Bei einem ausgewählten Bierfestival in den hehren Räumlichkeiten der Brouwerij De Molen im niederländischen Bodegraven trafen wir Mikkeller neben vier weiteren herausragenden Brauereien an, die allesamt zu der Crème de la Crème der Szene gehören. Mikkel, zweifelsohne eine der Ikonen der neuen und innovativen Bierbewegung in Europa, nahm sich die Zeit, um meine Fragen bei einem Interview auf Englisch zu beantworten.
Bierkompass: Hi Mikkel. It is a pleasure to meet you at this festival, where you present several of your new beers again. So what caused your passion of beer?
Mikkel: Hi Sebastian. I actually started drinking beer in the late 1990s, mostly cheap lagers. Then I concentrated on the beers that were not produced in Denmark yet, things like IPAs. So I began to brew to make something better and to brew the beers of different styles. Of course, I made the beers you could not find on the Danish market.
Bierkompass: What is your attitude toward beer and the tradition behind beer?
Mikkel: I am very much influenced by American beers. I like to break rules and to brew differently. There are a lot of breweries brewing beers which are not something new.
Bierkompass: Your beers can be described as totally innovative and inventive. They enter often new paths and seem to contain a lot more art than tradition. What is your opinion about that?
Mikkel: I do not think it is art. It is just the beers I want to drink. I want to make what is possible and try to find the limits.
Bierkompass: Would you call yourself an artist?
Mikkel: No, absolutely not. I try to do the best and I always try to develop my beers, but I do not think that I brew the best beers in the world.
Bierkompass: Many of your beers are really different and were never brewed in this way before. So do you brew and recommend such special beers just for “beer geeks”?
Mikkel: Of course, I am influenced by beer geeks and I do not brew beer for everyone. I create beers which could be interesting for beer lovers, who really care about great beers.
Bierkompass: What was the most interesting and impressive beer you have ever tasted and why?
Mikkel: All beers from De Dolle Brouwers are out of the world. To brew an IPA is pretty easy, but Kris from De Dolle Brouwers can brew other beers which are so amazing and cannot be compared to anything else in the world of beer.
Bierkompass: Which is your favorite ingredient and why?
Mikkel: Hops. You can define good beers with the hops, as it is a very important flavor. With hops you can make the best beers.
Bierkompass: What is the “beer to brew” for you?
Mikkel: A collaboration beer with Kris from De Dolle Brouwers. I tried it several times and he always rejected my offer, but one time I will win.
Bierkompass: What do you think about wine and would you prefer to be winemaker, if you could?
Mikkel: I love wine and I drink a lot of wine. To be honest, I would prefer to be one of the best winemakers in the world than one of the best brewers.
Bierkompass: Is there something you want to tell or explain to the German beer lovers, especially to those who just ran into our site and exploring the variety of Belgian and international beers?
Mikkel: I try to make people experience beer without advertising my own products. I am not going to tell people that I am brewing the best IPA in Denmark. They should taste it on their own.
Bierkompass: Many thanks for the interview and I hope to hear soon good news about the collaboration with Kris.
Mikkel: Thank you.