Saturday, June 12, 2004

Items from previous summers.

June 17, 1983.

Ate the hostel’s 13-kroner breakfast: a hard round roll, 0.2 liters of milk, all the white bread I wanted, and tea. Soon after we walked to that place marked on the map “Carlsburg,” at Steve’s suggestion. We got to the brewery just in time for the 11 o’clock English-language tour, given by a wry old British gentleman sporting a full white beard, who seemed to have long since quit being afraid of public embarrassment, and had a refined brashness that you wouldn’t want to argue with. “Three billion bottles pass through this facility every year,” he said early on. “And if that doesn’t impress you, that number of bottles, side by side, vertical like you standing there, would encircle the Earth more than five times. Six, to be exact.” I was impressed.

We saw vast copper tubs & plumbing of all sizes running in all directions that must somehow be orderly & expanses of yeast. The bottles came from pasteurization, and rode on two lines to the capping, which was a wheel-within-a-wheel complex. There was the quick action of the capping, labeling and packaging. It was all a whir of metal, belts, rotaries, gadgets everywhere.

Just outside the realm of the machines was a room where the Carlsburg brewery gave us a little of their product, some fine delicious beer, enough after a light breakfast to get us all a little tight. We wandered happily out onto the street into the bright summer sun, arriving before long at a bakery, where we eagerly bought bread & cheese & Citron. We found a bench and ate our splendid haul. Copenhagen rolled by, and we absorbed its international flavor along with our lunch.


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