MBCC: There's something rocking in the state of Denmark!
There are a few events in the Craft Beer calendar that make any self-respecting Beer Geek’s pulse race, and Mikkeller’s legendary Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen is surely top of the list. With 100 of the world’s finest Craft Breweries in attendance, as well as wine, barista coffee, tattooists and even a running race, this is one unforgettable artisanal weekend. To find out more, HOPT went along to bring you some of the highlights…
First hosted in 2012 with an already impressive 23 breweries and 180 beers, today Mikkeller’s legendary MBCC has more than quadrupled in size, boasting an awesome 100 artisan brewers and over 800 beers. Despite the mind-blowing scale of the event – it’s now too big to fit inside the venue, so it spills out onto the surrounding concourse - the concept is simple: Mikkeller invites 100 of the world’s most respected Artisan Breweries to come along with 8 of their rarest and most innovative recipes. The results are nothing short of sensational.
100 of the world’s most respected Artisan Breweries
Over the four days of the festival, we tried our damnedest to taste everything, but with 800 beers to contend with, HOPT knew it wasn’t going to be easy. And with regular ratings into the high 4s, it was tough to keep track of our new favourites.
"this year’s MBCC was no exception, featuring a profusion of excellent Imperial Stouts"
Beer festivals are always a useful barometer for trends in the Craft Beer world, and this year’s MBCC was no exception, featuring a profusion of excellent Imperial Stouts, as well as some cracking Single and Double-Dry-Hopped IPAs, and a surprise showing for Berlinner Weisse that seem to be enjoying something of a renaissance right now.
Testament to the rising popularity of a less-than-mainstream style, there was also an explosion in the number of Sour Ales, with awesome new flavours from brewers like Cascade Brewing, a key player in the Northwest Sour Ale revolution. Originating from America’s Pacific Northwest, these remarkable beers, such as Cascade’s majestic Sang Royal – a Red Ale and Pinot grape hybrid, or the lip-smacking wild raspberry-infused Cascade Blackcap Raspberry 2016, are a majestic blend of the finest Sour Ales and sumptuous soft fruit.
"there was also an explosion in the number of Sour Ales, with awesome new flavours from brewers like Cascade Brewing and Jester King"
Also present at this Sour Ale jamboree was the hugely talented Jester King from Austin, TX, whose repertoire ranges from barrel-aged ales soured with wild airborne Texan yeast to Honey Meads, as well as more classical-inspired English Mild Ales and Imperial Stouts.
Another participant worthy of note, and one well-known for its sensational Sours and irresistible Saisons, was Crooked Stave from Denver whose offerings were as popular as they were inspired.
Also in the Sour Ales category, Scandinavia was well represented by Sweden’s Brekeriet, who have turned the style into something of an artform, putting a distinctly European twist on things.
Along with Brekeriet and hosts Mikkeller, the Scandinavian contingent was well represented, featuring Sweden’s ubiquitous Craft Beer superstars Omnipollo, who showed off their truly unbelievable Mexican Vanilla Pina Colada Milkshake IPA, a style they masterminded.
"Along with Brekeriet and hosts Mikkeller, the Scandinavian contingent was well represented, featuring Sweden’s ubiquitous Craft Beer superstars Omnipollo"
Alongside these Craft Supremos were such distinguished company as fellow countrymen Dugges and Brewski both of whom know a bit about fruit-infused Sour Ales. They were joined by Denmark’s To Øl and Amager, and Norway’s Nogne Ø and Lervig Aktiebryggeri all of whom are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. One of our particular favourites came courtesy of Lervig, with a Rum Barrel-Aged edition of their majestic 3 Bean Stout.
Some of our favourite new discoveries came from North America, in particular Toronto’s Bellwood’s Brewery, a Canadian brewery with a special talent for Brettanomyces yeast was particularly impressive. Joined on this list were 3 Sons Brewing Company from Dania Beach, Florida - a brewery specialising in, well, making classic styles with an emphasis on quality – and Threes Brewing, an up-and-coming producer from Brooklyn, NY with a talent for great beer. Of course, having been invited by Mikkeller, that goes without saying.
Sticking on the Eastern Seaboard, we were also pleased to bump into J Wakefield Brewing, who collaborated with Omnipollo for the 2017 Beery Christmas Advent calendar. And even more pleased to try their crazy-good Key Lime Pie themed π ( , geddit?). Vivid green and packed with juicy limes, judging by the social media aftermath, it looks like J Wakefield has a hit on its hands…
"Vivid green and packed with juicy limes with Key Lime Pi, it looks like J Wakefield has a hit on its hands…"
The event also had a good showing from America’s west coast, with old favourites like Alesmith, Modern Times and Firestone Walker, and new discoveries like the remarkable Monkish Brewery (and their awesome Foggiest Window Double-Dry-Hopped DIPA) from Torrance CA all doing their bit to promote California’s place in the Craft Beer firmament.
Among all this hoopla the hosts somehow found the time to show off some of their own creations, including the awesome Spontanpentadruppleblueberry (please check spelling -ed.) a beer that’s as striking as it is unpronounceable! Looking more like freshly squeezed beetroot juice than refreshing Wild Ale, this blueberry drenched Spontaneous Fermentation sour defies description apart from “wow, that’s good!”
TOO MANY GREAT BEERS
Once again, there were no losers at this event – a good time was had by all and a lot of great Craft Beer was sampled. If we had one criticism, it’s that there’s just TOO MANY GREAT BEERS TO CHOOSE FROM! To get around 800 beers in just four days you’ve already got your work cut out for you, but with just two days HOPT would have to be superhuman to test that much beer! Hopefully, we will have perfected time-travel by May 2019…