Jacobsen's Brewer Marten Ibsen Gives us Scandinavian Beer Education, Nordic Feed Pt 3

Second day of Nordic Feed food conference (August 27) kicked off with a Scandinavian beer education by master brewer Marten Ibsen of Jacobsen beer at Carlsberg museum.

Getting off the city bus, I headed in the wrong direction and landed at visitor's center. I was put back on the right path and after passing under massive elephant gate (below) found my group.

Elephant gate

Marten Ibsen did not arrive with the assumption that we were all fluent with the beer making process so he covered the basic steps first as well as the differences between top and bottom fermented brews.

The third phase of his presentation on New Nordic Null, Lox Barley and Carlsberg micro-brews is what I will focus on.

A bit of history first, the philosophy of Jacobsen or 'Golden Words' was spelled out in 1882.

Its central tenets are innovation and making beer that matches food.

Brewery is getting ready to celebrate its 200th anniversary early September.

Aim is to make beer the drink of choice at the dining table.

Barley is the main raw ingredient.

There are no bad vintages as brewery does not own the fields where barley is produced. They select the best crops.

Moving on to New Nordic Null and Lox Barley Malt, Marten first covered Organic Jacobsen Extra Pilsner.

He started by noting that organic products tend to be more vulnerable to aging. Oxydation is worst enemy of flavor quality.

Barley mainly contains starch and protein plus some fat.

Lox or enzyme lypoxygenase catalyzes oxidation of fat and lipids into trans-2- nonanal.

Carlsberg research center has bred barley without Lypoxygenase.

Regarding old Nordic hops used in Hallertau Jacobsen and Jacobsen Pale Ale, before 1950 Carlsberg had hop breeding program. Nordic breeds were crossed with British and German ones.

Until 2005, hop clones languished behind tennis courts of Carlsberg.

Hallertau is considered the best hop brewing region in the world. It has grapefruity flavors.

As for Nordic innovation, it is best found in Jacobsen Velvet, smooth and light.

In 2007, Marten Ibsen took a paternity leave to stay with his infant daughter.

He got the idea of creating a new Nordic beer that would be smooth like a baby's skin and velvety, made with wheat malt.

Marten describes it as 'clear and light like a Nordic summer with no bitter aftertaste.

It is sparkling with a bit of acidity thanks to use of champagne yeast.

There are tones of passion fruit and citrus from late added hops.


After a 'dry' morning, we were treated by Marten and his team to a Jacobsen beer and food pairing lunch (pictured above) in the Carlsberg dining room, a treat.

(* Jacobsen website does not seem to offer an English version, best enjoyed if you speak Danish)

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