Young Thais are drawn by the big city lifestyle
When Mikkel Borg Bjergsø first tried Vietnamese coffee made from Asian palm civet droppings in 2001, he had no idea he would one day be using the rare drink in his Danish brewery.
“I thought it was really interesting with the low bitterness and chocolate flavours,” said Borg Bjergsø, founder of Mikkeller Brewery in Copenhagen. But when he started brewing beer in 2003, he realised the civet coffee would lend the ideal taste to a strong stout. “When using coffee in beer, you don’t want the bitterness as you get this from the hops, but you do want the chocolate flavours for dark beer.”
With that thought, the Beer Geek Brunch was born, an imperial oatmeal stout that has a roasted, chocolaty flavour thanks to the addition of Vietnamese ca phe chon, known colloquially as weasel or cat poo coffee. It is “stronger, wilder and heavier", said Borg Bjergsø. “Therefore, drink it a little later in the day, for brunch.” The less adventurous can try the brewery’s Beer Geek Breakfast, which is made with regular French press coffee. The civet coffee beer is not the only adventurous brew that Mikkeller has attempted. The brewery prides itself on developing about 80 new beers a year. Past creations have included lagers with salt and seaweed, a porter with Mexican ingredients like five different chillis and avocado leaves, and a porter with yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit.
Visitors to Denmark can instead get up close and personal with Bjergsø’s brews at the Mikkeller Bar, which serves 20 changing varieties on tap, including the weasel beer on occasion. Bottled Beer Geek Brunch is always available.