Dining

Brothers in Ales

Why you should visit Tørst and Mikkeler

There is something happening to craft beer bars in America. Something interesting and likably weird. And Danish.

Its name is Bjergsø. Names actually. As in beer-brewing Danish twin brothers Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø who, independently of one another, have recently opened the two most forward-thinking beer bars in the country.

A Stateside Stillwater Saison at Tørst | The Flux Capacitor

Mikkel's two-month-old Mikkeller Bar is a moody, spacious oasis of clean lines in San Francisco's legendarily grubby Tenderloin district. In New York, Jeppe opened Tørst in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn this past March.

Tørst has a marble bar, wood-paneled walls and a Scandinavian restaurant-within-the-bar, Luksus, that's become an instant cult favorite.

Still, the most impressive thing here must be the bar's shiny beer delivery system, dubbed the "Flux Capacitor." Looking like something out of the engine room of a Soviet-era sub, the machinery allows Jeppe and partner-chef Daniel Burns to help control the carbonation pressure, temperature and type of gas for each of the 21 beers on tap.

A friendly toast in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

We don't know exactly how the Flux Capacitor works. Or how the blend of gasses improves the flavor of a Femme Fatale Yuzu IPA (from Jeppe's brewing outfit, Evil Twin). But we do know it tastes great and all the pressure gauges and red pipes look really, really cool.

The brothers' bars are the results of decades of experience: The pair began home brewing together in Denmark in the 1990s. In the last ten years, each has become an international cult figure in his own right.

For his Mikkeller Brewery, Mikkel travels Europe and North America as a "gypsy brewer," crafting recipes for limited-edition beers that are produced at other facilities. Jeppe worked at Noma and opened Ølbutikken, a legendary beer shop in Copenhagen, before starting his own gypsy brewery, Evil Twin; he moved to Brooklyn in 2012.

The interior of Tørst | The bar's 21 taps, which move from light to dark

You can find both twins' experiments at Mikkeller Bar. Beer geeks aren't just there for Mikkel's Double Eye PA or Monks Elixir, but also for draughts from European breweries like Cologne's Freigeist and Brussels' Cantillon--and some of his brother's Evil Twin Low Life Pils. All, of course, are delivered on Mikkel's own Flux Capacitor.

We may be in the midst of the biggest explosion of craft breweries and brewpubs the country's seen in a long time, but to really taste the future of beer, find one of the Bjergsø brothers on a coast close to you.

They prove that two heads are better than one.

Tørst 615 Manhattan Ave. New York NY 11222 718-389-6034 Mikkeller 34 Mason St. San Francisco CA 94102 415-984-0279
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