Here’s a new one. You’ve heard of West Coast breweries expanding across the country. You’ve heard of U.S. craft breweries expanding internationally. You’ve heard of international collaboration. But have you heard of an international brewer partering with a U.S. brewery to use a former facility to start its own U.S. presence?
You probably have because you have your finger on the pulse, but still, it doesn’t make this deal any less interesting/innovative/cool. This great story in the San Diego Reader has all of the details, but the gist is that Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, an internationally renowned “gypsy” brewer of Mikkeller, entered into one of these only-in-the-craft-beer-industry collaborative partnerships with San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Co. This way, Mikkeller gets a nice base camp here in the United States to create all sorts of crazy beers with American craft brewers (and maybe stay permanently?), and AleSmith gets a quality tenant for its former brewing facility (they are moving to a big new site soon).
From the Reader:
Upon finalizing the deal on the larger venue, Zien set out to sell his existing brewery, tasting room and warehouse space as a turnkey facility. He received interest from well-known brewing companies throughout the country, but ended up tapping Bjergsø, a longtime friend. It was as simple as floating the basic idea out via email.
Bjergsø, who has made a career by brewing his beers exclusively at breweries around the world, had been contemplating the idea of building a place to call his own but hadn’t made any serious movement on that aim until Zien posed the idea for the partnership.