While Hans Christian Andersen was busying himself with frivolous stories about ducklings and princesses, and King Frederik VII of Denmark was putting his name to some constitution or other, one man was tinkering with something of such magnitude that it would change the world. Lager. Sometimes credited with inventing the crisp brew we glug today, Jacob Christian Jacobsen launched Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen in 1844, naming it after his son, Carl. His product was inspired by traditional German brewing techniques, and now the company is championing its founder’s legacy with a new brew for 2007.
Carlsberg 900 is priced at the premium end of the market; you can expect to pay about the same for a bottle as you would for a decent glass of champagne. Developed in collaboration with 12 top Swedish bartenders, 900 is “brewed from refined virgin hops and selected crystal malt, and triple-filtered with a longer, cooler fermentation process to ensure a pure, delicate taste”. Initially available in Stockholm, Carlsberg plans to roll out the brew internationally on blond wood bars across Europe and Asia. Here’s to Hr Jacobsen and his jolly juice.
When United Arrows invites you to an exclusive preview of its soon-to-debut product line, all editorial etiquette flies out the perfectly oiled revolving doors. You then spend an hour rummaging through the colour-coded rails, salivating over Beauty & Youth macs and Monkey Time trousers. We spotted these slip-ons by the old-time French cobbler, Bosabo. The company was founded in 1890 by the clog-making great-grandfather of the current owner, Joël Audouin. Bosabo shoes are still manufactured using the original techniques. They are designed for three things: fashion, work and gardening.
Stefan Flatscher and Uwe Pinhammer, the Munich-based boys behind Freudenhaus, have turned their one-stop glasses shop into an optical empire, with imaginative in-store services including driving-licence eyesight tests, contact lens customisation and horn-rim specialisation. In addition to many brands of spectacles and sunglasses, they now offer their eponymous eyewear line – which is the most significant reason to pop into the Odeonsplatz store 02. As face furniture goes, the Superfly in Gun finish is Monocle’s favourite early-summer accessory.
We’re always short of notebook space for editorial inspiration (double-issue city scribbles), diary entries (for making and breaking engagements) and memos (home improvements, awards acceptance speeches). The London design outfit BB Saunders has produced a limited run of 1,000 day-to-a-page journals on 13 separate grid systems. These fluoro agendas are available to buy through blanka.co.uk, where we’re sure you’ll be tempted by one of their track-listing T-shirts. www.bbsaunders.com
Bauen in Graubünden
It will come as no surprise that Peter Zumthor, born in Graubünden, features heavily in this guide to the Swiss canton’s architecture. But although Zumthor is undoubtedly a master of the rural movement, we are more interested in Walter Bieler’s bahnhof at Filisur, Richard Brosi’s bus terminal in Chur, and Rudolf Fontana & Partners’ shelter in Oberrealta. Published by the big-thinking Swiss house Hochparterre, this pocket-size guide to Switzerland’s south-eastern architecture is our idea of archi-porn and is best read on the SBB between Scuol and Brusio.
We’ve experimented with laptop speakers for years, but none have managed to recreate the sonority Towa Tei intended, so we’ve stuck to playing Towa and Bebel’s “Technova” on our home office hi-fi. However, it is now possible to listen to perfect pitch K-pop with Panasonic’s latest invention. Each aluminium RP-SPF01 speaker has a stand to prevent the powerful bass from reverberating on the desk. Panasonic has also done a sympathetic job matching the finish to our titanium MacBook Pros.
Bien Works & Magic House
Pencil case and pencils
Young Korean designette Bien Jeong Min began producing stationery in 1999, with sweet little greetings cards that she sent to friends. A year later, she produced a day-planner, which became her bestselling piece. She has recently added this compact pencil case, which doubles as a modest make-up bag, to a line-up that includes message pads and note cards. Bien moonlights as a model, interior designer and all-round Korean luvvie. On her website you can see her portfolio and vital statistics next to polka-dot notebooks and croc-skin coin sleeves. We suggest that you fill the case with these Magic House automatic propelling pencils, which come in the shape of a classic HB.
Come August, the new Grims Grenka hopes to trounce the Bristol (round the corner) and the Grand Hotel (just down the road) in Oslo’s five-star stakes. No mean feat, but Atle Hovde, creative director and general manager, is confident: “We hope the Grims Grenka will become a luxury urban destination,especially once the rooftop lounge, restaurant, nightclub and private cinema make their debut.” Inspired by eastern mysticism, the hotel’s 42 rooms and 24 suites are designed individually and follow set colour schemes: green, blue and white, and red and gold for more decadent patrons. In conservative Scandinavia, where adventurous hospitality means opening the booze before you tuck into the lefse, we feel sure that Hovde is on to a good thing.