Randers Brewery‘s Brown Ale is an excellent example of the individualistic spirit that seems to be a hallmark of modern Danish microbrewing.
Brewing was first introduced to the town of Randers in 1855 by a Swedish adventurer named Johan Peter Lindal, who founded a Bavarian-style brewery that came to produce a popular pilsner called Thor. Thor was brewed in Randers for over a century and became a part of the local culture (there is even a “Thor Museum” in Randers today) until the brand was purchased by Royal Unibrew in 2003. The conglomerate closed the historic Randers brewery, and Thor is now mass-produced at their headquarters in Odense.
Enter Stefan Kappel. In 2005, Stefan, a beer enthusiast and homebrewer, bought a trio of copper kettles from the Czech Republic and founded Randers Brewery to let beer flow through Randers once again. He and his brewmaster, Jens Rasmussen, are dedicated to their community, and have even brewed a pale ale, called Randers Øl, exclusively for the local market (though Stefan said he might be convinced to export it to the UK). But for all their local pride, Stefan and Jens draw much of their inspiration from the global: consider their excellent and distinctive Brown Ale.
At a moderate 5.3% alcohol, the mahogany ale is English in style, and it has a mellow, roasty malt foundation with notes of peanuts, coffee, and maple. However, it is also brewed with a portion of dark rye malt (a nod to the Danish staple rugbrød), which lends it a slightly spicy character. And what makes it really unique is its liberal use of American hops, which make the beer brisk and zesty, full of bold, juicy citric flavor.
So there you have it: a delicious English-style beer brewed with American hops and Danish rye in Czech kettles, in a town with Bavarian brewing traditions established by a Swede. That’s Randers in a nutshell: highly glocal, very eccentric, and entirely Danish.