Saturday, 30 July 2011

Postcards from the Bryghus

BryghusI didn't spend all of my spare time in Denmark visiting museums, even though I have blogged about going to the Glyptotek, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, and the Rosenborg Castle. No, I also got out to quaff a couple of cool ones fresh from the bryghus! Bryghus in Danish is "brew" (bryg) and "house" (hus), which is literally "brewhouse", but more properly translated as "brewery".

If you are ever in Copenhagen, the Carlsberg Bryghus is a must see, even if you have already been on a brewery tour. This one is different. Oh, the beer part is the same, thankfully, but in this case it is the environment that sets this brewery apart from any other brewery you may have visited.

As you approach the brewery, you can see that the building complex is really something else. Now these are not buildings from the original Carlsberg company. Rather they are from of the Ny Carlsberg (New Carlsberg), a company that Carl set up when he and his father, J.C. Jacobsen, had a very serious falling out. In fact, there were two Carlsberg companies for some time, because J.C. decided that upon his death, the original Carlsberg company would be owned by his Carlsberg Foundation rather than by his son. It wasn't until 1906 that the two Carlsberg companies merged, with Carl at the helm.

Maybe one of the things that distanced father and son was that J.C. was heavily into politics, whereas Carl loved art. You can see clearly how much time, energy and resources Carl directed towards esthetics when building the Ny Carlsberg complex. Here is the famous Elephant Gate that links two buildings in the old brewery.

Bryghus

There are four granite elephants "holding up" this tower. Carl Jacobsen requested Hans Peder Pedersen-Dans to sculpt the the elephants for the base of the tower. Carl named them after his four children: Theodora, Paula, Helge and Vagn.

Bryghus

Bryghus


On the inside of the courtyard, partway up the tower is Ludvig Brandstrup's bronze of Carl Jacobsen and his wife, Ottilia Jacobsen. The statues are placed such that they look out over the Ny Carlsberg complex.

Bryghus


You can see another gate through the Elephant Gate. This second gate is called the "Dipylon" (double gate) at the other end of the "courtyard". The Dipylon has two rounded arches, unlike the single rectangular gateway of the Elephant Gate. The Dipylon was built first, in 1892, and the Elephant Gate came later, in 1901. Both were done by the same architect, Vilhelm Dahlerup.

On one side of the Diplyon is a tile frieze with nine figures. Carl, his wife, and his son are three of the figures, with some of the brewery staff making up the rest.

Bryghus


The style of these gates and surrounding buildings is very eclectic and very refreshing. For example, here is a detail of the iron grating over one of the windows.

Bryghus


Just down from these two gates is a smokestack with its own very interesting design. The bricks were laid in a twisting fashion and the lower part of the stack is decorated with white statues.

Bryghus


Past this smokestack and closer to the visitor centre is an entirely modern-looking building that has a massive amount of white rope tied to the ceiling. I cannot imagine what this is used for. Any guesses?

Bryghus


Closer still to the visitor centre is a small garden, with a replica of the Little Mermaid. Carl Jacobsen donated the original Little Mermaid to the City of Copenhagen and apparently also kept a copy for himself.

Bryghus


In the square of the visitor centre is a small collection of old automobiles that were used by Carlsberg to deliver beer to market. The exhibit gave me a chance to add to my old car portfolio.

Bryghus

Bryghus


While the more mainstream Ford and Chevy are welcome additions to my collection, I really lucked out with the rare (to me) Morris and Bedford trucks.

Bryghus

Bryghus


Just inside the visitor centre square is an exhibit of an even older form of transportation: horses. Just as Budweiser has the Clydesdales, Carlsberg has the Jutlands.

Bryghus


These are massive horses and I can imagine they do a fantastic job at pulling heavy loads.

Bryghus


Another thing that sets this brewery tour apart from others is the "world's largest collection of beer bottles" exhibit. At the moment, there are over 20,000 bottles from all over the world!

Bryghus

Bryghus

Bryghus


Of course there is the traditional brewery equipment to see. It all looks alike to me, so I just concentrated on the shapes, tones and moods as I walked through the brewery.

Bryghus

Bryghus

Bryghus


I rate this as another excellent place to visit if you are ever in Copenhagen.

Here are links to all of my posts from this visit:
Faces of Copenhagen
Copenhagen Postcards
Copenhagen Walkabout - Oddities
Postcards from the Bryghus
Postcards from Louisiana MoMA
A Game of Thrones
Postcards from the Glyptotek

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