Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2016

I took a big euro trip last year. I only planned it about 6 weeks in advance. Part of the impetus for the start of the trip was Cantillon Quintessence, followed by CBC the next week in Copenhagen. After minimal research I decided I had to go.

The Venue

Buying a Pink-all sessions ticket was fairly easy. They never sold out, although individual sessions do. The event takes place in this cool old market building that’s near Kødbyen, literally Cod-buying, what was the old fish market or colloquially similar to the resurgence that meat packing districts have had near US urban centers.

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Øksnehallen

As you can see, it’s a fantastic venue that allows an abundance of natural light. Last year the event was full, but not packed. This venue is also in very desirable proximity to Warpigs and Mikkeller Bar Viktoriagade.

One other added thing I enjoyed about this event was the bathroom layout. In addition to the less desirable port-a-pottys, they also have these outdoor urinal walls for the men. There isn’t really anything like it at festivals of any kind in the USA. What it means is, instead of 1 port-a-potty, they have this space with 4 urinals instead. It’s brutally efficient, and is an underrated touch compared to events you’ve been to with 10-20 minute bathroom lines. With this system, there is generally no wait to do your business and get back inside to slug Angry Chair Stouts.

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Scandinavian Efficiency

The Beer

In general, you don’t have to wait more then 4 or 5 people for a pour of anything. Last year some breweries like Hill Farmstead and Three Floyds did develop long, substantial lines. The longest of which was when Dwarven Power Bottom was tapped by Three Floyds. The line probably got at least 60 people deep and no more than 15 minutes and people were fairly good about jumping out of line to get refills from brewery stands along the way.

In general, what I loved most about the CBC is that because there is great beer everywhere, there’s very few lines anywhere. This meant incredible meads from Superstition with no lines. This meant waiting for 1 or 2 people to get Westly. Broken Truck poured for hours. Incredible Omnipollo stouts lasted quite a while, and of course they had their beer soft-serve machines going. Tasty selections from Side Project, Perennial, Bruery, Tired Hands, Buxton, Cloudwater, and a slew of 100 more breweries made it an incredible event, that felt devoid of some of the bullshit I find myself hating about many American beer fests. If you’ve been to Shelton Fest, a lot of the same breweries from there will be present.

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True or False, Omnipollo’s doodles are the best label art going

The Food

There aren’t a ton of food options inside the event. There was a snack table with various packaged snacks, but what you’ll be most drawn to is John’s Hot Dogs. John’s of Copenhagen has the love of the locals in the same vein Hot Dougs does to Chicagoans. The encased meats on their own are fairly standard, but big, meaty dogs. The cool part is last year there were around 20-30 unique toppings you could add yourself, and all of them were made with beer from brewery attendees.

The Approach

The festival has four 4-hour sessions taking place over 2 days. If you intend to take part in all of it, you’re drinking essentially 16 hours out of 34 hours. It’s intense if you want to make the most of it, but incredibly memorable as long as you approach it right. Certainly plenty of water during each session, food as you go, a real meal between sessions, and plenty of sleep between Day 1 and Day 2. Careful about layering on additional beer events and tap takeovers on Friday and Saturday night after the festival. It can be done, but may result in you Facetiming your friends and family while drunkenly making Danish Pizzaburgers at your Airbnb.

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The face of Pizzaburgers.

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