Danish Language Blog

A visit to an island brewer Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

IMG_0053All across Denmark bryggere (brewers) are busy catering to the Danes’ notorious love of øl (beer). I went to the small Samsø Bryghus to talk to one of them.

Who’re you and where are we?
Jeg hedder Stinne. Vi er på Samsø. Jeg er 52 år, gift og har fem børn. (I’m Stinne. We’re on the island of Samsø. I’m 52 years old, married, with five children.) Samsø Bryghus is a café, a brewery, a shop and an økologisk landbrug (biodynamic farm).

How’s your typical arbejdsdag (working day)?
This time of the year, it starts klokken seks om morgenen (6 a.m.). I prepare food for my husband who spends the day working in our field. I feed [the animals] and then I find grønsager (vegetables) for the café and shop. Then I make sure there’s food before the kunder (customers) arrive. The shop opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. and I have to attend to the customers and keep preparing food. Then we start cleaning and getting ready for the next day, before we’re finally finished ved nitiden (around 9 PM).

What’s the best thing about your job?
Meeting a lot of people, mostly glade mennesker (happy people). It’s also nice to be able to be your own boss…

…and the worst thing?
The days are very long. Since we’re only two people, we’re always here. It’s hard to find time for the family, unless they come to join us.


(Both photos by the blogger.)

Who are your primary customers?
Turister, then local people, and lastly some of the other forretninger (stores).

Could you briefly describe how to brew beer?
You’ve got some malt. Most often, that’s germinated byg (barley) that’s been roasted in various ways. You crush that malt and pour hot water on it to extract the smag (taste) and the sugar. Then you pour everything into another kar (vat) in order to boil it with some humle (hop). You cool the brew down, before pouring it into a tønde (barrel), where it is allowed to ferment for a month. Finally, you add a bit of sugar, bottle the beer, close flaskerne (the bottles), and store them away for half a year. Then they’re ready.

How many kinds of beer have you got?
We make 16 to 17 different kinds of beer a year, including seasonal beers such as juleøl (Xmas beer) and påskeøl (Easter beer) and høstbryg (harvest brew).

What’s your yndlingsøl (favourite beer)?
I think it’s a classic with hyldeblomst (elderflower).

How is it to run a business on such a small place as Samsø?
For people like us, who sell a locally produced article, it’s a huge advantage. People come here to buy a speciality that’s been made on the very place where they’re på ferie (on holiday)! This of course also means that you have to be ready to work when the tourists are here – which is when everybody else is enjoying their vacation!

Anything you’d like to tell the readers?
They’ve got to come to Samsø! 🙂

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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.