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How to Pronounce Nøgne-Ø, Haandbryggeriet, Mikkeller, and More
Written by Mike Reis   

scandinavian-wtf

 

Scandinavian beers are finding their way into the minds and bottle shops of the American craft beer world at an alarming rate these days.

We're certainly not complaining. We love this stuff! Some of the most edgy, innovative, and fun beers in the world are being made right now by the likes of Mikkeller, To Øl, Haandbryggeriet, and their Norse bretheren.

But you don't hear these breweries being talked about all that much. Keep an open ear at your local geeky beer bar and you'll hear a lot of "oh, I'll take that Norwegian one," or "I'll have one of those saisons from Denmark."

We get it: all those Æs and Ås and Øs make us a bit uncomfortable too.

We're here to help you out a bit.

 

Here's a quick guide to pronouncing the names of some of your favorite Scandinavian breweries:

[note: There isn't an easy way to phonetically spell some of these names, but this will get you most of the way there!]


Mikkeller: Say "MIH-kull-er"

This Copenhagen, Denmark based operation is named after its two founders: Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller.

 

Haandbryggeriet: Say "HOND-brig-gair-EE-eh"

Haandbryggeriet translates to "hand brewery," a reference to the hands on method of production at this little Norweigian brewery.


Nørrebro Bryghus: Say "nair-a-BRO BROY-ghoose"

Another Danish brewery, Nørrebro Bryghus is named for the Copenhagen neighborhood in which it's located.

 

Amager Bryghus: say "AHM-ahr BROY-ghoose," where the R in Amager is almost silent or "AHM-a-gurr BROY-ghoose" [the island of Amager is pronounced as in the first suggested pronunciation, but "AHM-a-gurr" seems to be an acceptible anglicized version, as evidenced by this interview.]

Amager is the name of the island on which this Danish brewery resides.

 

Lervig Aktiebryggeri: Say "LAIR-vigg AWCK-sha brig-air-EE"

 

Ægir Bryggeri: Say "ah-GEAR brig-air-EE"

Named for the hard-partying god of the ocean from Norse mythology, Ægir Bryggeri is a strong contender for Norway's coolest brewery name.

 

Nøgne-Ø: Say "NOEG-neh OEH," wherein OE is like the vowel sound in "learn." Still confused? This will help.

Nøgne-Ø translates to "naked island" in the brewery's native Norwegian language, but don't expect any nude beach shenanigans from these guys. The name comes from a line in a Henrik Ibsen poem describing the barren rocks off the coast of southern Norway.

 

To Øl: Say "TOE OOL," wherein OO is like the vowel sound in "foot."

In To Øl's native Denmark, drinks at the bar are usually ordered in rounds for the group. If the brewery's two founders were to order up some beers, they'd say "To øl!" which means "two beers" in their native tongue.


amager: AM-a-gurr broyghoose
norrebro nair-a-bro broyghoose
mikkeller: MIH-kull-er
haandbryggeriet: HOND-brig-gair-EE-eh

Skål!