Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Danish (Student) Drinking Culture: Friday Bars


Denmark has a remarkable drinking culture to match their drinking habits. One such aspect is the Friday Bar. Across the nation at every university (and perhaps in every department), student volunteers organize and host these pop up bars on Friday afternoons til late evening.

How does the liquor license work? I don’t know. Do they card people? I haven’t seen anyone carded. Do you have to be a student to go? No, you see faculty and staff members mingle with students as equals (true to Danish fashion) over an impressive selection of bottled beers (with a few non-alcoholic selection) and some beers on tap. Because it’s housed within university buildings and they often get locked up for key access only after about 4pm, it might be harder for people outside the university to get to the bar, but if you can make your way into the bar, everyone is invited.

The prices are inexpensive, thanks to the student volunteers and low overhead. Apparently local bars have once filed complaints citing that their Friday night business is affected by these student-run pop-up bars. I understand that the complaints were dismissed because the Friday bars are integral to the student and university culture.

Everyone in Denmark knows about Friday bars. It is as ubiquitous a concept as a cafeteria. It was a great place for me to be introduced to my husband’s colleagues in a social setting (though their socializing would inevitably include some shop talk and interesting cross-pollination of ideas and collaborations might emerge after a drink or two). Some stay for a quick drink before heading home to their families or get back to their office to finish up a paper (I felt I wrote better after a drink myself, so no judgement here), while others stay late into the night playing beer pong and singing with or without music. If it isn’t some special Danish holiday (and every Danish holiday seems to have a corresponding song people sing), their popular choice of songs regrettably seem to be American music (no judgement here either, except I don’t quite get how they know the lyrics to Backstreet Boys’ songs).

Photo: Impressive (partial) selection of bottled beers available at the Friday Bar in the Computer Science Dept. of Aarhus University


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This entry was posted on August 29, 2015 by in beer, Culture, Denmark and tagged , , , .
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