Scan Magazine, Issue 108, January 2018

Page 100

Scan Magazine  |  Brewery of the Month  |  Denmark

The award-winning Sort Dessertøl.

Master brewer Elisabeth Gottschalck.

Brewery of the Month, Denmark

The pint-sized brewery that is lager than life When a group of beer enthusiasts set up a microbrewery in Holbæk in 2005, Elisabeth Gottschalck thought that it would be fun to join in a little. A few months later, she became one of Denmark’s only female master brewers and, eventually, the proud inventor of Holbæk Bryghus’ (Holbæk Brewery’s) port-like, awardwinning dessert beers. By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Holbæk Bryghus

“It was actually my husband’s idea that we join this microbrewery venture, and I never meant to get deeply involved,” says Gottschalck, who had built up a career as a biochemist and quality-controller for some of the Danish food industry’s largest players – but the beginning of the beer venture came at a time when she was between jobs. “I had the time to play around with the brewing, and my interest developed quite organically. Eventually, the group asked if I wanted to be the full-time brewer,” she recalls. “I had no previous experience with making beer, but my background as a biochemist was certainly a plus – it helps me to understand the brewing process.” Holbæk Bryghus set up shop in the basement beneath the restaurant Bryghuset No5, with whom they collaborate closely. 100  |  Issue 108  |  January 2018

Part of the restaurant floor is made of glass and works as a ceiling window for the brewery, giving diners a chance to follow the proceedings below as they try out one – or all – of the nine special draught beers the brewery produces for the restaurant. Today, the microbrewery features all the equipment expected of a professional brewery, including four tanks specifically designed to fit into the tiny space. “Though we haven’t had it officially confirmed, we think we’re Denmark’s smallest brewery,” Gottschalck notes. “It’s a lovely, cosy space, but the fumes really hit you during fermentation!” Gottschalck’s and her helpers’ efforts have proven highly successful, resulting in a wide range of beer types and flavours. Holbæk Bryghus has produced everything from summery lagers at five per cent to

the lauded dessert beers, which end up with an extraordinary alcohol percentage of 14 – enough to combat most wines. “I’ve never liked those very barley-heavy sweet beers, so I wanted to try to make something radically different that was sweet and flavourful, but not sickly,” says the brewer. According to critics, the taste is akin to dessert wine or port, and very good indeed: in 2015, Sort Dessertøl won the nationwide Salling Fødevarepris award. It also became the regional product of the year. “I’m very pleased with the results,” Gottschalck concludes. “It’s hard work, but very creative and rewarding when people like the results.”

Web: Facebook: HolbækBryghus

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.