New cask-conditioned Jacobsen beers – developed in new gastro collaboration with Nordic Food Lab

The ambition is to establish an exclusive series of eminent cask-conditioned Jacobsen beers for Danish restaurants. The first high-end beer is now available at one of Denmark’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

The aim of the project is to develop innovative beers by experimenting with new raw materials, methods and sensory profiles that can increase the relevance of beer for today’s experimental gastronomy on the Danish restaurant scene. Since summer 2013, the Jacobsen Brewhouse has been working with researchers from Nordic Food Lab at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food Science, as well as a number of researchers and brewmasters from the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, to produce the innovative cask-conditioned beers Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager and Jacobsen Sour Rye.

“The starting point was a shared curiosity about whether we could brew beers of sufficiently high quality to match Denmark’s elite gastronomy. We succeeded,” says Morten Ibsen, Jacobsen Brewmaster. “In practice, Nordic Food Lab contributed gastronomic insight and access to unique high-quality Nordic ingredients, while the researchers at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory were responsible for preparing the raw materials and carrying out test brews, and we brewers at Jacobsen took care of the cask-conditioning and racking.”

Both Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager and Jacobsen Sour Rye have undergone primary fermentation, cellaring in new casks made of various types of wood beneath the Jacobsen Brewhouse, which dates back to the establishment of Carlsberg in 1847, and a final bottle conditioning in 37.5 cl champagne bottles.

“The goal was to brew high-end beers from natural ingredients aiming for an ABV of at least 10% to give the beers the best potential for vintage cellaring. Chanterelle Lager, for example, has been sitting in a new mulberry-wood cask to give it a pleasant dryness,” says Morten Ibsen.

The gastro collaboration between the brewers and the researchers at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory and Nordic Food Lab has brought an in-depth understanding of new possibilities for fermenting raw materials to produce beer, other beverages and foods.

“There’s a big difference between making good speciality beer and making eminent beer that has excellent cellaring potential,” says Michael Bom Frøst, associate professor and director, Nordic Food Lab. “Our contribution to the project is our unique specialist knowledge of Nordic raw materials and our gastronomic approach to research. With all the science and craft, there are lots of opportunities for creating more fantastic and innovative products in the elite category.”

Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager will be launched exclusively at the Michelin-starred Ti Trin Ned ("Ten Steps Down") restaurant in Fredericia in Jutland, Denmark.

“It’s been an exciting project helping with the launch,” says Mette Gassner, restaurant manager at Ti Trin Ned and member of the National Culinary Team of Denmark. “Creating a dish that harmonises with and supports the special beer’s character and taste notes has been a big challenge. Without compromising on our personal cuisine and seasonal ingredients, we’ve adapted and refined the starter, which is now part of the “Our World” menu, and every evening we closely monitor our guests’ reactions. It’s a fun, unusual and interesting surprise when Chanterelle Lager is served.”

The Jacobsen Brewhouse is currently in a position to deliver the two new brews to three to five restaurants, but longer term the ambition is to be able to offer both cask-conditioned brews to all top Danish restaurants.

“Like the Brewer’s Tap scheme, which every three months offers an innovation from the Jacobsen Brewhouse that is reserved for the restaurant industry, Chanterelle Lager and Sour Rye have been brewed in extremely small batches of around 500 bottles of each, so this isn’t something that will make us money,” says Simon Fibiger, Vice President Sales, On Trade, Carlsberg Danmark. “We’re doing it to develop the top of the speciality beer category, and the Michelin-starred Ti Trin Ned restaurant in Fredericia has been given a batch to experiment with. The aim is to eventually sell the new brews to any Danish restaurant that offers high-quality food and puts the customer at the centre.”

The manifesto behind Chanterelle Lager and Sour Rye:

  • All beer is over 10% ABV, so there is no "use by" date, just the vintage.
  • All beer is unfiltered.
  • All beer has natural carbonation, making it more pleasant in the mouth and in the stomach (small bubbles, as in champagne).
  • All beer is stored in Carlsberg’s cellars built in 1847.

The name Jacobsen refers to Carlsberg’s founder, J.C. Jacobsen, and his son, Carl Jacobsen. The Jacobsen Brewhouse is located in a wing of J.C. Jacobsen’s original Old Carlsberg dating back to 1878 and therefore has a direct connection with Carlsberg’s history. The buildings were constructed in phases from 1847 to 1891. All are protected and collectively designated as one of Denmark’s most important industrial monuments and an important part of the history of industrial society.