. These cheap bars are frequented by locals and sell beer at a much more reasonable price, often as little as DKK 20 (EUR 3/GBP 2.70). Although not as refined as some tourist bars, bodegas usually have a bit more character and atmosphere to them, with local bands and artwork on display as well as plenty of cheap bottles and pints on tap.
What are the best bodegas in Copenhagen?
If you are looking to experience Copenhagen beer like a local, then you should head to the famous Moose Bar, which is one of the oldest pubs in the country and serves up cheap drinks with a friendly atmosphere. Toga is another one that’s steeped in history, and incredibly cosy to boot. Although it is a great place to relax with a mug of beer, you might also end up being drawn into a (friendly) political discussion with the locals, who are both welcoming and opinionated – and always willing to get a drink from a stranger. Tagensborg bodega has a bit more of a contemporary crowd but still serves incredibly cheap, cold beer in a charming little venue. Really though, most of these cheap and cheerful bars are a great place to grab a quick drink, so feel free to wander into any you may pass.
What are the best craft beer bars in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen beer isn’t just mass-produced lager: the city has a thriving microbrewery scene, meaning that there’s never been a better time to want to sample craft beer in Copenhagen.
Mikkeller is now an international name with bars all over the world, but the brewery and craft beer bar started off in Copenhagen and is a necessary item on any beer-lovers itinerary if they’re visiting the city. Fermentoren is another Copenhagen craft beer bar, offering up a rotating selection of 24 different beers on tap, each with a unique flavour profile, so you’re bound to find something you like. They partner closely with brewers Dry & Bitter, and are intensely involved in the entire brewing process.
Warpigs is another brewpub with a great reputation among the locals and international craft community alike, and for good reason: their beers are packed with flavour and are brewed on-site (using the same processes as Mikkeller, who they partner with).
What Copenhagen brewery tours and beer tastings are the best?
Although it might not be the most unique experience, the Carlsberg brewery tour is popular among visitors to Copenhagen. Although there is sometimes renovation work taking place on the historic complex, generally the tour takes you through the old brewery and gives you an overview of the history of the company. At the end, you get a free beer too, which is always a bonus. It’s a short drive or train ride from the city centre, and entrance did cost DKK 95 (EUR 12.80/GBP 11.20) before the latest round of renovations, and a guided tour an additional DKK 50 (EUR 6.50/GBP 5.40).
Ølbaren is well regarded as a beer tasting venue, with over two-dozen different locally brewed beers to choose from. This selection changes quite regularly, so you’ll always be in for a unique experience. The beer tasting isn’t available on Friday and Saturday evenings, but if you are planning a special event you can ask them to curate a tasting based on what flavours you think your group would prefer. A tasting costs DKK 175 (EUR 23.50/GBP 21) per person and includes five different 100ml beers.
If you want to make the tour the centre of a celebration, then head to Brewpub for their Copenhagen brewery tour and dinner offer, where you get four different 100ml beers and an overview of the history of the place. Dinner is a la carte, and the tour and tastings come to DKK 115 (EUR 15.50/GBP 13.60).
Lovers of microbreweries will love Bicycle Beer, one of the smallest craft beer companies in Copenhagen but also one of the best. There’s only three metres between the place their beer is brewed and where it’s sold for consumption, so it’s some of the freshest Copenhagen beer you could find. You can just go and drink there, but tours are offered for groups of six or more. They usually last an hour or so, include a guided tasting of four beers (which beer depends on what’s been brewed) and an explanation of what all the equipment does. This costs DKK 150 per person (EUR 20/GBP 17.50).
Where are the best beer gardens in Copenhagen?
If you’ve made it to the Danish capital in Spring or Summer, you’ll want to enjoy the warm weather alongside your beer. Previously mentioned, Warpigs have a large outdoor space that although lacking in greenery is very much exposed to the sun for most of the day, making it the ideal place to sit and tan with a pint in hand.
If you’re planning on spending all night outside but don’t want to be at the whim of the elements, Brewpub has an absolutely stunning courtyard area that’s also covered, meaning no rain can ruin your fun – although, if you are looking for a tan, they bring the parasols down on sunnier days. There’s also another bar out there, so you don’t have to make the trek inside just for another round.
GRØFTEN in Tivoli is a little bit on the dear side when it comes to how much you’ll be paying, thanks to being right in the heart of Tivoli. However, you aren’t just paying for the location: the food and drink here is of an incredibly high quality, and the restaurant itself is steeped in history. The outdoor seating area is lined with trees and other shrubbery, and is a truly wonderful place to while away a few hours. Plus, if you do get peckish, it’s considered to be one of the best places to try some traditional Danish dishes, so you can have an authentic Scandinavian experience alongside your pint in the sun.