Charlie Papazian’s now-extinct Beer Town USA online poll, by virtue of the name, excluded foreign cities. Otherwise people might vote for Munich or London, or probably Brussels. But there’s a pretty strong argument that they’d all be dead wrong. The answer may very well be Copenhagen. No longer are the Danish merely famous for their, uh, Danishes…the craft beer movement is gaining traction throughout Scandinavia and credit goes to Mikkel Borg Bjergsø—known to beer geeks the world over—is the mind behind the Mikkeller brand.
Well, I pitched this story to Draft (vol 6.1, 2011) as an intro to the trend of educational beers. Yes, beers that teach the consumer (and usually the brewer in the process) something such as releasing a series of beers with a control and one variable distinguishing the other iterations. In other words, a pale ale each hopped with a different, single varietal, or a stout and a series of that same batch aged in one differing spent barrel each. The king of these–they’re certainly not vertical tastings which takes one beer as sampled at once over several vintages so instead I call it horizontal tastings–is Mikkeller from Denmark. Dark Horse, one of my favorite Michigan breweries, had a different sort of horse in this race.
Dedicated Drinkers and Their Drive to Document (a.k.a. “The Ticker story,” Vol. 30, Iss. 4, 2009) is about the most prolific RateBeerians and BeerAdvocates and begins with this suitable quote from Simon Pegg (who, the best of my knowledge, is not a beer ticker). “Geek is just another word for enthusiastic… We keep loving stuff and remain unembarrassed by our enthusiasm.”