Rick Astley is aiming to be top of the hops this October.
Nope, it’s not a Rick Roll. It’s a true story, involving beer, evil twins, and 80s pop legend Rick Astley, all conspiring to open a bar in Shoreditch. When it opens on October 19th, London will get a new bar dedicated to the art of craft brewing. But in the meantime, sit back and enjoy the unlikely tale of hops, sibling rivalry, and pop hits that led us to this moment.
It begins back in the 80s, during the heyday of Rick Astley’s pop career. Amongst his many fans is a teenaged Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, who grows up to become the founder of Danish craft brewery Mikkeller, renowned for their exclusive craft beers made with inventive ingredients. In an interesting side note, he isn’t the only famous craft beer fiend in his family – his identical twin Jeppe founded Evil Twin Brewing, a Brooklyn-based outfit that has taken the US by storm. Despite their shared passion, the two brothers can’t stand each other, embroiled in a Gallagher-esque feud that’s the stuff of legend in the craft beer scene. (Hence the name ‘Evil Twin’).
Shoreditch is getting a new resident!! My good friend Mikkel and I, with his incredible team at @MikkellerBeer brewery, are opening a bar in Shoreditch, London on October 19th. Come one, come all. More details to follow 🙌🏼🍺🇬🇧 — Rick. X pic.twitter.com/2vtUQOgKNM
— Rick Astley (@rickastley) August 9, 2018
Family dramas aside, Mikkeller has grown in reputation and stature, opening bars in Copenhagen, New York, and San Diego. They’ve had their eye on London for a while, but were looking for the right space and the right launch partner. Which brings us to Rick Astley again; in 2015, Mikkel met his pop idol when he was introduced to noted beer fan Astley by the singer’s Danish wife. They collaborated on a potent brew named Astley’s Northern Hop Lager, a ginger-infused beer. Now, they’re taking their partnership to Shoreditch, with the unveiling of Mikkeller’s first UK bar.
Though the exact location hasn’t been confirmed (it’s somewhere on Hackney Road), we do have some details about the new space. It’ll be a daringly Danish design, with lots of wood and bold colours to complement the array of beer taps. They’re taking inspiration from Astley’s music videos to work in some subtle references throughout. Oh, and one thoroughly unsubtle illustration of the singer. The new bar will launch with a special opening event on October 19th, with Astley rumoured to be taking to the stage. Mikkel and Astley will also release a new collaboration beer in celebration of the occasion.
Mikkeller’s new spot is set to become a favourite of beer fanatics and music fans alike. Honestly, this is one bar you’re never gonna give up (come on, don’t pretend you didn’t see that coming)…
Keep an eye on Mikkeller’s Facebook page for more news.
Featured image: @officialrickastley