Beer Maverick

Mikkeller Brewing, Miramar

Mikkeller SD is an important addition to San Diego’s craft beer scene.

San Diego’s many craft beer geeks were pretty excited when Mikkeller Brewing announced it was going to open a location in Miramar. Mikkeller was an already-iconic name in craft brewing. Mikkel Borg Bjergsø was famous partly for his great beers and innovative recipes, partly for the fact that he didn’t own a brewery of his own. He started “gypsy brewing” in his native Denmark, hiring other brewers to execute his recipes on their equipment. It is different from “collaboration brewing” in that the hired brewer doesn’t contribute to the recipe, just follows it to the letter; it is more like contract brewing. It is an unusual approach, but one that has clearly worked for the brand–and for its many fans. Nearly the same approach is in practice in the Miramar location, except that Mikkeller owns the brewery in partnership with AleSmith Brewing.

Mikkeller is known for variety as well as quality. Have a look at’s entry for the Danish brewery and you’ll see hundreds of different beers listed, everything from American IPAs to stouts to lambics. In San Diego, the plan is to offer a set of core beers AND to release one new beer each week.

“Mikkeller SD,” as it is known, took over the space formerly home to AleSmith’s brewhouse before they moved into their huge new facility (which I visited not long ago and loved). The space has been duly Mikkeller-ified with huge murals of the quirky figures that grace Mikkeller cans enjoying a few brews themselves. On my visit they were pouring 19 beers, including three variations on the justly-famous Beer Geek Breakfast Stout, seven varieties of IPA, and the Fruit Face Berliner Weisse. The beer quality is as high as you would expect. You can find several Mikkeller beers in cans around San Diego and beyond.

Service was excellent, and the space is hip and stylish yet comfortable and inviting. I particularly liked the high communal table in a separate room at the front.

If you are planning a beer-cation in San Diego, or if you are just out touring breweries in Miramar, this is a stop to include on your list. You’ll make your beer geek friends envious and you’ll have some great beer to boot. The only caveat is that just a couple of weeks ago in early March 2017, Mikkeller SD head brewer Bill Batten resigned over differences of creative vision. It may take a little while to see what that means for the beer and the brewery’s direction.     9366 Cabot Drive, San Diego, CA  92126