This weekend, City Hall Plaza is likely to get a bit rowdy. After five years, the Copenhagen Beer Celebration is taking its first road trip and setting up shop in Boston, bringing with it hundreds of craft beers from over 50 worldwide breweries. The beer fest is the brainchild of Mikkeller microbrewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, who has teamed up with the folks responsible for organizing Boston Calling (Crash Line Productions) to blend their specialties and create an event that will not only have memorable and unique beers and eats but also features musical talent like Yo La Tengo and Boston’s own Tigerman WOAH!
We spoke with Bjergsø to get his thoughts on the event, craft beer culture and his hopes for the future of the festival.
What do you think of Boston’s beer culture?
Craft beer-wise, the biggest and one of the first and most influential craft breweries is Boston Beer Company, or Samuel Adams, which is from Boston, obviously. It’s still a craft brew, even though it’s so big. So Boston has a long history with craft beer, and it’s been a central beer in the movement.
What should a budding beer aficionado look forward to most at the festival?
One of the good things about this festival, and the ones we’ve had in Copenhagen — it’s not just a festival where brewers bring their normal beers, even though they probably could because they’re some of the best brewers in the world. They are all very into bringing experiments and one-off beers, which is very exciting for us as well, because we can actually present a lot of beers that have never been drunk.
One do you think has led to this rise in the craft brew culture?
It’s a reaction away from the big macro-produced beers which have been so dominant for so many years. People just want to experience something new now, and as soon as you’ve experienced a good craft beer, I don’t think you’ll ever turn back. It’s such a different thing.
It’s pretty much like if you go into McDonald’s to have a burger and then the next day you go to a great artisanal burger place where they spend a lot of energy on it. Do you go back to McDonald’s? I don’t think so.
Do you see this as a limited, one-off festival, or are you looking to make a home for the festival in Boston?
We see it as something we would love to develop. Hopefully we can do this in Boston every year from now on.
What to Try at the Copenhagen Beer Fest
Wicked Weed Brewing | Pernicious IPA
A subtly tropical pale with moderate bitterness.
Amager Bryghus & Cigar City | Game of Arms
An arm wrestling-inspired porter created by the combined effort of Denmark and Tampa outfits.
Mikkeller | Vesterbro Pilsner
A grassy golden pils with a crisp citrusy finish — a Mikkeller standard.