As well as producing a plethora of interesting, innovative and downright tasty beers, many of them alcohol-free, Danish brewers Mikkeller have also made a big impact in the world of running, almost by accident. The Mikkeller Running Club has chapters on every continent, over 180 clubs in total, with over 12,000 members worldwide. Their aim is simple – go for a run, and have a beer afterwards. The movement started in 2014 when one of Mikkeller’s co-founders, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, teamed up with a childhood friend with the aim to lose some of the weight they had begun to accumulate in their late thirties. Starting with a Facebook post inviting people to a run in Copenhagen, which attracted 8 people, the next month’s event attracted 30 people. The month after that, 100 people, and this growth has continued, with thousands running as part of the MRC every month.
Mikkeller Racing Beer was produced especially as a post-running thirst quencher and fluid replacer. It’s what is known as ‘hypotonic’, which means that it requires less work for your body to absorb it than just plain water. As such it’s packed with B vitamins, relatively low in sugar and has additional carbohydrates – all good stuff to help your body recuperate after exercise. Several other AF beers are also sold as post-workout tipples, such as Erdinger Alkoholfrei, and certainly seem to be popular. So, lets get a sweat on (in my case a 15km bike ride) and crack open a Mikkeller Racing Beer.
Pouring out from the bottle we get a light yellow coloured liquid with a touch of haze to it. We get a fluffy white head which is initially around a finger or two in height, then recedes a bit but still hangs around in one form or another. On the nose we get smacked with tropical and citrus aromas, grapefruit dominating with passionfruit a close second. No real sweetness there, indeed it’s quite a sour aroma. Reminiscent of (and I think I may have used this comparison before) that grapefruit juice you get at a hotel breakfast buffet.
On tasting the sourness from the aroma hits us first, but then begins to mellow out into tropical and citrus fruits, mainly grapefruit again, passion fruit and even lycee also present in the background. This brings in a bit of sweetness, but the beer is still predominantly sour. There is a smooth pleasing mouthfeel, with the carbonation being adequate and not too harsh. We get a short, slightly malty finish to the drink.
This was very much an oddity for me, very different to what I was expecting. Labelled as a lager by Mikkeller, I’ve seen various retailers refer to it as an ale or a wheat beer, but to me it’s not any of these. I haven’t experienced many sour AF beers, but this is certainly the category I’d put Racing Beer into. The beer’s citrus kick makes it very refreshing, and yes I can see this quenching a post-exercise thirst. But I don’t think I could drink more than one in a session, as it does end up being rather acidic.
Buy Mikkeller Racing Beer
Mikkeller Racing Beer is available at many Mikkeller bars, and also online from one of the following drinks shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)|
|Water, Barley Malt, Hops, Mikkellensis Yeast|
|Country of Production||Belgium|
|Brewer||Mikkeller – https://mikkeller.com/|
Mikkeller Racing Beer Nolo Lager Review
Certainly an interesting and refreshing beer, great for a post-run tipple, maybe not for an evening’s drinking session.