After being six years in operation, Danish craft brewery Mikkeler will be selling its 30,000 hectoliter brewery in San Diego, California and tasting room in San Diego and will return to its contract brewing roots. San Diego-based AleSmith Brewing Company will brew Mikkeller beers in the future.
“Two years of Covid and the difficult current rising cost environment have taken its toll on the international brewing business, and unfortunately Mikkeller is no exception,” said the Danish craft brewer in a press release.
“This has been a very hard decision for us to make and comes with a lot of heartache for the Mikkeller employees affected by the closing. The hardships facing the craft beer industry and the economy at large are known to anyone; supply chain issues, rising costs, and unstable market conditions post-pandemic just to name a few. Unfortunately, this means that it is just not sustainable anymore to keep operating our San Diego brewery,” Mikkeller founder Mikkel Bjergsø explained. He emphasized that Mikkeller will still remain committed to distributors, customers and partners in the US.
About two years ago, Mikkeler already closed its second US outpost, its New York City brewery and taproom—located in the New York Mets’ home stadium, Citi Field—just two-and-a-half years after it opened. (inside.beer, 24.3.20218)
The Mikkeller brand will go back to its roots of brewing in the US as a contract brewery. This is nothing new for the company; contract brewing has been one of the keys to Mikkeller’s global success, as the company started contract brewing in 2006 and still contract brews over 90% of the beer it sells globally. Mikkeller’s key value proposition has always been based on its strong brand, quality beers, unique recipes, inventive collaborations and iconic art - all of which the company remains committed to continuing as a contract brewery in America.
To execute on this vision, Mikkeller has created a long-term partnership with San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Company to continue contract brewing its portfolio of beers for the US market. Mikkeller’s collaboration and friendship with AleSmith goes back many years, as AleSmith Founder Peter Zien and Mikkeller founder Mikkel Bjergsø began collaborating on beers in 2007, which ultimately led to Mikkeller’s purchase of AleSmith’s first brewery in 2016 – which was turned into Mikkeller Brewing San Diego.
Mikkeller will continue its product innovation in the US craft beer market, including launching a US-brewed version of its non-alcoholic beers Drink’in the Sun and Weird Weather, which will be available in the US later this year.
Apart from its main contract production at the Belgian brewery De Proef Brouwerji, and its new contract brewing partnership at AleSmith, Mikkeller still operates three smaller breweries in Copenhagen and London.
Mikkeller will continue to own and operate its retail locations in San Francisco and Little Italy, San Diego.