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Pub/Bar of the Month September 2017: Taphouse, Copenhagen, Denmark

Taphouse, Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is rapidly becoming a great beer city.

Taphouse CopenhagenDenmark’s capital is not the cheapest destination for a weekend break, but with a thriving craft beer scene now allied to its famed architectural beauty and Baltic seaside setting, it’s well worth saving up for.

The name Carlsberg is stamped through the city like a stick of Danish rock but beer really came alive again here with the emergence of Mikkeller just over ten years ago. Mikkeller’s presence is now evident right across town and it runs a number of bars and restaurants.

Other Danish breweries have benefited from the increased exposure of beer and new bars keep opening. On my recent visit, I toured the northern part of the city centre, finding a down-to-earth venue called the Dispensary in a former chemist’s shop and a spacious brew pub/restaurant called Brus, housed in a former iron foundry.

This followed a similar tour a year ago that took in various Mikkeller establishments to the west of the centre, including the Warpigs – a joint venture with Three Floyds – and an atmospheric, almost grungy, basement bar called Fermentoren.

Tivoli Gardens

But even if you don’t have the energy to break out from the centre, there are more and more places to drink good beer. Very close to the central station, just a step or two away from Tivoli Gardens and in the shadow of the city hall, I hit upon Taphouse, one of the longer-established specialist beer bars.

As I supped a few Danish beers, I began making notes to describe the venue. I soon ran out of words because it’s one of those very simple, dedicated beer bars that are now popping up across the world and are increasingly familiar. The layout is so minimalist, there’s very little to discuss.

Essentially, it’s a stripped-back one-room establishment with a modern, slightly industrial look. The floor is hard, there are exposed ducts on the ceiling and big windows looking on to the street.

The lighting is subtle and the furnishings elementary – simple, long tables and benches, as well as a number of stools. Music is piped, but largely unobtrusive.

Pared Back

Everything here has been pared back to put the focus on the bar and its three electronic screens. These reveal which beers currently occupy the 61 taps – yes, 61. Such a vast array is always bemusing but there is plenty of information on the displays to help you make a choice, including ABVs, nationalities and colour coding.

The staff are very helpful, too. They can offer samples and, if there are two or more of you, you can also book a tutored tasting of five beers.

Taphouse CopenhagenThe names on the screen read like an international Who’s Who of celebrated breweries.

On my visit, I found beers from Rodenbach, Stone, De Dolle, Schlenkerla, Flying Dog, Brewfist, St Bernadus, To Øl and Jopen, for instance, alongside local beers from Amager, Beer Here and Gamma, which meant quite a few minutes’ deliberation each time I ordered a drink.

Apart from the impressive number of beers, structurally and conceptually Taphouse differs little from many other fine beer bars around the world, so it’s tempting to downplay its attractions. But we’re becoming a little blasé.

Only a few years ago, it would be almost impossible to find a place like this anywhere, let alone right in the heart of a tourist city like Copenhagen.

We really are spoiled these days.

Lavendelstraede 15, 1462 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Opening Hours: 3pm–2am; 12 noon–3am Friday & Saturday; 12 noon-midnight Sunday

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