by Mikkeller and Anchorage Brewing (Mikkeller website and Anchorage website)
Origin: Anchorage, Alaska, USA – Type: IPA (bottled with Brettanomyces) – Alcohol: 8%
Mikkeller really needs no introduction… but for anyone not in the know, Mikkeller beer is so synonymous with craft beer, the words may as well be interchangeable. Mikkeller was started by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø in 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark and is a “gypsy” or” phantom” brewery i.e. a brewer who does not own a brewery. Mikkel sends his recipes to carefully selected breweries (most notably De Proefbrouwerij in Belgium) to turn his magical ideas in to reality. This has allowed Mikkel to produce hundreds of different beers of different styles and varieties at an ever increasing rate.
This particular beer has been made at Anchorage Brewing in Anchorage, Alaska USA. Anchorage is known for its barrel aging and wild yeast strains (in particular it’s love of Brettanomyces) which is an ode to traditional Belgium brewing as they brew all their beer in Foudre’s and age them until they are ready.
This beer truly is a happy marriage of what Mikkeller is synonymous with (quirky big American style IPAs full of hops) and Anchorage (barrel aging with Brettanomyces).
The most interesting part of this beer is how the two opposites (IPA and Brettanomyces) work together and intertwine to create an interesting and complex beer.
This is shown in the freshness and liveliness of the American hops on the IPA side, mixed with the Brettanomyces which gives a dated, aged and sour flavour.
The citrusy and bitter flavours of the hops smash together with the sour and acidic notes but somehow manage to be harmoniously fused together.
On the nose you could be forgiven for thinking this is a lambic beer with a lot of citrus and fruity notes.
The taste however, immediately hits you with the powerful American hops and as you move through the taste the Brettanomyces shows itself and the bitter and sour characters linger in the aftertaste.
It is very much like a cross between a lambic and an IPA but with a little bit more funk and bitterness.
The impressive part of this beer is just how smooth and drinkable it is considering the juxtaposition of ingredients and flavours that have been forced together.
Given Mikkeller’s and Anchorage’s reputation for their respective styles, it is no surprise that the pairing has worked out so well.
The drinkability of this beer, makes you forget that it is an 8% monster. Until you are most of the way through the 750ml bottle of course…
Where we bought it: Bottledog Kings Cross
Where you can find it