Conveniently located just off Sankt Hans Torv, Nørrebro Bryghus opened its doors to the public in 2003 and has brewed around 28 beers since. It is a gem of a place: a blend of a brewery, restaurant, and a bar. As the name suggests, it is a place revolving around and completely devoted to beer, a brewery which makes, serves, and sells it. It is impossible, therefore, to talk about it without constantly mentioning the beverage that is infused into the very nature of this place.
“For every dish in the world there is a beer that matches it,” claims the website of Nørrebro Bryghus, and it is clearly a motto that they live by and have successfully implemented in their kitchen. Beer is a key ingredient in many of their dishes: starters, mains, and desserts (go figure), as well as a dish in itself (as assured by the waitress about a particularly dark and strongly flavoured one). If chosen with a bit of knowledge or with the help of the staff, who know their way around various types of beers, it enhances and enriches the dining experience.
The locale consists of three parts: the brewery, the bar and the restaurant. All is lit by a dim, orange glow. The restaurant itself is situated on the upper floor, so that it gives the guests a view of the barrels, tanks and boilers, where the beer is prepared and fermented. It enables them close contact with the whole process of making beer, which perhaps serves the cunning purpose of impressing the patrons and allowing them to understand and enjoy the food even more.
Nørrebro Bryghus claims an allegiance to the traditional Nordic kitchen (albeit refined, and by no means conventional). They offer lunches and dinners. The star of the evening show is a five-course menu that the chef recommends. However, apparently very few people finish off all their beers that come with the food. So, if you do not want to overindulge yourself, the most optimal choice would be to go for the ‘Early Dinner’ (three-course) menu. Be aware, though, that the table must be vacated by 19:30.
Nevertheless, it is really worth it. The starters are light, delicious, and intriguing – I got to sample a Brandade of cod with boiled beet roots and capers and a terrine of winter vegetables served with pickles. They looked and tasted incredible.
The mains are much more interesting. They include fish, steak and pork options, and a vegetarian choice is also available. The currently available main within the five-course meal is a pork side (stewed for eight hours in an oven at 90°C) served on a bed of roasted potatoes with a side of small onions braised in (what else, but) a New York Lager. It’s a seemingly uncomplicated, but mouth-watering dish that demands the full attention of our taste buds.
After that, an obligatory cheese plate is presented, served with “sweet and crunchy goodies” (a quote from the menu, but it is very accurate). The coup de grâce, just to finish everything off with flair and conquer the defences of any person with a sweet-tooth, was the dessert: winter apples poached in Little Korkny Ale (well, there you have it) served with almond tart and apple crème. Heavenly! As I mentioned before, every dish here can be accompanied by a glass of beer especially selected for this particular plate. The starters get a light, unassuming, blonde beer and the further into the meal we dive, the darker and more intense the beers get.
Nørrebro Bryghus is perfectly suited for a great night out with friends, your better half or a company dinner. And if you are lucky, you will get to listen to one of the free jazz concerts they host as a part of the ongoing Winter Jazz Festival. They perform downstairs, in the bar section of the venue.
All in all, it was a fantastic dining experience that I recommend to anyone who wants to enjoy a taste of traditional Nordic food with a beer-inspired twist.
Ryesgade 3, Cph N; 3530 0530
Kitchen open: Mon-Thu 11:30-15:00 & 17:30-22:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-15:00 & 17:30-22:30, Sun closed
Top Dish: Side of Pork
Price Range: 3-course beer menu 350kr, 5-course beer menu 600kr
Without beer 325-398 kr