A few years ago we started inviting wine waiters and sommeliers from the city’s best restaurants for beer tastings at Mikkeller Bar. Not because we felt that we had to teach them something, not because we wanted them to buy a lot of beer of us, no, we invited them for the simple reason that we had a suspicion they did not know a whole lot about all the different styles that can be found in beer.
As many times before this, it was an because something bothered us that we got started. We were annoyed that you can book a table at the best restaurant, and be served the best of the best food. Served in the most beautiful way in sumptuous surroundings. I’m talking about places where enormous amounts of time and energy have been invested in the tiniest detail of the overall experience. And if you asked for wine, many of these places showcase an amazing and very impressive wine list. And if you were two ask additional questions about vintage, the specific quality of the grapes and history of the castles you would most definitely get very good guidance, inspiration and possibly something new about wine.
If, however, you were to ask for a glass of beer with your meal, they would properly serve you a dull, standard lager which you wouldn’t even remember drinking after having emptied your glass..
That bothered us. And the only explanation we could come up with was that it had to be because the restaurants simply did not know that beer can be much more lager and can be something that stays with you as an aftertaste for as long or even longer than wine.
The tastings at Mikkeller Bar were a great success. Of course, the staff members from the restaurants thought it was fun and exciting to expand their horizons and get some new and surprising taste experiences and, not least, to have a much greater understanding of beer and the wide array of tastes beer offer.
These tastings have led to us supplying beer to many top-class restaurants. In particular I want to mention the cooperation with NOMA. We have now made quite a few different beers with NOMA, among them a beer called Pontus, named after NOMA’s former sommelier.
The beers we’ve made with NOMA can only be purchased at NOMA. We know that it is not easy to get a table at NOMA, we know that it is very difficult just to get to taste some of the beers Mikkeller has brewed for the world’s best restaurant. But we can assure you that we at Mikkeller have learned a great deal from cooperating with some of the world’s most accomplished and innovative ‘tasters’ – and this increased knowledge benefits all our beers. Not just the ones for sale at NOMA.