Yes, It’s Alive!

This is our third visit to the Mikkeller Brewery (Copenhagen, Denmark), founded in 2006 by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller. It’s a gypsy brewery — an economical option that allowed it to produce 124 different beers for 2013 alone.

Like the previous Mikkel Sarbo, It’s Alive is almost totally dedicated to brettanomyces, a genus of yeast in the family Saccharomycetaceae. It should be understood that brewing with these cultures is less precise than brewing with a single, classic yeast. The great reference in this field is the famous Orval, to which It’s Alive is a tribute.

This 8% ABV beer is labelled “Belgian Wild Beer” — in others words a sour beer. But the taste is at first very herbaceous, with predominant caramel malts and floral hop notes. And, at first, we could believe we were tasting a pale ale. Only afterwards, with patience, do the flavors of the “Brett” characteristics open up. However, the sourish tone remains slight and mixes with magnificent traces of candy sugar.

I would say this beer is almost more “winish” than sour, with a small profile of Saison. In fact there’s something experimental about it. The tribute to Orval is very individualized, and it works very well.