Beers of the bock type, like Carlsberg Elephant, are very often seasonal products, and Carlsberg Elephant was indeed created on the basis of a number of special, light-coloured festive brews and the brewmasters' experience with Carlsberg's pale and very strong Easter Brew just after the Second World War. After some years as an export brand and some adjustments to the label design, the famous, strong Carlsberg Elephant with its unique and very personal bock character was born in 1959.
The elephants on the beer label are inspired by the two pairs of life-size, elephant statues which form part of the main entrance to Carlsberg’s Brewery in Copenhagen. The Elephant Gate has become a famous Danish landmark and gives visitors to the brewery a majestic welcome.
18 markets - including: Denmark, Iceland, New Zealand, Panama, USA, Anguilla, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda and Finland
Carlsberg Elephant received 3 stars at the Superior Taste Awards 2006 from the international Taste & Quality Institute (iTQi) in Brussels.
- Beer type Strong Pilsner
- Alcohol by volume (ABV) 7,2%
- Produced by Carlsberg Danmark
- Available since 1959
- The colour is light golden amber and the foam white as the tip of the waves of the oceans. The ample use of malt gives Elephant a vinous and rich character. The high hop content in Elephant gives a masculine bitter bite to the beer.
- In 1959 artist Kjeld Nielsen designed a small blue elephant, which for more than a decade was the Elephant Beer's mascot.
- Carlsberg Elephant goes very well with all spicy dishes, and it is particularly well suited for the Thai kitchen, Cajun dishes and Mexican food. It also goes well with rustic, European dishes with root vegetables and/or sauces. Carlsberg Elephant is also excellent with a wide variety of medium-strong cheeses.
Did you know that...
- In 1976 a young Tom Waits appeared on DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) with a number that later became known as "Elephant Beer Blues" because he holds an elephant beer in hand throughout the show. The clip can be viewed on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhEYN4qSf4o
- The elephants at the Elephant Gate at Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen are neither Indian nor African. The ears are quite known proportions as the Indian elephant, but the size and conformation is more reminiscent of an African elephant. The elephants were made by the artist Nilaus Fristrup, and his experience with elephants was primarily from drawings. The elephants are carved in granite from the island of Bornholm in Denmark.
- The inspiration for the Elephant Gate originates from Bernini's obelisk-carrying elephant at the Minerva Square in Rome. On the elephants' rug the Carlsberg logo brand of that time (The Swastika - originally an Indian symbol for good luck) and the initials of Carl Jacobsen's four living children Theodora, Vagn, Helge and Paula is seen. Inside the gate craftsmen and architects are reminded of their work.
- An elephant has housed the Carlsberg's stables. It was an elephant from Switzerland who had come to Copenhagen for breeding.
- The question; "from where does the Elephant Beer originates" has been used in the program "Who wants to be a Millionaire" on Australian television. The answer was, of course Denmark.
- Carl Jacobsen, founder of Ny Carlsberg Brewery, was always fascinated by elephants which he credited positive values such as strength and faithfulness. Apart from the elephant gate, in fact he also had some very beautiful brass handles designed as elephant heads at the entrance to his headquarters.
Recipe with Elephant Beer
Mussel Gumbo - Made with fresh herbs, garlic and, of course, Elephant Beer, it’s quick and delicious to serve to guests, but even better to keep to yourself!
- 500g fresh mussels, cleaned
- 250 ml (1/2 pint) Elephant beer
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 -3 stalks thyme
- 250 ml (1/2 pint) white wine or vegetable stock
- 200 ml fresh herbs – thyme, chives, parsley, mustard & cress – finely chopped
- 75 – 100 g butter
- Salt and black pepper
Put the beer, wine, shallots, garlic and thyme stalks in a large pot and boil for 5 minutes. Add the mussels and steam for 3-5 minutes over a high heat. Shake regularly until shells have opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed. Take the mussels out of Sieve the broth, add the chopped herbs and butter and boil for 5 minutes. Gently pour over the mussels.
Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread the broth, remove the shells and put the mussels into a small soup bowl.