Danish Language Blog

Danish in a Glass of Beer Posted by on Mar 26, 2016 in Culture, Traditions

Påskebryg or ”Easter brew” is a seasonal beer in Denmark (Photo courtesy of mroach at Flickr, CC License.)

Påskebryg or ”Easter brew” is a seasonal beer in Denmark. Notice the words ”kylle kylle” referring to the påskekylling [Easter chicken] (Photo courtesy of mroach at Flickr, CC License.)

Jeg stormed ud og købte øl / ja vintrens gamle stive føl / fór ud på grønne enge… Once you get it, you’ll see that only in Denmark would anyone sing about springtime kærlighed (love) with the words: I rushed out to buy beer / yeah, the old, stiff winter foals / darted out to green fields

Øl (beer) drinking in Denmark goes back to the Viking ages, and southerners are still shocked by the barbarous amounts many Danes are able to bælle i sig (swill)! 🙂 But if you take your time to skåle (touch glasses) with a Dane, you’ll find that they’re not so closed at all. Remember, noone is expecting you to drink anything you don’t like – what matters is hyggen and samværet (being together) that the øl helps to create. You can always ask for a sodavand (mineral water).

Next to LEGO, beer from Carlsberg is probably the most famous Danish export to the world. Another huge bryggeri (brewery) is Tuborg. If you’re a beer lover, Denmark definitively is et godt sted at være (a good place to be). All over the country small mikrobryggerier (micro breweries) are popping up, so there are really many specialøl (special beers) to discover.

Traditionally, Danes have been drinking light – and maybe a bit bitter – bajere (lagers). Now people in Denmark enjoy beers from all over the world, including ales and darker stuff. Maybe that’s why værtshuse (pubs)  often have two varianter of fadøl (draught beer) to choose from – almindelig (normal) and classic, which is sødere (sweeter) and a bit mørkere (darker).

Be on the lookout for seasonal beer! 🙂 The day when the juleøl (Christmas beer) is launched is a major event (”j-dag”) in many cities; om foråret (in spring) you’ll often be asked if you want påskebryg (Easter brew)…

Here’s a little dialogue to get you started:

Turist: Hej, jeg vil gerne bede om to øl. (Hi, I’d like to ask for two beers.)
Tjener (waiter): Fad- eller flaskeøl? (Draught or bottled beer?)
Turist: Fadøl, tak. (Draught, please.)
Tjener: Skal det være almindelig eller classic? (Would you like normal or ”classic” beer?)
Turist: Jeg tager … en almindelig og en classic. (Let’s see… One normal and one ”classic”, please.)
Tjener: Værsgo. Det bliver firs kroner. (Here you are. That’s eighty Kroner, please.)

Turist: Her er dit glas. (Here’s your glass.) Skål!
Dansker (Dane): Skål!

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.