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Evil Twin vs Mikkeller (New York Times: "A Fight Is Brewing")

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MattOC, Mar 26, 2014.

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  1. MattOC

    MattOC Aspirant (295) Jan 13, 2013 Massachusetts

    Oidmoe, Theniz, mrgabe and 24 others like this.
  2. target88

    target88 Devotee (419) Dec 3, 2013 Kentucky

    I get why they are enemies, Jeppe pours his beer incorrectly, infuriates me also
    josmickam and 2beerdogs like this.
  3. jamis

    jamis Initiate (157) Nov 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    Cool story. I tend to prefer Evil Twin's beer.
  4. OneDropSoup

    OneDropSoup Meyvn (1,090) Dec 9, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I've always been dubious of the animosity angle with these two & assumed it was inflated as a publicity stunt.

    Also interesting that Jeppe takes shots at the "undrinkable" nature of Mikkeller's beer, considering the number of double digit ABVs he puts out.
    #4 OneDropSoup, Mar 26, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  5. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
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    I love Evil Twin's beers, but Jeppe saying that Mikkeler's beer are ridiculous, too complex or too many ingredients, is rather hypocritical. He makes huge stouts with tons of ingredients just like his brother. It's not like Evil Twin makes a bunch of "normal" beers. Bikini is one of the few he does. Most are big extreme beers, often stouts, that share sensibilities with Dark Lord, which he puts down.

    I still like his beer better than Mikkel, though.
  6. DrinkSlurm

    DrinkSlurm Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2007 New York

  7. OneDropSoup

    OneDropSoup Meyvn (1,090) Dec 9, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Toward the end of the article, the author points out that "For all his digs at Mikkel's extravagant concoctions, Jeppe has a maximalist streak of his own."

    This was a fascinating article. I love that they got into the dynamics of the twins' relationship, as well as their opinions on beer & art. There are some great quotes in here. Thanks so much for sharing!
    #7 OneDropSoup, Mar 26, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  8. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
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    Yeah, that I was thinking throughout the article, and I'm glad the author noted it near the end.
  9. fleurdelou

    fleurdelou Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2013 Kentucky

    Excellent. Great read thanks for sharing!
    josmickam, CalgaryFMC and MattOC like this.
  10. Streaky

    Streaky Initiate (111) Mar 26, 2013 New Jersey

    Someone with more free time than me should put together a side by side of their beers and see which one actually has more high-ABV offerings with crazier ingredients.

    I mean, Imperial Doughnut Break? Seriously.
  11. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,831) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    Please explain.
  12. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,831) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    This was indeed a great read and a great share by the OP. I read the Times everyday and somehow didn't come across this.

    I must say, I thought the brothers DID brew their beers at other breweries' facilities. I didn't realize they just put together the recipes.

    Also, I too thought the animosity was a publicity angle, especially considering both bars carry beers from Evil Twin and Mikkeller. Despite their present intense dislike for one another, they seem to still support each other (which is also evidenced by Jeppe's attendance at the Mikkeller event in Copenhagen).

    Was anyone else surprised at Jeppe's assertion that Evil Twin is 80% of the capacity of Westbrook's brewing? Does that sound correct? Westbrook makes great beers, is pretty popular, and seems to be expanding, so wouldn't operating at 20% capacity for their own beers be detrimental?

    I suppose Evil Twin's brews may be bringing in a pretty penny, but selling their own beers would seem to make even more.
    jcb7472 and GreesyFizeek like this.
  13. miketd

    miketd Zealot (517) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio

    No time to read right now, but a quick perusing had Jeppe taking a shot at Three Floyds. Evil twin, indeed. lol
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  14. MattOC

    MattOC Aspirant (295) Jan 13, 2013 Massachusetts

    To clarify, it may have only been available online. I got it from NYT Food & Drink, @nytimesfood, which tweeted out the article.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
  15. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    To expand on your question, I have another. Does Westbrook actively push Evil Twin's products, i.e. do growler fills, sell bottles at their brewery, etc? Jeppe's recipes are great, but I have a feeling one of the biggest reasons why a lot of Evil Twin is great is because of how talented and well-run Westbrook is.
  16. CalgaryFMC

    CalgaryFMC Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2013 Alberta (Canada)

