Brewer Bytes with Mikkeller
An Interview with Mikkel Borg Bjergso, Owner
Posted on 10/16/2012 by Chops
Mikkeller. Every beer geek knows and respects the name. Mikkeller has become synonymous with boundary pushing brews that challenge palates and redefine expectations. Aside from an awesome bar in Copenhagen, Denmark, many beer fans will be surprised to know that there is no physical Mikkeller brewery. Owner Mikkel Borg Bjergso, has pioneered the notion of gypsy brewing, where he develops recipes and then travels to breweries all over the world to produce them. It's a captivating concept that produces equally captivating brews. Mikkel was kind enough to take time out of his busy travels to offer up some BrewChief Brewer Bytes.

What is your favorite beer or style to brew?

Spontaneous fermented beers (aka lambics). With a long tradition, spontaneous fermented beers are the Champagnes of Beers. No other beer style takes so long and so much effort to do well. I admire the lambic brewers that we have left a lot, and I'm happy to be able to try and do what they are doing so great.

What was your worst brewing experience?

Brewing Beer Geek Breakfast the first time in Denmark. We did 20 bbl and got stuck mash, I mean really stuck mash. Only option was to open the man hole which resulted in a couple tons of water and malt shooting out of the mash tun and covering the whole brewery floor... that took a lot of cleaning...

What are your favorite breweries outside of your own?

Three Floyds. They do hoppy beers like no other in the world. Every single time I drink a Three Floyds pale ale I get amazed how well done the hops are. I wish I had the same abilities. Working on it, maybe some day... ;) Also, De Dolle from Belgium is one of my big favorites with their unique house yeast character.

Where is your favorite place to enjoy a cold pint?

My own bar in Copenhagen. ;) No, I also love Kulminator in Antwerp, Belgium. It has a long history and so much authenticity and a great atmosphere. I also tend to visit some great places when in Chicago like Three Floyds Brewpub, Northdown, Peice, Local option... and then there are The Trappist in Oakland, California... I guess I just love a cold pint!

What would you say to a beer snob who is hating on your brews?

We don't make beer for everybody. If everybody in the world liked our beers we probably did something wrong. We aim to make unique beers that break boundaries, we don't aim to please and follow trends.

What is the best thing about being part of the beer industry?

Meeting a lot of great people. I travel a lot with my job and meet new people every week. It is always interesting to meet brewers and share ideas.

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Mikkel Borg Bjergso, Owner of Mikkeller
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