Friday Night Beer Blog

Hello beer lovers, happy Friday! Come in and have a cold drink with us.

The beer news is bad for former high-flying international brand Mikkeller. I think it’s a story we’ve heard before: good beer → success → expansion → inadequate management → contraction. The details to Sightlines are worth reading, but here’s the condensed version: a reorganization two weeks ago ousted CEO Kenneth Madsen and returned founder Mikkel Bjergsø to a leadership position, and this week the first ax fell with the closure of their San Diego brewery.

I don’t know how many signs of impending doom they doesn’t have. From first story (mine in bold):

a spokesperson for Mikkeller did not respond to questions about whether a change in the way the company approaches expansion would lead to the closure of one of the 52 current Mikkeller breweries and restaurants, which are located in 18 countries around the world…

This signals the company’s renewed confidence in Bjergsø, whose denial and defiance last year in response to stories of ex-workers of sexual harassment, bullying and stalkersyou prompted Madsen to moves Mikkeller away from its founder’s statements. In interviews with of them Danish media, Bjergsø claimed that activists were trying to ruin his business and that bullying issues at the brewery were not part of the overall working culture of the company. In October 2021, Madsen wrote in a statement that Bjergsø’s comments “did not fully reflect the company’s or Mikkel’s position on this serious matter”. Bjergsø has been largely in the spotlight ever since apologize for his remarks.

This week follow-up article reports the San Diego shutdown and adds more details about Mikkeller’s ongoing issues with its US operations.

While the craft beer segment as a whole has struggled this year in grocery, drug and big box stores, Mikkeller’s declines have been steeper than most of its peers. Its distribution chain Sales for the 52-week period ending August 7 fell -29% compared to the previous year, according to data from market research firm IRI. Overall, craft beer dollar sales were down -5.5% over the same period…

Mikkeller San Diego has been the subject of numerous employee complaints about unsafe working conditions, harassment and intimidation—problems that Mikkeller employees in other countries have echoed…

In October 2020, Mikkeller closed its brewery and tavern in New York just two and a half years after its debut … turned out to be unfeasible and further revealed the convoluted and varied ownership structures that govern Mikkeller’s outposts around the world…

Another of Mikkeller’s American relationships fell apart in November 2021, when the company’s partnership with Indiana-based 3 Floyds Brewing has been dissolved.

I start with the Watermelon Girlfriend I talked about last week, after that I think the only cold thing is Hazy Little Thing. What are you drinking? Who brews?

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