Denmark, home of at least two of my favourite Liverpool players (Jan Mølby and Daniel Agger since you ask), home of my friend Astrid and home of possibly the most expensive bottle of beer I have ever purchased. If you have been following Fuggled for a while, you may remember this post, where I bought a bottle of La Granja Stout for the equivalent of $8 when just a few days before, in a different pub, I had paid closer to $20. Hopefully at some future point I will be able to get to the brewpub in Copenhagen for myself and try their beers in situ, until then I give you.....
Name: Kasper Larsen, Beer Ambassador
Brewery: Nørrebro Bryghus
How did you get into brewing as a career?
I'm not a brewer by trade, I do brew, but we've got better brewers than me at Nørrebro though. As for getting into beer, it was a long time coming. I home brewed while studying, plenty of hits and misses with my ambitious roasted rye bread brown as a shining example of a spectacular failure. Some good beers too, obviously. This interest sparked beer ambitions, and I got into the brewpub business via bartending and beer geeking!
What is the most important characteristic of a brewer?
It's not rocket science is it? I guess a sound work ethic, a knack for flavours and a love of the craft would be a nice starting point. And a certain curiousness and willingness to learn new stuff. Looking sharp in a pair of wellies doesn't hurt either!
Before being a professional brewer, did you homebrew? If so, how many of your homebrew recipes have you converted to full scale production?
None of my recipes have been converted completely, although some ideas from the home brewed stuff have found it's way into the beer.
If you did homebrew, do you still?
Nah, not really. Come to think of it, I think I loaned my wonderful two-bucket lauter tun and bent copper chiller to another home brewer. I don't remember who?
What is your favourite beer that you brew?
It varies somewhat. I guess the newest one is always a favourite. I am obviously very proud of our barrel aged stuff although my friend Shaun Hill, now of Hill Farmstead, Vermont should take credit for that. if I was to choose one specific beer I guess the Sauternes barrel trippel would take the cake. It is very special indeed! We've got some new gorgeous beers coming in the same tradition. They will most certainly be favourites too.
If you have worked in other breweries, which other beer did you enjoy brewing, and why?
Of the beers you brew, which is your favourite to drink? To drink?
Hmmm, It depends on the time of day, the company I'm keeping at the time, food I'm eating, the wheather outside? I can always drink one more New York Lager though.
How important is authenticity when making a new beer, in terms of flavour, ingredients and method?
I'm not sure I understand completely? What is a non-authentic beer? If the result is delicious then I'm more than happy!
If you were to do a collaborative beer, which brewery would you most like to work with and why?
We've done many collaborations with the likes of Garret Oliver and Sam Calagione but if I was to choose a Russian River collab would be pretty great. They do the best hoppy beers and the best sours I've ever tried.
Which beer, other than your own, do you wish you had invented?
Purely from a flavour point of view, I would love to have invented the Orval, the Blanche de Hainault, the Köstritzer Schwarz, the Fullers London Porter, the Radeberger Pilsener, the Pliny the Elder and about 500 others. There are very many great beers out there!