In the past 10 years or so, the craft beer scene in Denmark has exploded to the point where it is producing some of the world's most exciting beers. Considering there is no one traditional Danish style that is a major influence, the Danes have become masters at incorporating techniques and trends from the American craft beer revolution as well as British, Belgian, and German beer traditions.
New-wave Danish craft breweries such as Mikkeller and To Øl combine technical superiority with a wild imagination that, in turn, lend to creating electrifying extreme beers or updates on the mainstream. Craft beer in Denmark has certainly found itself at the summit of the modern beer movement in Europe, setting standards that others beers of the world are hoping to beat. Lucky us!
Although pale lagers from Carlsberg and Tuborg are widespread, the craft beer brewing scene in Denmark is wildly imaginative, with brewers such as Mikkeller and To Øl making waves with styles ranging from zesty pale ales to imperial stouts and everything in between. In the midst of all this experimentation, some traditional Danish beer styles still remain.
Hvidtøl - Meaning 'white beer', in this case 'white' doesn't refer to the colour of the beer but instead pertains to the beer's ingredients, being brewed with kilned malt rather than smoked malt. Generally under 2% ABV, malty and very sweet, there is also a Christmas variation on the style. Called Nisseøl, this festive take on Hvidtøl is named for the Nisser (gnome-like creatures from Scandinavian folklore), who often appear on the labels.
Julebryg/Juleøl - Another popular Christmas beer style is Julebryg/Juleøl (meaning Christmas brew/beer). Strong, malty and warming, the most popular brand is Tuborg's Julebryg, which is annually released on the first Friday of November or 'J-Day', as it has become known. Although J-Day began as a marketing exercise by Tuborg, it is now a well loved tradition. On this day, celebrating Danes flock to bars wearing blue Santa hats - blue being the colour of the beer's label.