I spent 24 hours between Denmark & Sweden as I was moving from my volunteering project in Costa Rica to my current project in Spain. And because I love my readers, I spent most of that 24 hours drinking various beers in the 2 countries. You hear that folks? I took a layover in one foreign country and turned it into a bar crawl between 2 countries via taxi, train, and ferry…just for you! It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. So, today’s post is going to be a bit different than usual…it’ll feature several beers, all of which had no discernible taste from the others. The adventure was the tasty part of the trip…the beers just provided the fuel to keep me going on very little sleep.
- Countries: Denmark & Sweden
- Types: Crappy lagers, mostly pilsners
- ABV: ranging from 4.8% to 5.7%
Royal Økologisk Pilsner
Helsingborgs Lager (craft beer)
The Bottle & Branding
Most of the beers I tasted came in cans since we were day drinking while walking around Copenhagen. The branding on most of them are cheap and basic. In most places this would be fine. However, cheap beer in Denmark & Sweden is not cheap. Think $6-7+ for a pint in most restaurants for these mediocre pilsners and lagers that all taste mostly the same. As a result, I was forced to think financially and with my new friends, purchased tall boys and 6ers of the cheap brews.
Royal Økologisk Pilsnerwas the best looking with its dark green can and bold lettering in off-white. The slim red accent lines and text gave the can a sophisticated look. Dansk Påaskebryg also stood out with its bright green tall-boy can and gold accents, but the font wasn’t very appealing.
The rest of the pack was simple and boring; nothing I’m going to waste your time with.
Oh Denmark…how I wanted to fully enjoy drinking in your beautiful city of Copenhagen. Your buildings are beautiful. The streets are fairly clean. The city is incredibly walkable, vibrant, and bustling without feeling overcrowded. But your beer…your beer was mediocre tasting and waaaaaayyyyyyy too expensive. If I’m paying the equivalent of $7 for a beer, I should be experiencing one of the following:
- A delicious beer that is somewhat complex and highly enjoyable to drink
- An entertainment or sporting event where beer prices are naturally overpriced
- A lap dance from a girl with the stage name Tiffany who is putting herself through law school
I tasted 6 different beers in Denmark and Sweden and the only one that stood out was the Swedish brew. The Helsingborgs Lager craft beer had a slight sweetness to it and was a smoother drink than the others. Sweden 1, Denmark 0.
All of the others lacked any differentiating taste qualities. Yes, you can argue that I was drinking “cheap” beers. But that’s what this blog is about! I’m not going out looking for the most hard-to-find craft beers or specialty brews…I’m writing about what the average traveler will find in the country I’m featuring. I’m also focused on finding decent tasting beers that don’t break the bank for budget travelers. But I digress…none of the beers I tasted were “bad”; they were just mediocre with very little flavor and nothing that stood out. They simply lost points for being so expensive. (Average) Beer Rating Score: 4
The Beer And a Backpack Beer Rating Scale:
10: This stuff is made of unicorn smiles and the best song in the world. There is nothing superior in any galaxy.
9: Did I just become Batman? Because drinking this will LITERALLY make you Batman.
8: When you’re a kid and it’s Christmas morning and you actually get exactly what you want, that’s this beer.
7: I could drink a paycheck’s worth of these beauties and still not get a hangover.
6: It tastes pretty good. I’d buy this beer for home consumption.
5: This is beer. That’s it, it’s just beer.
4: Something isn’t quite right here. Is somebody watching me? Do I have lettuce in my teeth?
3: Awesome, yeah, I wanted to spend the next 12 hours with my face in a toilet reviewing the contents of my stomach.
2: This “beer” is the equivalent peeing your pants while giving an important work presentation and finding out your significant other is sleeping with your best friend…at the same time.
1: Falling into a nest of Bullet Ants would be preferable right now.
0: Kill me. Now.
Day (and night) drinking in Copenhagen and Helsingborg.
I really did have a fun time walking and drinking around these two cities. I just wish it hadn’t put such a dent in my wallet….and the beer tasted better. Special shout out to my friends Grant & Jessie who made my 24-hour layover awesome!
Actually…that’s what these beers are best for: making new friends in a random city/country and having an adventure together. And really, isn’t that what beer is all about? Bringing people together for high fives and good old times.
*Calculated out of 100% based on how bad I think I will feel after a night of drinking only this beer.
25% – fairly low level of regret
None of these beers were particularly bad tasting or heavy on the alcohol content. I drank more than I usually do (which isn’t a lot), and I was still able to drag myself out of bed on less than 6 hours sleep to take an hour-long train ride to tour a castle. The level of regret on these beers has been tested and confirmed…they won’t hurt you too bad. Just make sure to get some chicken-on-a-stick from 7eleven around midnight and you’re good to go!
Disclaimer: Don’t be stupid. Follow all local laws and don’t act like a drunken idiot. Drink responsibly!