Cult-followed Copenhagen craft brewery Mikkeller has opened its second London taproom in partnership with 80s pop star Rick Astley. Mikkeller Exmouth Market joins Mikkeller Shoreditch, which opened October last year, and will break from its sibling in brewing beer on site; the new brewpub will close early next year for a refit and the addition of a restaurant, according to Hot Dinners.
Mikkeller’s partnership with Astley — he of Never Gonna Give You Up and the ensuing online bait and switch phenomenon, the Rickroll — dates back to its ‘Northern Hop’ lager, whose reddish hue is purportedly inspired by Astley’s hair. Whatever works. Mikkeller’s approach to beer — typically putting added fruits, spices, or herbs front and centre in the flavour profile, rather than aiming for subtle integration — has been well-received in London, even if the transposing of its light wood Copenhagen aesthetic on to what was a Great British Pub jarred for some in the early days. The Exmouth Market site, previously a rotating pop-up space, will allow the brand to stamp its identity on a blanker canvas, over two floors.
The craft brewery, founded by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller in 2006, has grown to be one of the sector’s most revered, showcasing a wide range of beer styles and approaches, using local ingredients. It has since built up a cult following, collaborating to make exclusive beers with big-name restaurants such as Alinea and Noma. Bjergsø’s twin brother, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, founded Evil Twin in 2010, which has also become one of the industry’s most famous: the brothers’ widely documented feud has become something of an urban legend in the craft beer world.
Mikkeller Exmouth Market, 37-39 Exmouth Market EC1R 4QL