Mikkeller Launches European Brewpub, US Brewery
Mikkel Borg Bjergso, the founder, owner and CEO of Denmark’s Mikkeller brewery, just might be one of the busiest people in the beer industry. The self-proclaimed “gypsy brewer” who has always used another brewery’s facilities has finally decided to establish not one, but two brewing locations of his own.
The first, due to open this month, is WarPigs, a 22-tap Copenhagen brewpub co-founded with 3 Floyds Brewing of Indiana. In addition to creative beers and Texas-style barbecue, the facility will house a White Labs yeast laboratory. “We have been good friends with 3 Floyds since our first collaboration in 2007,” Bjergso explains. “WarPigs was an idea that came about from all the time we have spent together traveling around the world. We wanted to do somethings completely unique for the European continent … inspired from all the great experiences we have had with beer the past ten years.” WarPigs will be the ninth Mikkeller establishment opened to date.
Some 5,600 miles away, Mikkeller has also purchased the AleSmith brewery in San Diego from owners Peter and Vicky Zien. In June, AleSmith will move to a larger facility two blocks away, while partnering with Bjergso to form the Mikkller San Diego Brewing Company. And while he’s excited to have a place to call home, Bjergso insists that, “we will not settle down. I like to refer to this as we are still gypsies, but with a summer vacation home in San Diego.”
The AleSmith deal will provide Mikkeller with more than production space and a tasting room of its own, it will also give its founder an opportunity he has sought for some time. “Exporting beer to the states from Europe has worked well for us, but it wasn’t fulfilling,” Bjergso explains. “We wanted to be able to do great, fresh beer at competitive prices for the American market.” ■