Guest Post – Cornelius on Mikkeller Beers

9 05 2009

Apologies for the thoughtlessness of Thursday. I’ll adopt the appropriate pose and get thinking for next week. In the mean time, please enjoy a guest post from my dear friend and beer mentor, Cornelius Frank.

The Danish are known for many things. Great pastries, Princess Mary…and I’m sure other things, but I’d never have picked them for a powerhouse in the beer world.

Smashing this misconception comes Mikkeller, the joint product of two homebrewers, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller. Although one of them has since left, the microbrewery has continued to pump out some crazy, out there and amazingly delicious beers. Taking conventional styles and putting a whacky bent on it (and then adding more hops), Mikkeller have created many memorable and distinctive brews.

While best known for using the civit faece filled coffee Kopi Luvak in their brew Beer Geek Brunch, they have made a mark with their distinctive commitment to setting new boundaries in brewing field, both in Denmark and the world.
Though hard to track down and costing a pretty penny, they really are worth it. Give the It’s Alight a miss though. At 12 bucks a bottle its by far the cheapest of the bunch but doesn’t do the brand justice. The Pale Ales and Indian Pale Ales are brilliant. All Others Pale is particularly excellent. A thirst quencher that hits hard and fast with the hops and mid priced at 20 bucks a bottle. Similarly priced is the Jackie Brown Ale (boom boom..many of their beers have juvenile titles but they’re brewing for the nerds so they don’t really care) although this has more chocolaty notes than you’d expect from a brown ale.

Mikkeller also heads into Belgium style territory with a few barley wines and a triple. All are surprisingly smooth for the ABV they pack and they pour well. They have developed a Wheat Barley wine (Hvedgoop..but I’m not sure what that means) that smells like Grand Ridge’s Supershine but without the chunky taste. At 50 bucks a bottle this might be a bit steep but get a few mates together and share one.

If you are into stouts then you can’t go past the Black Hole Imperial Stout or the Black Imperial Stout. They use champagne yeasts to build up the ABV to 17.5% though they don’t have the overpowering smell of something like Three Monts or SuperTennents. Clever guys.

Overall, Mikkeller is a crazy brewery. They make “out there” beers that excite the tastebuds and challenge common thoughts about beer style. If you’re only going to try one, I recommend the Single Hop Simcoe IPA. A classic IPA made using only one kind of hop (Simcoe..duh) that is amazingly balanced for so strong a beer.

Thanks Cornelius. Hope to hear more from you in the future.