    Exactly, haha! The dude is putting biscotti and donuts in his beers, for crying out loud. Mikkel puts some lemongrass in a beer and he's suddenly too extreme. I find that both these guys produce better products when they refrain from getting too loopy with ingredients but maybe its just me.
    ONovoMexicano and Streaky like this.
  17. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,831) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    Mikkel also takes a shot at Dogfish Head! Says his beers seem watered down now as opposed to earlier on. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
  18. Johnny_99

    Johnny_99 Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2013 Georgia

    Locals may be able to provide more info, but when I visited a year ago, one tap was devoted to Evil Twin and, I think, they were selling bottles.
  19. rozzom

    rozzom Crusader (790) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    Exactly. You take the Westbrook-brewed beers out of their line up, and it's a totally different story. At least for me.
  20. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    Dogfish Head's beer are weird, for sure, but I've never thought of them as watered down. Maybe a bit claustrophobic at times, but not watered down.
  21. JHE73

    JHE73 Initiate (139) Mar 7, 2013 California

    They are both overpriced and underwhelming
  22. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I agree.

    I'd like to see a master list of Evil Twin's beers and where they're brewed. I'm fairly sure the Even More Jesus variants (except for Aun Mas and Aun Mas Cafe, which are brewed in Spain, IIRC) and the Biscotti Break series are brewed at Westbrook, plus some other great ones- Spicy Nachos, the various Femme Fatales (the Yuzu one is godly, IMO), Nomader Wit, Freudian Slip, etc.
  23. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
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    Overpriced for sure, but I've never been underwhelmed (yet) by an Evil Twin stout. And the Femme Fatale Yuzu is one of the best beers I've had this year.
    BraveBrewWorld and Gingermanstv like this.
  24. ThickNStout

    ThickNStout Poo-Bah (2,334) Mar 8, 2011 Georgia

    Thanks for sharing! I've often enjoyed many beers from both of them but never knew the back-story of animosity. I guess that pretty much puts to bed my pipe dream of a big ol' collaboration stout from them...
    Spike-likes-beer likes this.
  25. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
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    I don't even want to imagine the price of a collab between those two...nightmares...
    pjeagles and Shroud0fdoom like this.
  26. Mineo

    Mineo Disciple (367) Jul 7, 2010 New York

    put me in the party that considers Evil Twin and Mikkeller as absurdly overrated, on account of hype and "exotic"-ness.

    both of these brothers can make some solid darker beers, but when it comes to fresh hoppy beers or anything else they both seem below-average. that, combined with their general pretension and absurd price gouging, makes me avoid Evil Twin, Mikkeller, and Torst at all costs.

    it seems their practices represent the negative aspects of beer culture. if you want to be pretentious about your beer, at least be on par with Hill Farmstead or Tired Hands or something. Evil Twin and Mikkeller are one-trick ponies.
    Gingermanstv and sunnrider like this.
  27. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Poo-Bah (1,732) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska
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    Mikkel went to college at K-State!? Well fuck me.
  28. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (214) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    The contract brewing kind of bothers me. Knowing all these 2 are doing is hiring some established and talented brewery to make their recipes ruins it some for me. I know the host brewery gets their cut but when I'm at the store I'd rather give my business to a brewery that has it's own recipes and equipment. I don't like that these 2 don't do any of the heavy lifting.

    Also why hasn't some investor just hired one of them as a brewmaster/recipe creator/consultant and start a brewery? Cut out the middle man and cash in on their already established name.
    cpz28 likes this.
  29. DrinkSlurm

    DrinkSlurm Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2007 New York

    After re-reading - and seeing @EvilTwinBrewing twitter (although @mikkellerbeer tweeted with no apparent emotion); something tells me there is something fishy going on here. I'm sure NYT took something somewhat true and just ran away with it - media spinning the actual truth into a more "interesting" story.

