The Mikkeller San Diego Beer Release Series Has Launched
* This post has been edited for more accurate information. Please see the “Update” heading at the bottom of the page.
Mikkeller Brewing San Diego opened its doors in April 2016, providing famed “gypsy” brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø with a brewery to call home. By late summer, their core beers were canned or bottled but the brewery had a relatively quiet 2016. But after the new year cryptic posts began appearing on social media, one with a promise that craft beer would be changed on January 12th, 2017:
“Launching a beer program that will set 2017 on fire. Stay tuned.”
They already had their Viking Club, so what could this new program be?
The answer was revealed last week, and Mikkeller Brewing has set quite a lofty goal for itself in 2017. They have vowed to release at least one special limited release beer EVERY Saturday for the rest of the year. That’s a promise of at least 52 releases!
To kick the program off, Mikkeller dropped not one, not two, but three different small-batch rare beers last Thursday (one for each week in January so far):
- Hop Series: Uklar IPA
- Berliner Series: Fruit Face with Raspberries and Ethiopian Coffee
- Beer Geek Brunch: Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Vietnamese Coffee
According to Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, they have about 4 months of recipes already planned out in advance. Going forward they will be pulling from the Hop Series, the Berliner Series, and other premium wax top 750mLs such as Beer Geek. Future offerings could also be collaborations, as evidenced by their next release from the Hop Series Devil’s Triangle, brewed with Sean McIlhenney from Alpine Beer Company and Devon Randle from Arts District (formerly of Pizza Port).
We would assume price points will hold true to costs from the launch, which were $15 for the Berliner Series, $18 for Hop Series, and $30 for Beer Geek / premium bottles. These brewery exclusive beers are purchased by waiting in line at the un-labeled door to the right of the tap room entrance on Cabot Drive (formerly AleSmith).
The initial release took place on a Thursday, but all remaining sales are planned to be held on Saturdays at noon.
How did the first sale go?
It’s probably unfair to compare a Thursday event during the work week to a Saturday when more people are likely off work. But based on our experience, the initial release went ridiculously smooth. Even in the rain.
At around 12:45 there was next to no line — maybe 5 minutes tops, thanks to multiple payment terminals. Beer limits were also very favorable with 3 x 4 pack cans of each, and unlimited purchase of waxed dipped Beer Geek bottles. Let’s all hope those trends continue, especially the speedy line!
After attending several Saturday releases, we have some updates to make for more accurate information than what originally appeared above from our initial post:
- There is in fact a “Collaboration Series.”
- Packaged rare beer sales (can or bottle) are now held along the right edge of the bar counter once you enter the main door to the tasting room. Two payment terminals speed the line along.
- If you want a beer on draft, head to the left side of the bar next to the “L shape.”
- Limits are pre-determined due to batch size. Depending on the crowd, Mikkeller will adjust limits to ensure those who lined up early don’t walk away empty handed.
- You can also order these rare beers online to be shipped within the state of California. http://www.mikkellersd.com/shop