The Scandinavian beer scene is exploding. There's been a surge in recent years in the number of microbreweries, many emulating the big, bold beers of the US microbrew revolution. This isn’t to suggest that they lack their own creativity—not at all. In fact, some of the most adventurous brews on the planet emanate from Scandinavia. One of the breweries that has led the charge in the creativity (and quality) department is Mikkeller, founded in the kingdom of Denmark by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller (the name Mikkeller is a combination of their first and last names). Barely three years old, their rise to beer geek prominence has been meteoric. In 2006, their first year in business, Mikkeller was named Danish brewery of the year, and the fifth best brewery in the world. The secret to their success? As Bjergsø, now in the business by himself (Keller left to take a job in another field) says, "We brew the beer we like, and we don't think too much what the customer wants." Not pulling any punches there... Turns out, customers like what he's doing. Mikkeller beers are highly coveted across many continents, which is why we couldn’t be more excited about bringing you one of their newest creations this month, about a month before anyone else in the country will have access. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, whatever… you’re welcome…
Despite the founding duo’s split, Bjergsø has not quite gone it alone. He's became a self-proclaimed “gypsy brewer,” working in a multitude of nations alongside some heavy hitters. He’s teamed up with brewing illuminati like AleSmith, Stone, De Struise, and Three Floyds, among others. Part of what's got Mikkeller noticed, besides their boundary-pushing beers, is their attitude. Bjergsø prides himself on pushing the envelope, while not taking himself too seriously. With amusing names like "Gone Cold Turkey?" "It's Alive!" "All Others Pale," "Drink Your Sorrows Away," and "Beer Geek Breakfast," he’s fully, completely and totally embraced his brand’s beer geekdom. This Danish brewer is steeped with the youthful, hip elements that have also helped make bands from Denmark some of the best break-out music-makers of the past 5+ years. There's a blatant intelligence, but not pompousness, paired with levity blended with high gravity. The fact is, Mikkeller may be just about the coolest brewery out there. There, we said it… They recently brewed "Black," which they describe as "Denmark's strongest beer and Mikkeller's 'most violent' beer to date." Hell yes!
Here are a couple examples of their "style"… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXpFVPFHHJM
(take home quote: “kiss the Bratwurst”)
(take home quote: “I got the worst hair day of my life and you’re offering me beer!?”)
(take home quote: “you might have heard of me… but your girlfriend, your mother—they definitely know my name.”)
(take home quote: “all the guys were very excited…”)
OK, OK, we know, it's a pain in the arse to try and copy URLs like these by hand from this printed newsletter to your browser. One day we’ll be super-ultra-multi-media and our tasting notes will read themselves to you via live video feed and will pilot your web-browser in total hands off fashion… Virtual beerality baby... But until that happens, here's an easier way to get to the links above: just punch this one up— www.beermonthclub.com/pastbeernews and dig up this month's newsletter (it's easy, you'll find it)—where you'll be able to just click the links above, or, copy and paste them into your browser.
Mikkeller started brewing beer in their kitchen, and set out to challenge the Danes' taste buds with intense taste adventures, seeking to provoke some inventiveness in Danish beer brewing. As they put it "why not show the way?" Mission accomplished Mikkeller. Thousands of beer geeks can’t be wrong.
For more information about the brewery, check out their website at www.mikkeller.dk