Mikkeller Brewing San Diego Head Brewer Bill Batten Resigns
(San Diego, CA) – AleSmith Brewing announced a special partnership in which Mikkeller, a then gypsy brewing/beer brand would begin US operations in the long standing Cabot drive brewery in February of 2015. As a top level summary of this special partnership, AleSmith owners would have a financial stake in this new operation, Mikkeller owner Mikkel Borg Bjergsø would still have the final say over the branding, the beer program and all products being poured and sold.
There was immediate skepticism from the San Diego Beer enthusiast community. Mikkeller has been known for making just as many great beers as not great beers, all of which were imported from various overseas breweries. What was also on many “beer geeks” minds was whether Mikkeller Beer’s premium price tag would remain intact even while being brewed here in the states.
All the skepticism quickly subsided when it was announced that long time AleSmith Brewing veteran and decorated brewer Bill Batten would be the head brewer of what is now known as Mikkeller SD. What felt so good in the hearts of the local beer lover, was that AleSmith Brewing’s Cabot Dr. brewery fit Bill like a glove. There would be no learning curve, and Mikkeller SD could hit the ground running with WORLD CLASS BEER.
In a short amount of time, Bill began cranking out super solid San Diego style beers, all with the nod of Mr. Bjergsø. Some of the beers, like the IPA and Pales were signature Bill Batten classics, so were Bill’s perfect renditions of Mikkeller’s spicier and more experimental beers.
While it took a minute, Mikkeller SD got on the radar of the new kids who stand in line real early for beer, with a couple of fantastic canned IPA releases, as well as an experimental offering with raspberries and coffee. It seems that a rocket was strapped to Mikkeller SD and they were headed straight to the stratosphere.
But what I most feared out of the relationship became reality, as my Facebook newsfeed was met with this message from Head Brewer Bill Batten.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I am letting everyone know that I have resigned from Mikkeller Brewing SD. Due to a difference in creative vision I have decided to step down and pursue my passion elsewhere. I know that Chris Gillogly,Daniel Cady, Jacobo Mendoza, and the rest of the crew will absolutely fucking kill it at what they are doing over there and keep Mikkel’s vision alive. Cheers guys and keep on rocking!”
There is too much heart and soul in that building and in that brewing team for the quality of the beers to diminish, not to mention the support of the stakeholders. We look forward to seeing where Bill goes next.