Unlike most brewers, Mikkel doesn’t own a brewery. A typical Mikkeller beer originates in his brain as a far-fetched question: What quality of fattiness would a beer obtain if you sprinkled popcorn into the mash? What would happen if you dumped in a load of mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns during the brewing? How much fresh seaweed would lend a beer the right umami jolt? He then finds his answers by proxy, outsourcing the actual brewing to facilities, like de Proef, owned and operated by other people. Mikkel draws up detailed instructions for these fabricators to follow — specifying malt quantity to the milligram, mash schedule to the minute, bitterness to the I.B.U. — and the first time he tastes his own beer is usually when the brewer sends him a shipment and an invoice. “I don’t enjoy making beer,” he says. “I like making recipes and hanging out.”
A Fight Is Brewing – NYTimes.com
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