Bugs & Berries: A Samuel Adams and Mikkeller Collaboration
The idea to brew Bugs & Berries was really a collaboration between our team in Boston and Mikkel Borg Bjergsø from Mikkeller Brewery in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Brewed exclusively for the 2016 Copenhagen Beer Celebration in Boston, MA, we teamed up to bring a one-of-a-kind beer to the festival for its inaugural year in the states. And what better way to celebrate a little bit of Copenhagen in the U.S. than to brew a beer that has ingredients from both countries in it.
Bugs & Berries was born from the idea of blending 2 beers made of 2 bugs (yeast strains) and 2 berries. Yeast and cherries from Frederiksdal Estate in Harpelunde, Denmark were shipped to Boston and used to make the first beer. The second beer was brewed using yeast from Walden, New York, and strawberries from a few select farms, including one local farm in Groton, MA.
On August 11th, we came together for a blending day at our Brewery in Boston. For an added kick, we added a bit of our signature Kosmic Mother Funk sour ale, and the result was a deep red, tart and hazy wheat ale with robust cherry and strawberry notes. We can’t wait for you to try it!
For those who may not be as familiar with Mikkeller Brewery, we asked co-founder and brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø a couple of questions after his trip to the brewery:
Tell us a bit about Mikkeller Brewery
I actually used to be a math and physics teacher until I started experimenting with hops, malt and yeast back home in my kitchen in Copenhagen. My longtime friend and I Kristian Keller, were so inspired we bought a few American books about brewing and started grinding malt in the basement of our apartment complex. Their first experiment was a clone of the Brøckhouse IPA which we actually served to our beer club. At that point, we definitely knew we were on to something.
Today we export beer to 40 different countries and really strive for innovation with each of our beers. Because we’re constantly experimenting I’ve heard our brewery called theʻcultʼ,ʻrockʼnʼrollʼ and ʻgypsy brewer, which is pretty cool.
Why was Sam Adams a great partner for this collab?
Being from Boston and having such a rich history, Sam Adams was the perfect partner for this project. As we, respectfully, enter this great city with our Copenhagen Beer Celebration – Boston, we feel that we do so with, not only a great collaboration beer, but also with a sense of blessing from a local beer-perspective.
We had a lot of fun at the brewery last week for our blending day. What are you most excited about for this beer?
As did we. Thanks for having us! We’re excited to taste through the differently layers this beer offers. Fruits and bacteria from both sides of the Atlantic should make for some interesting beer tasting conversation. It’ll also be fun to taste it in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and so on, to experience how it develops over time.
We’ve gotten some questions around the ‘Bugs and Berries’ name, can you tell us in your own words why this is the perfect name for this beer?
It really covers the essence of this beer perfectly; the ingredients, hand-picked and collected (yeast strains) by both breweries. It also has a nice ring to it, and we’ve already experienced people freaking out by the word ‘bugs’ in it, so we clearly chose the right name.
Profile for Bugs & Berries:
- Style: Wild Ale
- Malt Varieties: Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, white wheat, acidulated malt
- Hop Varieties: Hallertau Mittelfrueh and Saaz
- Special Ingredients: Blend of beers including Strawberry Blonde (local strawberries and wild yeas from NY), Danish Cherry Wheat (cherries and wild yeas from Denmark), and Kosmic Mother Funk (Brettanomyces & Lactobacillus)
- IBUs: 10
- Color: 16 SRM
- Alcohol by Volume: 5.7%
- Yeast Strain: BBC Ale Yeast, Wild Yeast, Brettanomyces & Lactobacillus