Prologue: If you are a casual beer drinker you are thinking Mikkeller – never heard of them. When I tell you they are Danish you’ll be thinking, hmmmm, Denmark and beer, not two things I would put together.
If you are a card carrying, beard wearing beer wanker you are thinking – Mikkeller – Fucking yeah. You will know that Mikkeller are the darlings of world craft brewery scene, They are to beer drinkers what Archiecture in Helsinki is to twenty year old poetry writing, Northcote living, op shop clothes buying, Frankie reading pseudo hipsters.
Everything Mikkeller do is innovative – they claimed to have launched 76 new beers in 2010 – that’s one every 4.8 days. With a range that huge, how do you find a pick one to try?
Simple, I scanned the range in Slowbeer, 66 brews in all, the cost on some of these were hefty up to $50 for a 500ml bottle (Norrebro Mikkel’s Monster) but then I spotted a nice cheap one – The American Dream – just $10 for the 330ml bottle. This was my entry point into the Mikkeller brand.
I assumed it was an American Pale Ale, given the name, but it was actually a Lager, made with American Hops.
Appearance: It was a burnt bronze colour, with a solid, if a little uneven head. There was a little cloudiness in the brew, peering into the bottle (once empty) I saw some slight sludge, and sign that there was some secondary fermentation in the bottle. There were trails of bubbles racing for the top of the glass.
Whilst tasting this I was reading Willie Simpson’s Beer Bible (as well as a guidebook to San Franciscom, but that’s another story) and this told me to examine the size of the bubbles. They were tiny. I learnt that the smaller the bubbles the longer the maturation of the beer.
As I drunk the beer the lacing clinged to the side of the glass, like a monument to beery goodness.
Smell: A slight floral smell.
Taste: The first sip was quite gassy in the mouth, but this melted away to what was quite a smooth experience. The was a subtle kinds of bitterness in the throat, and a sweet fruit aftertaste, like a banana sweetness, but not banana taste (if that makes any sense)
Packaging: It’s an unusual label. I quite like it. It looks like a lithograph entitled ‘Hipster dresses up like an American revolutionary for costume party in Copenhagen.’ Of course this beer so cool it would actually be titled ‘Untitled Vol 7’
In conclusion: This was such a good beer. Completely fulfilling, and yet so refreshing.
Random Wikipedia Type Fact: The average altitude in Denmark is just 31m above sea level, the highest point, Mollehoj is just at 170m.
This is the same height at the Zuytdorp cliffs which are the most westerly point of mainland Australia.
Ranking: A Jug Please