Maybe you’ve heard of this name somewhere. Or maybe you’ve seen the logo. Or maybe neither of them. But if you’re interested in knowing more about the good beer, Mikkeller is something you need to know about.
The story tells that a maths and phisics teacher and a journalism student, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller, tired of the small quantity and quality in their city, Copenhaguen, decided to start brewing beer in the kitchen of their high school at some point in 2005. They started trying to copy recipes of beers they liked, and due to the good results they started with their own recipes, showing them in festivals and competitions (and winning some of them). Because of they were brewing in a kitchen, their production was quite small and it just reached their frinds, local beer geeks and some bars nearby. Mikkel’s brother decided then to open a beer shop were they could start distributing their beer further away. They decided to name their beer Mikkeller (Mikkel and Keller) and the first step was to get out of the kitchen to brew big. Due to lack of money, they decided to rent already existing breweries so they could use their equipment,
In 2007 they get offered an from a bigger brewery to sell Mikkeller and their recipes. Mikkel says no straight away, as it’s what big breweries have always done: the big fish eats the small one, and producing beer for a big brewery isn’t the essence of craft beer. Keller decides that he doesn’t want to make beer for the rest of his life, so he decides to pursue his career as a journalist while Mikkel looks after the brewery.
Mikkeller (Mikkel Bjgersø) is considered nowadays as one of the big names of craft beer worlwide, due to the quality and inventive of his beers. His beer is sold in more than 40 countries (10% of which is sold in Denmark). In Copenhaguen we have Mikkeller & Friends, a pub with the finest beers brewed in Denmark and great beers from all over the world. Another intetersting place in Copenhaguen is Warpigs, which Mikkeller also owns a part. The first Mikkeller bar to open outside Denmark was the Mikkeller bar and brewery in San Diego, California. In 2014 it opens the second international Mikkeller bar in Bangkok. And if my memory doesn’t fail me, it recently opened a Mikkeller bar in Barcelona.
Nowadays, Mikkeller travels around the world hiring breweries and brewing his beers (that’s what it’s called a gypsy brewer) and being a reference in the craft beer world and an idol and example to follow for many. So if one day you see one of their logos of the man with the hat, you can already tell it’s going to be good beer…and probably also expensive.