Denmark: Mikkeller receives cancellations for beer festival on allegations of sexual harassment

Mikkeller, one of the best known microbreweries in the world that was founded in 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark and operates today several breweries and brewpubs in Denmark, USA and UK faces heavy headwinds on allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying that several former Mikkeller employees allege occurred at the company. Despite Mikkeler denying these allegations, about a dozen breweries that planned to attend the upcoming Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen (MBCC) festival scheduled for Oct. 22-23 have reversed their decision.

Among those are Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in Gilbert, Arizona; Industrial Arts Brewing in Garnerville, New York; DEYA Brewing Company in Cheltenham, UK; Dominion City Brewing in Ottawa, Ontario; Track Brewing Co in Mnachester, UK; Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas; Collective Arts Brewing in Hamilton, Ontario; The Kernel Brewery in London, UK and many more.

"We should’ve thought more deeply about our participation in the event and the message it would send to our staff and fans, and for that we’re sorry," Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company said in a post, when announcing to withdraw its participation.

In a response Mikkeler posted a statement on its facebook account saying that “a social media post called out Mikkeller for being a company that has done nothing to address allegations of harassment and a small number of participating breweries decided to cancel their participation in Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen (MBCC) and posted statements to support their decision. We want to address this post very directly: we support activism for social justice, safe workplaces and inclusion. And we have indeed responded clearly to any allegations of employee mistreatment at Mikkeller and have, and continue to, prioritize a safe and inclusive workplace above all else.”

In July, four former Mikkeller employees, all women, accused male staff members — including founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø — in a period from late 2014 to early 2020 of making sexually offensive gestures, as well as questioning their ability to perform physical tasks and making sexually explicit comments. Allegedly a then-manager at Mikkelers Copenhagen brewpub pantomimed male masturbation in front of one female employee when he wanted her to stop talking.

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