Mrs RM had had enough after an hour on the Netto boat from Nyhavn being told to duck under successively lower bridges.
But I insisted we get full value from our Copenhagen Cards and dragged the family round the Kunsthal Charlottenborg for the obligatory modern art. Alongside the Hitler Cats, there’s the rather more pleasing “Lifejackets in a window” piece.
As Mrs RM set off for the comfort of an actual Netto beer, I set off for Norrebro on my big craft bar tour, where I hoped to bump into successful GBG completist Pubmeister for the second time in as many months.
Accompanying me was youngest son Matthew, either through boredom, for blogging tips, or to meet the man who’d been to more pubs than his Dad. For some inexplicable reason, he’s got it into his head that pub bloggers are a bit weird. Eccentrically dressed, but perfectly harmless, I assured him.
Life Lesson No.1 Matt, don’t attempt to keep up with your Dad when he’s walking to the pub. And don’t expect him to make what looks like a straightforward 40 minute stomp from Charlottenborg to Mikkeller without a couple of planned detours (read:get lost) on the way.
Weaving past castles, through royal parks and getting lost near Hans Christian Andersen’s grave gave me the sense of a lively but oddly modern city.
I’d had a few recommendations for Norrebro, Copenhagen’s craft central, its Heaton Chapel or Dulwich if you like. But, as always, Duncan had the list.
Whether he’s done the full list, you’ll have to read his blog to find out. I had a vague plan to take a compromising photo of him in one of those bars. Before our rendezvous point, I had to give a Matt a rest after we finally got out of Norrebro cemetery.
Most of the craft is close to the cemetery. Read what you like into that.
With its ceramics and exposed lightbulbs Kølsters Tolv Haner will look familiar to anyone who’s been to Bethnal Green or Friedrichshain, though the prices are distinctly East London. £6.50 for 40cl of a tasty but forgettable homebrew Pale.
As with almost everywhere in Norrebro, it was packed with young professionals on a Thursday night, though lacking in pretension and apparently possessing a Technics SL-1210 record player, which is all that matters.
Duncan and friends (a good name for a beer bar) had settled down for the evening in similarly sounding Koelschip, which seemed a very un-Pubmeister thing to do.
This was a place you really wanted to hole up for the night though. Dark wood, proper seating, candlelit room, tight and interesting beer range seemingly centred on lambics. More an Elm Tree than a Pint Shop, in Cambridge terms.
Duncan and Co. had settled into conversation with a couple from San Diego who generously tolerated my intrusion and chatted beer and blogs and Arnie for an hour. As you can see, the table was a little chaotic.
It was wonderful, and Matthew observed that “pub people weren’t all axe murderers“; he’s an observant lad. I hope he’s right; I haven’t met the Scotch Dutchman yet.
We had Koelschip to ourselves, which seemed odd until you walked through the connecting door to a slightly better known bar,
Yes, the 40 tap orgy that is Mikkeller & Friends, anathema to a one pump man like myself, but somehow beautiful. I like the fact they own a Belgian beer bar with a completely different style through an adjoining door.
Please don’t ask me what I had, it wasn’t that sort of night. I don’t think I had the 12.1% Beer Geek Cocoa Shake. Not a pint, anyway. Frankly, some of the beers tried too hard to be extreme. But you have to do Mikkeller once; just remember not to take a credit card.
Five points if you can identify this fruity gem.
The hotel near our hostel looked very nice that night.