AMONG THE WORLD’S TOP 20
REAL HANDMADE: Chosen from among more than 50,000 beers, Ølfabrikken’s Porter ranks 20th of the best beers in the world, according to ratebeer.com. And from 5,500 breweries, Ølfabrikken is ranked 28th.
When Christian Skovdal Andersen at Ølfabrikken microbrewery says that all their beers are brewed by hand, he means it literally. The water comes directly from the tap. It is pure, hard groundwater which is well suited for Ølfabrikken’s dark, hoppy beer. The ingredients, malt and hops, as well as the various spices that are used, are tipped into the vessel for mashing without any form of automatics. Everything is done manually, all the way to filling the bottles, labelling and packing in boxes.
“From the beginning in 2004, we have aimed to make beers as natural as possible,” says Andersen. “We interfere as little as possible and let the beer develop by itself. For example, we do not pasteurize or filter. No carbon dioxide is added since the secondary fermentation which happens in the bottles or in the barrel creates carbon AMONG THE WORLD’S TOP 20 dioxide naturally. Nor do we add foaming agents, finings, colorants or preservatives.”
Ølfabrikken is one of the few breweries in northern Europe where all beers are fermented without temperature control.
“According to traditional brewing wisdom it should be impossible,” says Christian Skovdal Andersen. “Nonetheless, we do not interfere with the course of nature, although our buildings help by keeping the temperature relatively constant. But I have to admit that on occasions we have tipped away a whole brew because we thought it was not good enough.”
On the way to the USA
Ølfabrikken brews 120,000 litres of beer annually, and for the time being there are no plans to expand.
“120,000 litres is an extremely small part of beer production in Denmark. But rather a little which is good than a lot which is bad. We simply do not want to compromise the quality and taste. These are beers for human beings, made by human beigs.”
The small brewery, which is located in the centre of one of Denmark’s most popular holiday towns, has already been praised by beer enthusiasts all over the world. On the international website ratebeer.com, Ølfabrikken has been rated 28th of 5,500 breweries worldwide. And Ølfabrikken’s Porter is currently ranked 20th of 50,000 beers rated by the site. The high ranking has led to the microbrewery’s first export order: A barrel of Ølfabrikken’s Porter has found its way to connoisseurs in the US, and the brewery is contacted daily by beer enthusiasts wanting to buy.
“That is actually our biggest problem. We cannot brew anything like as much as we can sell,” says Andersen. “But that is how it is, because we stay faithful to our original idea of brewing taste experiences that test the boundaries. It is low technology brewing, and a love of genuinely hand brewed beers.”
This page forms part of the publication 'FOCUS Denmark' as chapter 2 of 24
Version 1. 07-11-2006
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