11 Can’t Miss Breweries Coming to Boston for the Copenhagen Beer Celebration
City Hall Plaza becomes home to more than 50 breweries from around the world this weekend during the first-ever Copenhagen Beer Celebration in Boston. International icons like Denmark’s Mikkeller—which has put on five of the festivals in its home city—and Sweden’s Omnipollo will be pouring alongside local breweries like Trillium and Jack’s Abby, and national producers like 18th Street from Indiana, and Cigar City from Tampa, Florida. Samuel Adams is even debuting a new wild ale in collaboration with Mikkeller just for the occasion.
As Mikkeller’s owner, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, has said, “It should be a fairly decent party.”
But unless you went all in and bought VIP passes with unlimited sampling, you’re in a predicament. Tickets for a single session come with 10 tasting tokens, and each brewery’s beers are expected to rotate each session. You can buy more tokens, of course, but why not arrive with a drinking strategy as well?
Below, we’ve highlighted our most anticipated breweries–including a few that rarely, if ever, come through Boston—to help you map out a game plan.
Most breweries are bringing around four beers to represent their offerings, but Bokkereyder decided instead to bring pretty much every beer in its catalog. The lambic-leaning brewery will have full kegs of its pinot noir-aged Schaarbeekse krieken, and three barrel-aged fruit lambics to try. The brewery is also bringing around 20 cellared bottles spanning the past two years, many of which are gueuzes and lambics left to rest in porto and cognac barrels.
Brussels, Belgium. Facebook.
Cellarmaker Brewing Company
The team behind this San Francisco brewery keeps their batches small and limited to the Bay Area, but they’re making an exception to sample some of their experimental beers here. Among those is Imperial Coffee and Cigarettes, an American porter, and an imperial stout called Batch 400. The brewery is also planning to pour two IPAs, the Double Moonage and No Nelson Left Behind.
San Fransisco, California. cellarmakerbrewing.com.
You’d be remiss not to seek out this elusive New England brewery, which RateBeer has named the best brewery in the world twice, and also tops our list of local libations. Unless you visit Armsby Abbey in Worcester, one of the only bars in Massachusetts that taps Hill Farmstead, you’ll rarely find another chance to sample some of Shaun Hill‘s most notable ales, including the Arthur farmhouse saison, Florence Belgian wheat farmhouse, Sumner American pale ale, and Elaborative Four wild ale.
Greensboro, Vermont. hillfarmstead.com.
You’re probably thinking, “Why is a local brewery listed here? I can get their beer anytime I want.” But Jack’s Abby is bringing some unique kegs to the festival. Alongside a batch of triple dry-hopped Calyptra, the brewery’s session IPL, and barrel-aged mole Framinghammer, Jack’s Abby is slated to bring two of its small-batch sour lagers: Melange de Mûres and Foeder #1.
Framingham, Massachusetts. jacksabby.com.
Jester King Brewery
The farmhouse brewery has made a name for itself down South and beyond with spontaneously fermented ales, and has quickly become a must-try beer destination in Texas. At the Copenhagen celebration, keep an eye out for Black Metal, the brewery’s farmhouse imperial stout, and two, low-ABV farmhouse saisons, Le Petit Prince and Snörkel. On the citrusy spectrum, look for the Provenance Lemon & Lime ale.
Austin, Texas. jesterkingbrewery.com.
The festival’s veritable host is bringing along quite a lineup. Featured beers include two high-ABV fruit lambics—the Spontan Quadruple Blueberry and Spontan Quadruple Raspberry—a barrel-aged bière de Champagne, and the Vesterbro Czech-style pilsner. Also keep an eye out for two fully uniformed Scandinavian Airline crew members, who will be pouring a few Mikkeller beers that are typically only available on the airline’s flights, as part of a contest that will fly one beer fan to Denmark.
Copenhagen, Denmark, mikkeller.dk.
Modern Times Beer
This San Diego-based brewery is often praised on the West Coast for their hoppy offerings, but the team is only bringing one of those to the festival (Underworld Dreams). Instead, Boston will get to try two bourbon barrel-aged beers, Monsters’ Park with coffee and Devil’s Teeth, a blend between an old ale and an imperial stout. The brewery will also pour a wild ale called Rampart Junction.
San Diego, California. moderntimesbeer.com.
Beer abounds at this festival, so the addition of a meadery to the lineup is both exciting and refreshing. At this booth, sip the War Honey, a lemon mead dry-hopped with Citra and Simcoe, and the Marion Mead, a fruit mead with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Or, go big with the Ragnarok, a 15 percent ABV mead with wildflower honey and mango nectar.
Prescott, Arizona. superstitionmeadery.com.
3 Floyds Brewing Company
The notorious Dark Lord imperial stout will no doubt be a catch at this year’s celebration—the Indiana brewery hosts its own festival devoted to it every year. After you’ve sipped it for yourself, try a few other beers in the brewery’s catalog, like the Zombie Dust American pale ale (currently flaunting a 100 rating on BeerAdvocate), Permanent Funeral double IPA, and Red Dead Sour. It’s unlikely anything from this renowned brewery will otherwise make it to Boston anytime soon, so don’t miss your chance to try it firsthand.
Munster, Indiana. 3floyds.com.
Tired Hands Brewing Company
The self-described “strange and beautiful” creations of this Pennsylvania brewery have quickly made it an East Coast destination for exceptional beer. For an example, see the MagoTago, a mango IPA brewed with wheat and conditioned with mango purée, and Alien Church, an IPA brewed with oats. Hops aside, save room for Gatherer, an imperial stout, and an oak-conditioned saison named Ourison.
Ardmore, Pennsylvania. tiredhands.com.
The brewpub is not only serving its barbecue at Copenhagen beer, but also pouring its own beer. Warpigs’ barleywine, Sky Burial, and Lazurite American IPA are both made in collaboration with 3 Floyds of Indiana, so save a token for both. After you’ve downed a few, stop by the Warpigs barbecue tent for two slow-smoked sandwiches made in collaboration with Lord Hobo chef Nick Gardner and his team: a smoked beef brisket and a smoked Boston butt, both served with coleslaw, spicy pickles, and barbecue sauce.
Copenhagen, Denmark. warpigs.dk.
Copenhagen Beer and Music Celebration, 21+, September 23-24, City Hall Plaza, Boston, $41.50-$234, additional beer tastings on sale, copenhagenbeerfest.com.