Danish beer company Mikkeller, which has built a global empire of quirky bars in cities like Tokyo, Bangkok and San Francisco, will soon have a pop-up in Portland.
The brewery, launched in 2006 by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, is set to move into the turnkey Burnside Brewing building this June, The Oregonian first reported. Burnside Brewing abruptly closed in February, after the property owner changed the locks and posted a sign on the front door indicating the company had not kept up with rent payments.
Kurt Huffman's ChefStable—the group behind Ox, Loyal Legion and Lardo—partnered with Mikkeller to help open the temporary bar and restaurant, which will feature 23 taps and Japanese dishes. The pop-up will allow Huffman and Bjergsø to explore the option of opening a permanent location in the future.
Bjergsø, who used to work as a high school science teacher, got his start in the craft brewing industry like many of his colleagues—making beer was a hobby and he cooked up batches at home. Mikkeller found success early on with Beer Geek Breakfast, a stout infused with French-press coffee.
Since then, the company has shot to the elite category of brewers, though for a decade Bjergsø operated without a home base or equipment of his own. Mikkeller's eventual success is thanks to Bjergsø's practice of gypsy brewing, or collaborating with other producers on original recipes.
Bjergsø's identical twin brother, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, also ran the well-regarded Evil Twin Brewing as a phantom operation for years before recently buying a physical space in New York City. The brothers are famously estranged and allegedly not on speaking terms.
The collaborative model employed by Mikkeller allows it to create a staggering number of beers that often feature local and sometimes bizarre ingredients, including fresh seaweed and Sichuan peppercorns. The brewery now has more than 40 locations around the globe, including several breweries.