For today’s Advent beer pick we head over to Denmark to the not inconsiderable Carlsberg Group, which brews a Christmas beer under one of their brands, Tuborg Julebryg, that has grown into quite an annual affair! The beer itself is a 5.6% abv Pilsner, and is described as:
Tuborg Christmas brew is a dark golden beer with notes of English liquorice. The taste is rich and full sweetness. And it lends itself naturally excellent for a traditional Danish Christmas dinner. (via Google Translate)
It’s the history and the annual release of Julebryg that is quite a story:
Tuborg Christmas Brew is known for its blue and white advertisement. However, most people probably do not know that the famous animated commercial, which features Santa Claus in blue clothing, is actually older than the beer itself. The commercial was originally launched in 1980 as a special holiday commercial for ordinary Tuborg pilsner in Denmark, but it became so popular that for Christmas 1981 we created the special Tuborg Christmas Brew for the Danish market, known as Tuborg Julebryg.
The annual launch in Denmark, known as “J-day”, takes place the first Friday in November and is a day of celebration across Denmark. Carlsberg employees drive around to bars and cafés singing a traditional Tuborg Christmas Brew song and handing out a free beer to the guests to mark the start of the festive season.
The J-Day event in Denmark was established in 1990 as a tradition. Today the event is so large that the Danish spelling dictionary has included in its next dictionary published in 2011 with the following description: “J-Day is the day, a brewery’s Christmas beer comes on the market.”
That would be a sight to see!