I spent a month looking for work within Denmark, where my most promising lead became Midtfyns Bryghus, an award-winning microbrewery on the island of Fyn that's growing rapidly. They've become famous for beers such as their Chili Tripel and Imperial Stout, along with the fact that they're one of the only breweries in the world to put Braille text on their labels. They also made waves in the Danish beer community by winning awards for Rough Snuff, a dark beer brewed with snuff tobacco which was later banned for sale. The owner, a U.S. expat named Eddie Szweda, proved an incredibly friendly and generous host. He showed me the current brewery - a tiny building in a village 30 kilometers south of the city of Odense - and the potential site of its new home, a larger and more modern building nearby. He also treated me to lunch, where we discussed everything from brewing to living as expats in Denmark. He sent me on my way with an armful of assorted Midtfyns beers, and promised to keep in touch for the future.
Ultimately, however, a job at Midtfyns depended entirely on whether Eddie got the new building, and he could not give me an answer before my flight back to Chicago. So I bade farewell to my friends in Denmark and saw what I could of Aalborg and the region before returning to the United States. I spent Thanksgiving with Ryan Witter and his family at Fanø Bryghus, where I met Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergø of Evil Twin Brewing. There I enjoyed a fun brewday making a 32 Plato (!) imperial stout, followed by a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. I packed up my possessions, had one last rowdy night at the Wharf, and flew home just in time for Christmas.
|Vi ses, Danmark: One last look at my favorite park in Aalborg.|
|Duck-Rabbit Brewery in Farmville, NC.|
|Taking a wort sample of Bourbon Country Brand Stout, at Goose Island.|
Funny how things work out sometimes: I traveled halfway around the world and lived abroad, just so I could get a job in my hometown. While the job in Denmark may not have worked out, it set me up for a successful career in brewing and gave me a once-in-a-lifetime experience to boot. I intend to return to Denmark for a long visit sometime in the next few years; in the meantime, I'll continue to put my all into continuing Goose Island's history of excellent beer.