2 O'Clock Tasting
Mikkeller Single Hop Series

Meet Denmark's own nomad brewer, a one man show of grain, hops, and yeast.

Created in 2006 by Mikkel Borg Bjergso, Mikkeller has no brick and mortar location, but instead brews out of varying European breweries, such as Nogne O in Norway and De Proef Brouwerij in Belgium. In the brewing world, the term most often used to describe Mikkel is "gypsy brewer," and it is well-deserved. He has collaborated with De Struise Bowers of Belgium, Brewdog of Scotland, and more recently, jumped the Atlantic to team up with Jester King Craft Brewery of Austin, Texas. The subject of much recent attention, Mikkel may be a wanderer, but if he continues to impress and excite, his beers will always have a home. We sample five from his single hop series:

  1. Simcoe Single Hop IPA

    6.9% ABV

    With an orange, slightly hazy appearance this IPA has plentiful citrus notes, along with a touch of caramel, and a lingering pine freshness characteristic of the Simcoe hopping. On the palate the pine is subtle but pleasant, and the hop bitterness is balanced nicely with a healthy malt body. We like this beer very much.

  2. Warrior Single Hop IPA

    6.9% ABV

    The Warrior version of this IPA is similar in appearance (not surprising), but the aroma carries even more citrus and tangerine essence - almost blood orange-like. We are eager to take a sip, but find this one less fresh and lively than the Simcoe. The Warrior hops also make it noticeably more bitter, especially at the finish.

  3. Cascade Single Hop IPA

    6.9% ABV

    As the IPA tour progresses, we become more and more anxious to reach the Cascade IPA, which, given its status as the quintessential American IPA hop, we assume will be one of the best. The nose offers less than the Simcoe or Warrior, with the dominant note being a subtle citrus. When sipped, the lack of vibrancy remains, and a strong bitterness is followed by a citrusy back end. A tasty beer, but not as thrilling as we had hoped for.

  4. Amarillo Single Hop IPA

    6.9% ABV

    Again, this Amarillo IPA gives a citrus aroma - though more in line with the Cascade than the Warrior. We detect some pink grapefruit floating around in the mix and pleasant grassy notes. Upon tasting we notice the expected hop bitterness, but are surprised at the almost sour candy aftertaste. This brew has a nice depth to it, and is refreshing on either a sip or a gulp.

  5. Tomahawk Single Hop IPA

    6.9% ABV

    The Tomahawk is just that - a tomahawk to palate. With only faint notes of pine, the aroma is somewhat lacking, but the flavor is for real and strikes you with a piney bitterness that seems almost burnt. This is definitely the most intense beer of the group, and while some may relish the lingering bitterness of the aftertaste, we find ourselves reaching for more of the Simcoe and the Amarillo.