Home of Carlsberg: The Art and Science of perfect Beer

Home of Carlsbery Brewery Experience in Copnhagen Denmark Europe Travel Guide

Whether it’s after a busy day travelling, with a good meal at lunch, or at the airport Wetherspoons at 7am, I love a beer. I used to just stick to my favourites, but now I really enjoy trying local beers, and with Europe so close there are so many master breweries for me to explore. And since exploring Dublin’s own Guinness Storehouse back in 2023, I was keen to explore more. Carlsberg is a beer famous around the world, and I have definitely enjoyed more than a few pints on my nights out in London, so there was no way I could miss out on visiting the Home of Carlsberg. They invited me to do a tour of the breweries whilst I was in the city, and gifted me tickets for the tour and tasting.

I had a booking slot for 11am at the Brewery, so bright and early on a sunday morning. It made sense to go then as it would be a bit quieter and more relaxed. I could not have asked for better weather, it was warm, it was sunny, perfect beer garden weather. The sunlight caused the brickwork of the brewery to glow golden like the lager its renowned for. The brewery has to be one of my favourite buildings in Copenhagen, and that’s a tough competition as the city has some stunning architecture. I grabbed my tickets and waited outside the door for my entry time. As the clock struck 11, the doors opened and I took my first steps inside.

Welcome Home

The Home of Carlsberg is the original brewery Carlsberg beer was founded back in 1847. Although it eventually moved out of the city to Valby Hill in search of more space and clean water. Nowadays the original site showcases the history of J.C. Jacobsen and his son Carl, and how they used science and art to master the craft of brewing. 

We were greeted by our guide who gave us a small beer to taste, and some bits of information about our tour. We can walk through at our own pace, there are many spots we can stop and interact, we were given wristbands with QR codes which we could use to play minigames, take photos and save for later. As you explore the signs are coloured depending on their theme, anything on a red sign is about the machinery used in the brewing process. But anything on a Carlsberg green sign is about the brand and legacy.  

J.C and Carl Jacobsen

I started to make my way upstairs and was greeted by J.C. Jacobsen in a short film, he spoke about the early days of Carlsberg. We meet his son, Carl Jacobsen, and their wives. It’s fascinating to explore through their lives, and how their family dynamic built Carlsberg. With J.C. emphasising his strive to “be better” and Carl growing up with a father who was never satisfied. 

Science and art together

Both J.C and Carl Jacobsen had alternating opinions on how to craft the perfect beer, which would eventually cause a rift between the two. J.C believed science would lead them to the perfect beer, whilst Carl thought that the path laid with art. As you continue through the museum, you learn about their history together. How they’re differing opinions created a rift between the two. Their disagreements on how lager should be brewed, eventually led to Carl to leave and form his own company. It took years for them to reconcile and respect the others opinion, however when they did the two businesses merged, creating the Carlsberg we know today.

Carlsberg in Copenhagen

As I explored the factory, you learned about the influence the brewery has had on the population of Copenhagen. Carl Jacobsen had a love for art, and he wanted to share that love with the world. His belief was that art isn’t just for those who can afford it, but for everyone. He made that belief a part of the Carlsberg Foundations core, and to this day they still use the profits from their beer to give art back to the city. As you walk around the city you can see the influence the Home of Carlsberg has had. Many of the biggest landmarks in the city were gifted by Carlsberg, including the Gefion Fountain, the Little Mermaid and the Glyptotek Museum.

Wall-to-wall of bottles

Carlsberg alone have gone through their fair share of designs since its original incarnation. And Carlsberg have gone above and beyond in ensuring the designs are preserved. Not content with their own designs, they have amassed an impressive collection of over 22,000 bottles from around the world. With hundreds of different brands, you can hunt for your favourites amongst the shelves, or digitally using one of the screens.

Home of Carlsbery Brewery Experience in Copnhagen Denmark Europe Travel Guide Football Bottle Collections

What I found coolest in this part was seeing the future of bottled beer too. Carlsberg had on display prototypes for the future too. Inventions such as more eco-friendly glass kegs like the DraughtMaster, or a bottle made of 100% bio-based fibres. You can use your interactive wristband here to design your own beer label. Unfortunately for me “Brad’s Backpack” didn’t fit, so my dream of having my own beer brand had to be put on hold. But if you have a smaller name you can get your custom design. You can then have it printed on a beer later on in the gift shop.

Home of Carlsbery Brewery Experience in Copnhagen Denmark Europe Travel Guide

The Carlsberg Bar

At the end of the tour, I came to the Carlsberg Bar, and its the perfect bar for a brewery. Bars come in all forms, some dark and cosy, some light and bright. This was the latter, and it is exactly what the occasion calls for. I walked in and was given a free beer (courtesy of the tour). I chose a pint of Carlsberg 1883, as that was recommended to me on one of the “Brew your perfect beer” machines earlier in the tour. This copper-coloured liquid is a perfect reconstruction of the original beer. Created after scientists were able to purify the original yeast from a bottle discovered in the cellars of the old brewery. That bottle dated back to 1883, giving the brew its titular title. And drinking one of the original recipe beers, in the Home of Carlsberg itself felt appropriate.

The Carlsberg bar is the perfect summertime bar. It is ordained with old wooden kegs and texturing, just the right amount of greenery and a beautiful cobblestone floor that makes you feel connected to the outdoor stables. Which is a beautiful way to exit a bar on a warm spring day. Even as you enter the bar there is a (littler) Little Mermaid replica at the door. Sitting as an homage to the famous statue that was donated by Carl Jacobsen himself.

Beer Tasting

Of course just because this was the end of the tour, doesn’t necessarily mean it was the end of my tour. I was invited to take part in a beer tasting session. After meeting my group in the courtyard, we made our way down the stairs into the cellars below.

Home of Carlsbery Brewery Experience in Copnhagen Denmark Europe Travel Guide

We would be guided through three different beers by our experts. Today that would be a Stout, an IPA and a Wheat Beer. Our beer experts were amazing, they were fun and engaging, as well as able to answer any questions we threw at them. Being in the Home of Carlsberg cellars really added to the atmosphere. Despite being a bit colder than the modern bar above, the cellars gave it an intimate feel. The tables were made of old beer casks, and it gave a real sense of “you are going to learn all the secrets about beer”. Almost as if we were being inducted into a secret society. 

Each beer was distributed, and we would pour a sample into our glass. No full pints but that was probably for the best as I had a full afternoon planned. With each beer we were excellently guided through, educating us about the brewing process and how the notes and aromas hit our pallet. The Carlsberg Brewing tour may be an optional extra, but it’s not an opportunity to be missed. My favourite of the three beers had to be the Stout.

Home of Carlsberg FAQ’s

What hours can I visit the Home of Carlsberg?

The home of Carlsberg is open every day of the week, from 10am to 8pm.

How do I book tickets to the Home of Carlsberg?

If you would like to visit the Home of Carlsberg yourself, the easiest way is to book using the link with Get Your Guide below. This is an affiliate link, by using it I will receive a commission which helps support the blog.

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