If you have some interest in beer culture or beer brewing, a visit to the Carlsberg Visitors Centre is absolute recommendable. The Visitors Centre is newly renovated and there are exhibitions about the brewing of beers and the history of the Carlsberg and Tuborg Brewery.
It’s not a guided tour, you just follow the signs and they will lead you through the exhibitions halls, the horse stables, the garages with old beer wagons, and more… The tour takes around 1 hour and ends in a small gift shop with all sorts of different Carlsberg merchandise. From the shop you enter a really nice modern bar where you can taste the products from Carlsberg and Tuborg. Two tickets for beer tasting are included in the entrance fee (70 DKK for adults in 2013), and some of the beers can only be tasted here.
After a visit to the Carlsberg Visitors Centre you could also visit the Carlsberg Museum. It is free and only 5 minutes walk from the Visitors Centre – but please notice that the museum is closed during the weekend and on holidays. The museum was established in 1882 and originally housed the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (read my other tip) before it was moved to Dantes Plads in the centre of Copenhagen. Today the museum consists of two sections: One section about the brewery with many pictures and a large model of the brewery - and one section about the founder of Carlsberg, Carl Jacobsen, and his family. The Carlsberg Museum is a little outdated, but there is free admission so why not spend 15 minutes inside if you are in the area.
If you still want to see more of the Carlsberg Brewery you should take the 5 minutes walk to Ny Carlsberg Vej and have a look at some of the old brewery buildings. Arriving from the Valby side you will first see the Elephant Tower (from 1901) which is the most famous building on the Carlsberg Brewery site. The Tower has four life size elephants as a symbol of loyalty and strength, and the elephants' blankets bear New Carlsberg's swastika trademark. The next gate is the Dipylon Gate (from 1892) which used to house two malting floors and malt was loaded in and out of carriages through tubes in the gate ceiling. On the top there is a bell tower featuring Stephen Sinding’s artwork “The Bell Strikers”.
Carlsberg Elephant is a Carlsberg classic Beer which was launched in 1959.
ELEPHANT BEER IS DESCRIBED AS....."Strong like an elephant in both flavour and alcohol content, light golden amber with a high hop content. Elephant gives a masculine bitter bite to the beer."
Elephant Beer was inspired by the two pairs of life-size granite elephant statues which form part of the main entrance to Carlsberg’s brewery.
The statues were inspired by Bernini’s obelisk-carrying elephant in the Minerva Square in Rome and by the organ facade in Our Saviour's Church.
The Elephant Gate, built in 1901, has become a famous Danish landmark and was a real surprise when I first saw it. I didn't expect to see Elephant statues at a Brewery! The Elephants, a symbol of loyalty and strength, are standing back to back, carrying a small tower on their backs. The elephants' blankets bear New Carlsberg's swastika trademark and the initials of Carl Jacobsen's four surviving children – Theodora, Vagn, Helge and Paula. The craftsmen and architect are commemorated on the inside of the gate. The space above the gate originally served as a water tower and herb silo. What a beautiful sight to see!
For a number of years Carlsberg sponsored the elephants of the Copenhagen Zoo, and was also housing elephants in its stables when they were in transit from abroad to the Zoo!
Carl's Villa is the former private residence of Carl Jacobsen and his family. The original main building was deemed to be unhealthy when the couple lost four children to childhood diseases between 1887 and 1890, and was demolished. A villa was erected in its place.
The building has extensive ornamentation including the swastika, which was registered as the trademark of New Carlsberg in 1881. Carl Jacobsen chose the historic symbol as a result of his interest in Ancient Rome and Greece.
Following Carl Jacobsen’s death in 1914, his descendants lived in the villa up to 1998. The house was since been renovated, and the walls and ceilings have been restored to their original appearance.
What an old Museum! Opened in 1882, it contained Carl Jacobsen's collection of fine arts.
Carl called the collection "Glyptotek" to signify that it was not a museum, but rather a place where they should live in their own beauty.
By 1895, a total of 19 rooms had been constructed for the museum. .
The Lighthouse and the Star Gate were built in 1883 and marked the main entrance to Old Carlsberg Brewery.
When electric lights were introduced in the brewery in 1882, electricity was not widely available in Copenhagen. As the tower had easy access to sufficient power, it came to be used as a Lighthouse.
The Gate is named after the twelve-pointed star which was Old Carlsberg’s original trademark.
The dates inscribed on the pillars commemorate the years 1847 – the first brew, 1867 – when Old Carlsberg burned down, 1870 – the building of the Annex Brewery, and 1883 – the building of the Gate.
