Another one bites the dust...

Sadly, the Mikkeller brewery in San Diego is closing down at the end of this month, after six-years, although their taproom in Little Italy (near downtown San Diego) will remain open. AleSmith will contract-brew all Mikkeller beers in the U.S.

I remember when they opened, amid great enthusiasm to finally see Mikkeller actually launching their first brewery in the U.S. I was in their Viking Club from 2018-2020, which offered some fabulous members-only Barrel-aged brews. Another sad chapter, but when you consider that Mikkeller contract-brews 90% of their beer worldwide, closing down the San Diego brewery won't hurt them at all. I have such good memories of that place

Once again, they were a victim to the economic fallout from COVID and that was that. In recent months, we've seen the magnificent Saint Archer brewery in San Diego disappear, then the eclectic Modern Times Brewing was swallowed up by Maui Brewing Co and the once invincible Stone Brewing saw its $74 million debt taken on by Sapporo, who will be using Stone to brew the five Sapporo lagers in the U.S.

I made a "good bye" visit to Mikkeller last week, enjoying a fabulous Barrel-aged stout w/chocolate orange (12.5%) and picking up a bottle of another Barrel-aged stout w/chocolate and peppermint (15.0%).

While they are good pals with the AleSmith family, here's hoping that AleSmith brewing will do the Mikkeller name justice.

They had Mikkeller Stedsegrøn on at lunch today in a craft-focussed pub I sometimes go to into the City. Asked for a taste and promptly went for something else; supremely average. Chatting to the bar manager about it, she concurred and said some kegs had been foisted on her by head office following an advantageous deal with the supplier.

My untutored impression is that at least in London Mikkeller have faded badly from the lofty heights of a decade or so ago. Then there’s the issue of toxic working conditions for employees which, rightly or wrongly, has attached to them among other well-known names in the industry. That matters.
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Just got wind of the fact that Mikkeller San Francisco has closed after nine-years. Firstly, that came out of the blue, but secondly, I remember around 2014 that my wife and I were so excited that Mikkeller were opening their first pub in the U.S. that we planned a trip from Ohio to Northern California purely to visit Mikkeller. It was a fabulous visit and two-years later they opened their brewery in San Diego.

A case of "Oh how the mighty have fallen" and I definitely take Dan's impression that they have fallen from the lofty heights of a few years back.

They are not the first and won't be the last. It makes me wonder how long their surviving taproom will last in San Diego.
Wow, that's a shame. One of my favourite brewers when we lived in CA - I drunk alot of their Windy Hill in those three years!

Also crazy to see Modern Times eaten up as well, I always perceived them to be a very strong business that had big hopes of expanding as an independent organisation.

Hopefully Ian you can still get access to the likes of Alpine, Bottle Logic and so on. I miss those beers very much!
Hi Julian - Well, Bottle Logic continues to thrive, but Alpine somewhat unceremoniously crashed and burned. They were bought by Green Flash, a highly ambitious husband & wife run brewery in San Diego, who decided they would follow the example of Stone Brewing and open a brewery east of the Mississippi in Virginia Beach.

That led to the financial downfall of Green Flash, taking Alpine Brewing with them. The silver lining is that the brewing team at Alpine returned as McIlhenney Brewing Co, which is the father and son pairing who formed Alpine Brewing.

They were able to return to the original building in Alpine, which was a brewery and taproom, all now under the name of McIlhenney Brewing. They were also able to keep their original Alpine beer recipes, which they jazzed up for the new brewery.

When we first visited San Diego in 2013, everybody told us to make the journey up to Alpine, to visit the best "unknown" brewery in California. We were not disappointed and we were delighted to see their return.

The brand names of Green Flash and Alpine Brewing still exist - the breweries were bought by Georgia's Sweetwater Brewing, who in turn, are owned by a Canadian cannabis company, by the name of Tilray, who bought both breweries for just over $5 million. As Michael Caine would say, "Not a lot of people know that!". Any beers bearing the name of Green Flash or Alpine are now brewed in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Modern Times were also ambitious and while their CEO and Founder resigned over #metoo accusations, they also put a ton of money into new taprooms and breweries on the west coast, just as the COVID-19 pandemic made its appearance. Another crash and burn story. They couldn't even find a buyer, while they were in receivership - it took two attempts to persuade Maui Brewing to bale them out. Modern Times put out the most incredible stouts, so I'm hoping the Maui takeover will prove positive.

Saint Archer Brewing in San Diego bit the dust, taken over by Kings & Convicts Brewing out of Illinois. Ballast Point Brewing was also bought by Kings & Convicts, while the so-called "invincible" Stone Brewing finally saw all its debt swallowed up by Sapporo Brewing. And, of course, we've just lost Mikkeller.

The last two years has decimated the SoCal brewing scene, so I'm curious to see who will rise from the ashes, without being part of a takeover.
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