Consider it an upgrade from their eponymous lager in a green can.
Complain about huge multinational breweries all you want – and there is plenty to complain about – but you don’t get a job brewing at one of these big name companies without knowing what you’re doing. The problem instead is that, thanks to things like market trends and corporate bottom lines, these brewers often get stuck making the mundane. So it’s always interesting when a larger brand gives their brewers more free reign – which is what the Danish-based Carlsberg has done, trying to craft special beers for the local experimental gastronomic dining scene.
After a nearly five year partnership, Carlsberg – best known for its eponymous lager in green cans – and researchers at the Nordic Food Lab have finally unveiled two new beer in their “Jacobsen” series specifically designed to be culinary-friendly. The first offering, Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager, will be debuting at none other than the Michelin-star restaurant Tri Trin Ned in Jutland, Denmark. It will be followed by the second beer in the series, Jacobsen Sour Rye.
Morten Ibsen, Jacobsen brewmaster, spoke about the genesis of the collaboration. “The starting point was a shared curiosity about whether we could brew beers of sufficiently high quality to match Denmark’s elite gastronomy,” he 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.”
Meanwhile, Michael Bom Frøst, associate professor and director for the Nordic Food Lab, explained his team’s role. “Our contribution to the project is our unique specialist knowledge of Nordic raw materials and our gastronomic approach to research,” he said.
As for the beers themselves, Ibsen stated, “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.”
Though the plan is to continue to make them in extremely small batches, the hope is that eventually beers in the series will be offered at any high-end Danish restaurants interested in stocking them. Just make sure when you ask for a Carlsberg they don’t bring you a boring lager in a green can.