Mikkeller isn’t so much a brewery, but rather a gypsy brewer. Mikkel Borg Bjergsø travels around the world and brews beer under the Mikkeller label in various breweries, mostly in Europe. If you’re familiar with Mikkeller you’d probably agree that they put out some fine beers, but one drawback to buying European beer is that it often isn’t as fresh as it should be when it gets down here to San Diego. That isn’t always a problem, Mikkeller makes some fine stouts and other beers where freshness isn’t crucial, but for the most part I’ve long avoided their IPAs, having felt I payed too much money for a stale IPA that unbeknownst to me had been sitting on a shelf (of even in a distributors warehouse) and was a shadow of what it once.
Because of that I was pretty excited to hear that Mikkeller has teamed up with Drake’s Brewing up in the Bay Area to brew some of his beers for the US market. For us down here in San Diego this will help immensely with the freshness aspect. Chances are also good the price points could be a bit better as well since the beers don’t have to be shipped nearly as far.
Invasion IPA didn’t blow me away, it’s a sold IPA, but far from the best I’ve ever had (though I wouldn’t hesitate to drink it again). At $7 or $8 for a 22oz I felt it was a fair price, a bit higher than many of San Diego’s best IPAs, but much easier on the wallet than European-made Mikkeller beers tend to be. Hopefully we start to see more US brewed Mikkeller beers showing up, especially the IPAs.