The Mikkeller Beer Celebration is an annual craft beer festival that started in Copenhagen. It was originally the Copenhagen Beer Celebration before they decided to make it international and call it Mikkeller Beer Celebration after the founding brewery. In Europe, many breweries tend to create their own festivals where they invite their friends to join them in making sure the best beers are available and the Mikkeller Beer Celebration Tokyo (MBCT) was no exception to that rule.
The MBCT was held on September 23rd and 24th. The prices were really expensive so only the true beer geeks went to the event. It was billed as a once in a lifetime experience and the party of all parties for beer geeks. Obviously I had to go and I was lucky enough to score media passes for the event so that I could cover it. The beers available were really good and the atmosphere was phenomenal.
The event was held at the softball grounds next to Meiji Jingu Stadium. It was a nice outdoor venue but I was worried about the weather. Being outside and in the middle of the typhoon season, many things could easily have gone wrong. Thankfully nothing went wrong and the only problem was the sun and heat. Considering just a few days before the event was pretty cold and then summer-like weather during the event, we were pretty lucky. I even got well burnt from the sun and you can easily see it in the videos that I did during the event.
The first day of the event was pretty strenuous for me. It started with a 9:30 arrival where I got to the event to get the lay of the land. Considering I was sleep deprived and I had a bunch of videos to do during the day, I was not a happy camper. I needed beer as I had been sober for a few days recovering from a sudden cold. I was lucky that we were able to get some work done quickly but not so happy that a lot of our plans were thrown out the window due to logistic issues.
The event was split into 4 sessions, with an afternoon and evening session each day and each of the sessions costing 13,500 JPY. Discounts were available if you attended two sessions in a day and even bigger discounts if you bought the golden ticket where you could go to all 4 sessions. I was able to attend 3 of the sessions, with 2 of them doing heavy work. I was able to interview about 12 different breweries and get information about them and talk a little about Japan. Currently we are uploading the interviews on YouTube and they will continue to be uploaded there.
The MBCT was a wonderful event, but it was only for the true beer geeks. The price point was a little too high for the average attendee but the exclusivity and the accessibility to each of the brewers was phenomenal. While the main brewers, specifically Mikkel of Mikkeller was hard to track down, we were able to talk with various people of the other smaller, lesser known, breweries and learn how much fun they were. I now have several new breweries that I want to visit and talk with.
If you are curious about quality beers that you will never see anywhere else, the MBCT is definitely the place to be. The idea that there are no bad beers was true. Every beer was spot on for what they made, even if some of them weren’t my preference. I still lapped up every drop of the good stuff that I loved and can’t wait to go to the next one if they will have it again.