To Øl City Story – BRUS

Morten in the barrel room in To Øl City

Before To Øl City, there was BRUS – our brewpub and space for experimentation in the heart of Nørrebro, Copenhagen. Here the foundation for To Øl City was brewed up, so to speak, and the same people who made BRUS a success are now being afforded a playground of space for new experiments at To Øl City. Meet Morten Bruun, co-owner of To Øl, and BRUS co-owner Christian Gadient.  

Check out the full To Øl City story as we’re releasing the webdoc-episodes on YouTube. Fifth episode about Morten Bruun and Christian Gadient, BRUS and To Øl City plans can be watched here.

»The ambition for BRUS was to show people how beer was made and to try a lot of things – actually we wanted to do everything; our own sodas, kombuchas, cocktails on can and we even wanted to spirits, until we realised that it was impossible to do, as we were located under a cinema,« Morten Bruun says: »It’s something to do with fire hazards,« he laughs.  

Morten Bruun is in charge of product development on To Øl’s spirits and cocktail projects. His approach is playfully experimental and comes from a genuine sense of marvelling at how things come to be the way they are. The playful aspect was an integral part of the ambition for our brewpub BRUS: our restaurant, bar, brewery and bottle shop located in an alley in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, next to the Empire Bio cinema. We opened BRUS in 2016 after six years of being a travelling brewery, and found the space for experimentation we had been longing for.  

»We wanted to get our hands back into production and experiment with all processes and aspects of brewing. Our ambitions reached much further than the beer with tons of ideas and thoughts about food, cider, spirits and kombucha, we wanted to develop on site,« Morten explains. 

At BRUS we take the word microbrewery very literally, as the beer brewing takes place in the small brewery space behind the bar. When you order a BRUS beer from tap at the bar it’s been brewed on-location. The beer poured into your glass has only travelled around 6 meters from the brewery to the serving tanks, having never been exposed to sunlight or sat on a dusty old shelf at unfavourable temperatures. And that all makes for a super fresh and much more balanced beer. 

»It’s this concept that we’re taking to To Øl City, utilising our vast cold storage space so that we can give fresh beers to a much larger crowd,« Morten explains. 

Another successful experiment at BRUS comes from the kitchen, The fermented fries – Danish potatoes fermented to take on more acidic notes and chewy texture. It sounds simple, but the product is in a league of its own. It’s a creation from Christian Gadient, formerly Michelin star chef of Marchal, and the chef behind the food at BRUS. 

»In To Øl City I’ll be taking the fermentation projects further. I started a vinegar-project out there and together with Morten I’m working on the distillery project, which has been made possible by transforming the old kettles used for boiling ketchup«

Even though the lack of space and potential fire hazards set some practical limitations at BRUS, the creativity never faded. Now the opportunity has arisen with To Øl City, and all the creativity can be freely unleashed. To Øl City is slowly becoming a collective of the most talented craft producers in Denmark and the world; giving us all the space and resources we need to make the best quality beverages possible, and demanding that they be made accessible to everyone.

»Even though we really love to make everything ourselves, we’re lucky to have friends coming to To Øl City, who make great kombucha and great cider, and seeing how Læsk and Æblerov have taken over Building 1 is amazing – it’s kind of like living a part of our dreams through them and seeing others with the same dedicated mindset of creating great products like our own,« Morten says.