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Carlsberg and Nordic Food Lab release high-end beers for top Danish restaurants

Carlsberg’s speciality beer brand Jacobsen and the Nordic Food Lab have collaborated on two cask-conditioned beers designed to be paired with food at some of Denmark’s top restaurants

Brewmaster Morten Ibsen with the two new beers.

One of the beers produced during the project, the Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager, will be launched exclusively at the Michelin-starred Ti Trin Ned (which translates as Ten Steps Down) in Jutland, Denmark.

The Jacobsen Brewhouse, named after the Carlsberg founder, is located in a wing of J.C. Jacobsen’s original Old Carlsberg brewery dating back to 1878. It has been working with researchers from the Nordic Food Lab at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food Science since summer 2013 and has also been assisted in the project by researchers and brewmasters from the Carlsberg Research Laboratory.

The five-year venture has led to the production of two cask-conditioned beers: Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager and Jacobsen Sour Rye.

Morten Ibsen, Jacobsen brewmaster said: “In practice, Nordic Food Lab contributed gastronomic insight and access to unique high-quality Nordic ingredients, while the researchers at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory were responsible for preparing the raw materials and carrying out test brews, and we brewers at Jacobsen took care of the cask-conditioning and racking”.

Both beers have undergone primary fermentation and cellaring in new casks beneath the Jacobsen Brewhouse before a final bottle conditioning period in 37.5cl Champagne bottles.

Brewed in small batches Jacobsen is planning to supply three to five restaurants with its two new beers, but in the future, it is aiming “to offer both cask-conditioned brews to all top Danish restaurants”.

Ibsen added: “The goal was to brew high-end beers from natural ingredients aiming for an ABV of at least 10% to give the beers the best potential for vintage cellaring. Chanterelle Lager, for example, has been sitting in a new mulberry-wood cask to give it a pleasant dryness”.

Michael Bom Frøst, associate professor and director at the Nordic Food Lab, said: “There’s a big difference between making good speciality beer and making eminent beer that has excellent cellaring potential.”

“Our contribution to the project is our unique specialist knowledge of Nordic raw materials and our gastronomic approach to research. With all the science and craft, there are lots of opportunities for creating more fantastic and innovative products in the elite category”.

Both beers were brewed to be at least 10% ABV, in effect removing the need for a use-by date and creating cellaring potential. They have remained unfiltered and have undergone natural carbonation rather than having carbon dioxide added to the finished brew.

Simon Fibiger, vice president of on-trade sales at Carlsberg Denmark said they company is not doing it for the money but rather to develop a top tier in the beer category to emphasise beer’s ability to pair well with food.

“Like the Brewer’s Tap scheme, which every three months offers an innovation from the Jacobsen Brewhouse that is reserved for the restaurant industry, Chanterelle Lager and Sour Rye have been brewed in extremely small batches of around 500 bottles of each, so this isn’t something that will make us money.”

“We’re doing it to develop the top of the speciality beer category, and the Michelin-starred Ti Trin Ned restaurant in Fredericia has been given a batch to experiment with. The aim is to eventually sell the new brews to any Danish restaurant that offers high-quality food and puts the customer at the centre”.

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