    Regardless of what NYT wanted to showcase (sibling feud), I actually really enjoyed to hear more about their approach to brewing - not that it was new, but that was the best part. To say which beer I like more is kind of silly because they both make amazing beer.
    ExaltedNecrosis likes this.
  30. WelshBrewer

    WelshBrewer Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2013 Oregon

    That is not an article that is a book got bored, try later, maybe.
  31. JISurfer

    JISurfer Poo-Bah (1,681) Dec 10, 2002 South Carolina

    Living in Charleston my whole life, I remember when Westbrook first opened up. It was good, but not the level it's on now. It seems since ET rolled into town, Westbrook has only gotten better. I'm thankful for that.
    cjgiant, FATC1TY, Scrapss and 2 others like this.
  32. DrinkSlurm

    DrinkSlurm Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2007 New York

    From what I understand - in many of the bigger breweries, the "head brewer" doesn't actually brew anyway. If you ever visit places like Brooklyn Brewery or DFH, you find people with the "brewer" title doing all the "heavy lifting". Those young brewers aren't making any recipes (unless pilot batches are made), they are just lifting grain bags, cleaning mash tuns, adding hops and pushing buttons at specific intervals. The actual recipes are crafted by the head cheese. So I get what you are saying, but the "gypsy" approach is really no different than most breweries anyway. In fact, im sure it works out really well for both parties involved - the cost to make, package, distribute, market the beer is covered by the "gypsy" (I assume) while the brewing equipment/maintenance/rent is the only thing paid for by the host.

    As far as your other comment - Im not them, but I bet they don't want to be hired by someone else. Going back to the previous - I bet their model allows them to do exactly what they want and when they want to do it. Plus it makes for awesome constant collaborations which make breweries like Prairie and Grassroots available in way more places.

    IMO - these guys rock. If you guys are reading - you are more than welcome to gypsy brew on my 5-gal system. There is a 6-gal better bottle with your name on it.
  33. GreesyFizeek

    GreesyFizeek Poo-Bah (6,731) Mar 6, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    It seems pretty clear the recipes are entirely their creation, they just use the brewers and staff at these places to put the recipes in motion.
  34. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (7,977) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Interesting article, I have in fact seen them together and talking also with the brewer/owner of Toøl at the DK to BK event in Brooklyn but I think that was probably closer to 18 months ago. Having had the chance to talk with all three of them, the two brothers definitely have very different personalities but both were interesting conversations.
  35. JuliusPepperwood

    JuliusPepperwood Aspirant (214) Jul 21, 2013 North Carolina

    True most head brewers probably have more of a manager roll and don't do a lot of physical brewing. But at some point head brewers like Sam Calagione at DFH were brewing and working hard to get their breweries to the capacity and status they are now. I guess I feel like these guys are cashing in on other people's hard work to get to higher production quantities and affiliation with reputable breweries. They get to skip all the hard work in between.

    But no one is twisting the arm of the established and reputable breweries to make their beers. So I guess everyone still wins and we get some tasty brews out it.

    This is true, they have absolute freedom to make whatever they want whenever they want and I'm sure that means a lot more to them then owning the equipment and making it themselves.
  36. 77black_ships

    77black_ships Disciple (393) Dec 4, 2012 Belgium

    Evil Twin is now more USA focussed so we get little of his stuff. Anyway, I am a huge fan of both breweries. Mikkeller is expensive but I still often buy his beers because I love how they use ingredients, the new ideas and explorations. There is a very solid logic to the ingredients that Mikkeller uses, nothing random about any of it. The people behind it takes inspiration from the larger culinary words and they really know where what flavours should go. A lot of breweries these days are like let us just use that barrel or that ingredient or whatever (I like that as well) but Mikkeller always has a logic to it. The truly excellent Mikkeller Noma Pontus comes to mind as a clear example.
  37. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    Prairie is a gypsy brewery as well....
    Killoran likes this.
  38. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    When I lived in the states I didn't even bother with Mikkeller because of the price. I have now come to like the brewery even with the "expensive" price tag over here. In the states it's 2x the cost!
    jcb7472 likes this.
  39. Bartos

    Bartos Defender (607) Mar 8, 2013 Florida

    I guess it might depend on how you read it: “Like, 80 percent of their capacity is taken up by my beer right now”

    "Right now" might just mean that current moment. Perhaps at the time of the article, Westbrook was taking a break from their own offers to brew a large amount of Evil Twin beer.
    Prince_Casual likes this.
  40. brewsader

    brewsader Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2012 New York

    i'm not sure about the rest of the country or particularly the SC area, but we get plenty of evil twin here in CT. it's in cans all over the new haven area. that might be because they contract to two roads, but if you look at how much distribution they get over such a big footprint, i'm sure it's pretty conceivable that a brewery like westbrook (whose beer i've never seen in the northeast) brews and packages so much evil twin relative to their own stuff. 80% may be an exaggeration but still, the kind of distribution they get suggests a lot of capacity.
    ONovoMexicano likes this.
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