Vinstue 90: Where Carlsberg beer (improbably) comes to life...

I dislike Carlsberg beer. My reasons are legitimate. There are plenty of beers - both Danish and non-Danish, that frankly have a lot more (and a lot better) taste. Until a few years ago, Carlsberg played every trick in the book in order to choke the beer market in Denmark, which created a pretty dire state of affairs in the shops and cafes across the country. Carlsberg is still pretty good at it, but the jig has now been up for a few years since the door swung open to a wider selection of beers. In particular, thanks to micro-breweries around the country, it seems there is no going back. Supermarkets, kiosks, restaurants and cafes around the city are now stocked with a remarkable selection of beer - many of which didn't even exist a few short years back. Which means that Carlsberg is fairly easily avoided these days.

But the other day, I had an experience drinking a
Carlsberg beer that was frankly and utterly novel. That is, I enjoyed it. I mean deeply, truly and sincerely enjoyed it. But allow me to explain, for though this was seemingly a normal Carlsberg, it was in fact not quite a normal Carlsberg.

Rather, it was a 'slow beer', poured at
Vinstue 90 on Gamel Kongvej, apparently the only place in Copenhagen that actually knows how to serve a proper Fadøl (draft beer). Little did I realise there was actually an art to pouring a Carlsberg.

I should also add that while
Vinstue 90 looks at first glance like a typical bodega, smells at first smell like a typical bodega, and serves a lot of Carlsberg just like a typical bodega, it is in fact not at all a typical bodega. On second glance, you realise the crowd is not that of a typical bodega, nor is the service. And the atmosphere is pretty good, as well. Let's call it a 'chatty' kind of place.

Vinstue 90, it takes 15 minutes to pour a single draft beer. Yes, you read that right: 15 minutes! This is exactly the same sort of Carlsberg pilsner served at countless other establishments around the city. These is only one difference - and that is in the pouring.

First, it's poured with a lot of foam that is allowed to gently and slowly settle, before the glass is further filled and again allowed to settle. It's not unlike the way a properly served
Guiness is poured, in fact. That's indeed why the sign outside the bar proclaims 'slow beer'.

And the result is truly remarkable. One ends up with a
Carlsberg that is smooth and full of taste. In a blind taste test, I would never have guessed it was a Carlsberg I was being served. The normal sharp bubbly bitterness that (at least in my opinion) makes Carlsberg so unbearable after more than a couple bottles (and sometimes only a couple sips) is entirely absent. It's a remarkable transformation.

And to prove that it wasn't just a quirk of the taste buds on this particular evening, to end the night we ordered a normal bottle of
Carlsberg - rather than the on tap version. And there it was again - that characteristic bitter and essentially unpalatable Carlsberg taste. We left the bottle unfinished. But I will soon return to Vinstue 90 - for another slow beer or two.

1 Response to "Vinstue 90: Where Carlsberg beer (improbably) comes to life..."

  1. Fuzzy says:

    Wow, fascinating to read, actually!

    I work at Øl Bar, and it always makes me feel extremely paranoid when our beers are foamy and slow to pour. Somehow I always fear people will lose their patience, so I end up scraping off most of the foam and trying again.

    Funny old world!

Powered by Blogger