You need to keep your eyes peeled when your in the Carlsberg Brewery area, you never know what you will find!
Just take a look at the Winding Chimney. It was built to be beautiful in its own right, and I sure think it is! The Chimney is 56 metres tall and features motifs of Egyptian lotus flowers while, on the plinth, replicas of the Chimeras (Gargoyles) from Notre Dame in Paris look out over the city of Copenhagen!
Walking along Carlsberg road to Carlsberg Brewery, we first came across the double gate or Dipylon.
A very strong looking gate, with two archways that reminded me of horse-shoes. Traffic passes through these arches. This gate was built in 1892 as a malt chamber and a Clock tower. The clock is still keeping time. The arches have a granite cladding and above them there is a diagonal pattern in glazed and red tiles. On one side of the building, a frieze depicts nine persons in decorative tilework. They include Carl Jacobsen, his wife Ottilia, his son and heir Alt as well as some key employees.
All the guides have Carlsberg Brewery as a must see so we gave it a try. Carlsberg was founded in 1847 by Jacob Christian that had chosen Valby Hill because of the quality of the water nearby. What I didn’t know was that the site is no longer produces lager but it house an interesting Information Centre about beer and its production.
The entrance fee is expensive (65DKK) and what you get is a visit to the stables (pic 2) where there are some beautiful horses (you visit them for free) and then stroll through the sculpture garden (pic 3) where also you can walk for free! You can also check the store where they sell many beers of course but also souvenirs related to Carlsberg etc
Next to the store is Bar Jacobsen, a modern place (nothing special but nice) where you can eat something and drink beer (of course).
Ok but why did we have to pay the entrance fee?! The ticket gives you for access to the exhibition but also 2 glasses of beer at Bar Jacobsen.
The exhibition will give you a lot of information about the beer production through the years. There are some interesting timetables through out the rooms and all the signs are very informative, there is also a large room housing thousands of beers actually this collection of unopened beer bottles is the largest of its kind. It was founded by Mr. Leif Sonne who transferred it to Carlsberg in 1993. The collection has only large scale or batch produced beers bottles with a degree of standardization. It was counted in 2006 and reached 16.384 (and won a Guinness World record certificate). As you can see in the picture (pic 4) the bottles are full of dust, it must be hard to clean all these bottles :)
Carlsberg’s new research centre (a few meters away from the main entrance) was inaugurated on 27/9/1976. The centre was created in a new 9000m2 building linked to the existing laboratory building(2,600m2) dating from 1897. 60 laboratories capable of accommodating 100 employees were established. As the Carlsberg Research Center was intended to perfom both applied and basic research within a new research concept the resources were targeted at the development of new methods and projects relating to brewery processes, new products and raw materials.
The Carlsberg Brewery was founded in 1801 by a man called Chirstian... it is named Carlsberg after his son, Carl (Carlsberg = Carl's hill). It is quite a stunningly beautiful building and I wish, I wish, I wish I had taken the tour... hm well, will have to next time I am there"
I believe it is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 - 16:00
The famous Carlsberg was established in 1847 by J.C. Jacobsen. As a curiosity, the name Carlsberg comes from his son Carl and from the hill which the brewery is built on (berg). The museum is quite traditional demonstrating the different processes of brewing, working conditions of old times, expansions of different decades and continuing all the way to the modern face of /Jacobsen as one of the leading brands of beer in the World.
The visitor's center is however really intruiguing place with interactive displays added to the historical information. The center is also visually very attractive! After a tour in the museum you walk through a lovely garden and through stables with horses to the brewery, where you can enjoy two complimentary glasses of beer and if you want, some traditional Danish food (didn't check the price for that). There's also a shop for those must-have souvenirs like beer mats and towels!
Prices are for adults DKK 60 (including 2 beers), young (from 12 up to the age of 17) DKK 40 (including two soft drinks), and kids get in for free. Kids and youngsters have to be accompanied by adults.
One of if not the best known Danish companies around the world is Carlsberg. Founded in 1847 by Brewer J.C.Jacobsen growing from the city of Copenhagen and moving to the outskirts of town to Valby hill. You can now visit the old factory that has been turned into a visitors centre. The production of there main brands has been moved out of town but a house label ”Jacobsen” is still being manufactured in the original buildings.
