Copenhagen Day 13

A day off and a field trip!! Took a train out of the big city today with the rest of the Noma crew. We visited a nearby forest and the brewery that brews our Noma beer. The brewery taps the birch trees in the forest and adds the sap to the beer. The birch water is also offered to our guests as an alternative to still or sparkling water.

The day started with a visit to Bryggeri Skovlyst which roughly translates as "Brewery in the forest". They produce a beer especially for Noma restaurant made from the sap of the nearby Birch trees. The brewery itself was quaint and charming and we had a enthusiastic tour guide - the brewmaster himself, to show us the ropes.

The brewmaster describing the different malts that go into the beer.
Fermentation tanks...
Hops measured and ready to go in!
Tap system.
Various dried ingredients that find their way into the beer.

After an educational tour through the brewery we broke for a few sandwiches and beer. They make a delicious blond triple and a refreshing elderflower soda. We then piled into the van (some of the cooks being shoved into the trunk), and made haste to the depths of the forest.

You can see where they've set up the birch taps. Pretty simple set-up: just a drilled hole, spigot, tube, and holding container. The trees produce about 20 liters of sap each day!

Lines that carry the sap to a more easily accessed area. The taping season is only 20 days long each year. It just finished today! The holding containers must be changed out twice a day for maximum production. Some of the birch water is sent directly to the restaurant as a beverage - it must be kept chilled and keeps about as long as milk. Some of the birch water is cooked down into a birch syrup and used in a milk ice cream dessert. The rest of the birch syrup goes into making Noma's beer.
We got the once in a lifetime opportunity to try the birch sap straight from the trees! Just a little more viscosity than water with a lightly sweet touch. It has the slightest taste of smoky wood and green bark. Refreshing, delicious, and really cool!

Afterwards, we all headed out to do a little foraging for Tuesday's services...

An ant enjoying some of the birch sap...

This one kinda gave me the heebie jeebies.

Young shoots that will be used as garnish...

Wood Sorrel!

Fiddlehead Ferns...

Very successful trip! Learned a ton about foraging, beer making, and birch tree sap. Preparing myself for another long week to come. Expect another post on Sunday!

Until then...
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About Cooking Curiously...

This is a place for food nerds to roam free. A place for me to document my tales and experiences concerning that wonderful substance known as FOOD. I find it incredible how many forms it can take, and the impact it can have on our lives. Hopefully, I can make some of those forms tangible here. The following posts will range from travel stories to new dishes and recipes, some restaurant reviews, maybe just an interesting food thought. Regardless, this is meant to be an open forum for both myself and any followers. Feel free to post and comment. Enjoy!

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