Skøl from Kalundborg

It was time to accompany Madame Luna back home to Kalundborg, a workaday Danish town on the north west coast of Sjælland.

It’s an industrial port with an active harbour (nice not to have to prefix the word ‘industrial’ with ‘former’ as in so many of my blogs). The largest employer, Novo, employs 3,200 people in a town with a population of 16,000 and produces more than half of the world’s insulin.

Kalundborg has its undoubted charms but when I recklessly described it as “the Stranraer of Denmark” I was strongly reprimanded by Madame Luna and, in truth, deserved the unspeakable punishment that was meted out. For a start it has the majestic five-spired Church of Our Lady.

The area around the church is full of fine period buildings, befitting a town that was a minor Hanseatic League member (Division 3 apparently, so better than Stranraer).

Staying with the ecclesiastical theme, the Nyvangskirken is also magnificent in an entirely different way, a slab of 1974 brutalism.

The second leg of this year’s Tour de France – won by a Dane, it must be all the mountains – started here and the local football team is called KGB.

But it’s never had a proper beer bar. Until now, when two friends, Søren and Klaus, returned to Kalundborg after 18 years in Copenhagen, both experienced home brewers with a taste for good beer. Three months ago they opened Skøl, the SK neatly representing the first initials of their names, the øl, naturally, meaning beer.

First impressions are very favourable. There were eight beers on tap, two of which were their own, and a carefully curated fridge. Klaus was welcoming and well-informed. They organise things like having a 5k run after which participants are invited for a free drink. 50 people took up the offer last weekend but I can’t see that catching on in Paisley.

We got chatting to a Danish-American couple, Camilla and Kevin, who’d made their first visit the day before and made plans to meet them there a few days later. It was that sort of place.

Our hosts then cracked open a mighty 13.2% barrel-aged Imperial Coffee Stout and shared the bottle with the three of us keen to try it. It was a wow drink, superbly smooth and rounded.

A great addition to the town. Skøl.

6 thoughts on “Skøl from Kalundborg

      1. Didn’t know that. When I worked there people told stories about pints being lined up on trays at the end of a shift for when the yards were in full swing.


    1. Actually not for a few years but gather there has been a downturn since the ferry moved up the coast and it was struggling before. Just looked up your write up of it in 2020. Can’t keep up with your posts – they’re appearing more frequently than different Chancellors.


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