Mikeller, Peter, Pale and Mary
When we think about Denmark and beer we might think that, if it’s not the C word*, then it’s going to be dark and brooding like a Nordic Noir television boxed set. Thankfully Mikkeller is nothing like the former, but the story behind this enigmatic brewer is every bit as intriguing as a good Scandinavian thriller.
Mikkel Borg Bjergsø was a maths and physics teacher in Copenhagen who, during his student days, got a taste for some of the more interesting beers that Europe has to offer.
This obsession in beer resulted in the formation of a beer club where he and friends tasted and rated beers (ring any bells Matt?) which inevitably led to the desire to brew his own beer.
Teaming up with a Kristian Klarup Keller they embarked upon a series of home brewing experiments where the pair tried to replicate and improve upon the new wave of hop forward beers emanating from the USA. Buoyed on by some early successes Mikkel and Keller moved beyond the confines of kitchen brewing and began using the equipment of other Danish microbreweries. When Mikkel’s twin brother Jeppe opened a bottle shop in 2005 this served as a distribution point for beer geeks from around the world.
Pretty soon, word was out about Mikkeller and in 2006 they signed a deal securing distribution in the United States. Whilst Keller left in 2007 to pursue a career in music journalism, Mikkel went from strength to strength as a gypsy brewer. Mikkeller was and still is a brewer without a brewery.
Skip forward to 2014 and you can find Mikkeller beers across the world. Beer geeks will rave about the collaborations with other exciting brewers. More recently Mikkeller bars have appeared and, like their bottle labels, these strike the balance between being indvidual and at the same time unmistakably Mikkeller. Testimony to the notion that gypsy brewing isn’t simply the lack of funds or indeed a lack of ambition.
Incidentally, Mikkel’s twin brother is now also a gypsy brewer and you might be forgiven for thinking that there’s some serious sibling rivalry going on.
Tonight’s beer is a great example of what Mikkeller is to beer. A classic American style pale ale with a twist. Cloudy and orange in colour, fragrant with the promise of grapefruit or tropical fruits but ultimately balanced and not overly bitter. Even the name is a homage to an American classic folk trio.
We think this is a great beer for Mikkeller virgins and fans alike. We are pretty confident you’ll be wanting to explore their beers some more.