In October of last year, I spent four nights in Copenhagen, Denmark, with my Wednesday Beers brother, Dave, and our great friends West and Alex. During the short time we spent there, I became deeply enamoured with the city, the people, the culture and the Danish concept of hygge. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what hygge is, but if you are lucky enough to spend any length of time in Denmark’s capital, you’ll feel it in abundance and the meaning won’t matter anymore.
On the third night of our trip, our bellies full from an evening at Papirøen, Copenhagen’s street food market*, we decided to take the 45-minute walk over to Nørrebro for some Sunday night beers. After we had arrived at Nørrebro Bryghus to find it had closed for the night, I assured my travel companions that BRUS, To øl’s brewpub, shop and restaurant complex, was only a few minutes’ walk away. At this point, I’m not sure that they believed me or trusted my sense of direction, but they let me lead the way once again, with the help of Google maps.
Minutes later, the failed stop at Nørrebro Bryghus was forgotten and we were settled in a minimalist wooden U-shaped booth, sipping on hoppy IPAs and fruited sours. Idris Muhammad’s “Turn This Mutha Out” floated out across the expansive room and we sat and talked in the candlelight. In this moment, I felt the comforting blanket of hygge cover us all and all my anxieties of the last year or so folded themselves away for a while.
“Hygge” I said.
“Hygge” we all agreed.
*Copenhagen Street Food market has since moved to Reffen, in the Refshaleøen area of the city.