Charitable to sciences culture and arts
Of what I like to name a healthy disagreement between the founder J.C.Jacobsen and his only son C.Jacobsen. The healthiness of the disagreement was that it was the basis for the creation The Carlsberg Foundation By J.C.Jacobsen whom at anytime should have not less then 51% of the share capital. The foundation is managed by a board of directors consisting of 5 members elected by the royal Danish academy of sciences and letters. Among the academy’s members.
One of the objects for the board is that ”Carlsberg” should be know as brew of beer at ”a high and honourable level” and ”a well respected name”. From the income there is donated a good deal of money to sciences, culture and arts beside the normal tax.
After the tour that will cost you 50 DDK or 35 DDK if your are be on 65 years. You will have the pleasure as a part of the entry ticket to sample two glasses of beer one normal and one of the very good Jacobsen beers.
The Carlsburg brewery is situated a couple of S-Bahn stops out of town in the suburbs. The self-guided tour at 40krs (about 6 euro / dollars) is fair enough for a saunter around a few of the standard displays about brewing you get in any brewery tour. This section is not on a par with, for example, the similar tour at the Guinness brewery in Dublin.
Having said that there are a few highlights : the biggest collection of bottled beers in the world. Now, I have an issue with that as the Bateman's brewery in Lincolnshire claim exactly the same thing. I suspect that Carlsberg actualy has the higher number of bottle, but Batemans has a larger range of different brands. Calsberg must have several hundred bottles that only differ in minor ways by way of the labels stuck on them.
The courtyard area has some impressive sculptures, including a replica of the Little mermaid.
The real stars of the show must however be the heavy the horses. They don't use them for scheduled deliveries anymore, but they still have a full life visiting fairs and events. We unfortunately couldn't 'get up close' as the group had been struck down with a virus at the time, but normally you can.
From talking to a handler, I learnt that they still deliver the occasional crate or two to local bars, and always make a rather romantic journey ever year into the centre of Copenhagen to deliver the first batch of the 'Christmas beer'.
Cheers. skol. Down the Hatch. Bottoms up.
All history about Calsberg and everything about producing beer: very, very interesting place! There were 17.141 different beers the day I was there (see picture).
And also the 2 beers they offer you at the end .... Try different ones and take care if you have not eaten anything before ...
If you are looking national symbols of Denmark, then the Carlsberg elephants must be in the running. These four magnificent carvings form the gate that leads to the main entrance to the Carlsberg brewery. They were completed in 1901 and if you look carefully include the initials of the four surviving sons of the founder Jacobson. They also use the Swastika symbol. The symbol itself is, of course, a very ancient Indian symbol standing for health and prosperity. Its confusion with the ‘crooked cross’ of Nazi Germany led to the company dropping the logo in the 1930’s. It still however seems odd to come across it in the modern day.
It’s easy to miss this gate, as the bus route to the visitors centre and the more direct route from the railway station don’t go past the gate. Make sure you divert !
The Carlsberg Brewery Tour was the highlight of my trip to Copenhagen in August 2007.
For an entrance fee of just 40Kr (approx. 4GBP) you can take the self-guided tour of the brewery and, best of all, enjoy two free beers in the Jacobsen bar at the end of the tour.
A map of the brewery is provided in reception upon purchasing your ticket. Simply follow the arrows around the various exhibitions. Some of the highlights include:
- an area dedicated to Carlsberg's sponsorship of football events. Match highlights play on TV screens and there are framed football shirts bearing the Carlsberg logo (FC Copenhagen, OB Odense and Liverpool);
- a bottle collection featuring thousands of bottles from around the world. These include Carlsberg and Tuborg bottles from countries as diverse as Cyprus, Russia and Laos, as well as novelty bottles (eg Christmas beers) and other worldwide brands brewed by Carlsberg-Tuborg;
- a timeline exhibition detailing the history of the brewery and the company. This includes hundreds of photographs and facts such as the number of bottles sold worldwide each year;
- exhibitions showing the malting, fermentation and bottling processes. These include video clips and lifelike models;
- numerous Carlsberg and Tuborg decorated wooden delivery carts, and stables which house dozens of horses owned by the brewery;
- an outdoor sculpture garden, including an even smaller replica of the Little Mermaid;
- Jacobsen bar: at the end of the tour, choose from a variety of complimentary beers. You can choose one from category A (I opted for the dark, malty Carl’s Ale) and one from category B (I chose the light coloured Jacobsen Saaz Blonde).
There is a souvenir shop where you can buy glasses, t-shirts, beer towels and all manner of other items featuring the Carlsberg logo.
Carlsberg: Probably the Best Brewery Tour in the World!