The musician and 80’s pop legend Rick Astley has brewed his own beer with the Danish microbrewery Mikkeller. The beer will be launched April 13th in London in connection with Astley’s sold out concert at Royal Albert Hall.
The whole project started with a rumour that Rick Astley lived in Amager, Copenhagen.
“When I heard the news, I immediately thought we should brew a beer with him,” explains the brewer and founder of Mikkeller, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, who as a pre-teen had posters of Rick Astley hanging on his wall in his childhood home in Nivå and hits such as ’Never Gonna Give You Up’ and ’Whenever You Need Somebody’ on repeat in the walkman.
“I was a huge fan!,” he says.
Bjergsø later found out that Rick Astley lived in London and that he – despite being married to a Dane – actually never lived in Amager. However, through the singer’s Danish wife, who is also Astley’s manager, Mikkeller got in contact with Astley, who said yes to a Skype meeting with Bjergsø and the offer to brew a beer with Mikkeller.
“I consider myself to be close everything Danish. I like the tradition of quality in products and design. I really like Mikkel and his team, and think what they do is interesting, fun and great quality,” says Astley about the collaboration.
And so Bjergsø and Astley traveled together to the Belgian brewery De Proef Brouwerij to brew a beer together. The result is a red lager with a touch of ginger – a reference to Astley’s red hair. Astley himself chose the name ’Astley’s Northern Hop’.
“I’m quite proud of being from the North of England, and hop is obviously a reference to the beer ingredient, but in the fifties people went to a ’hop’ meaning a dance, I thought it would add a bit of fun with the double meaning,” he explains.
Back on the charts
Mikkeller has previously done similar collaborations with special beers including the licorice beer ’Dansa Efter Min LakritspIPA’ with the Swedish Indie rockers Bob Hund and ’Mastodon Mother Puncher’ with the American metal band Mastodon. In addition, Michelin restaurants such as Noma and Kiin Kiin have their own Mikkeller beer. The Astley beer, however, will have a very special place on Mikkeller’s ’wall of fame’.
“If someone 30 years ago had told me that I would one day meet Rick Astley in Belgium and brew a brew with him, I probably would have laughed at them, ” says Bjergsø.
Rick Astley is now back on the charts with his seventh album ’50’, which was released last year. He is currently touring the UK, and playing concerts among others at the sold out Royal Albert Hall in London on April 13th. In connection with the show, Rick and Mikkeller will hold a launch event at the Draft House on Shepherds Bush Road.
The beer will be sold through all Mikkeller’s normal channels and in the UK exclusively via The Bottle Shop UK. In addition, it will be available for sale at the British music festival Forest Live 2017.
Astley’s Northern Hop Release
April 13th 2-3pm
238 Shepherds Bush Road
W6 7NL London
Kl. 14:00-14:30 – Press
Kl. 14:30 onwards – Open to All
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