To Øl (Copenhagen)
To Øl learned well as disciples of Mikkeller, becoming a tireless experimenter known for attention to aesthetic details. Despite having opened brick-and-mortar establishments with its mentor – among others, Mikkeller & Friends bars in Copenhagen and Reykjavík – To Øl has remained prolific as a brewer. To notice is its recently-released Taanilinn, an uncannily balanced 14% alcohol-by-volume imperial oatmeal stout. (An extra 1 percent ABV was gained from time spent in a former cognac barrel with Vana Talinn, a rum-based liquor infused with cinnamon and vanilla.)
Nørrebro Bryghus (Copenhagen)
Nørrebro exists for those whose desire for good beer and good food is split evenly; it’s a destination at which both get equally reverent consideration. The impeccably designed brewpub has made a name for itself in Copenhagen, counting American Shaun Hill, of Vermont’s highly-regarded Hill Farmstead Brewery, a former head brewer. The finely tuned approach of Nørrebro is apparent in its Little Korkny barley wine, which í a rich, full-bodied sipper teeming with caramel and fruit flavor.
Omnipollo (Stockholm, Sweden)
Though I have previously waxed poetic on Omnipollo’s high quality, no list of exciting Scandinavian producers would be complete without its mention. Existing in the unlikely space between the worlds of craft beer and contemporary fashion, the duo behind Omnipollo has a knack for consistently releasing bottles that equally please both eye and palate. Last year, it introduced a version of its Agamemnon stout (brewed with Vermont maple syrup) aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels; this was roasty, sweet, and without flaw.
Tempel Brygghus (Uppsala, Sweden)
Since Tempel’s first batch of beer was brewed in late summer 2014, the pint-sized brewery has made an impressive splash in Sweden’s increasingly competitive craft scene. At the moment, it focuses only on specialty sour beers (subject to eventual change). Its kettle-soured Ordained, which was brewed for a local heavy metal band, was “dry-hopped” with Chinese gunpowder tea, creating a delightfully quenching lemon-forward treat with delicious matcha notes.