Bar Review: Mikkeller Bangkok and its Pursuit of Hoppiness in Ekkamai

Shortly after 5pm on a balmy Sunday, Mikkeller Bangkok is easing into another splendid evening. Chortles of delight echoing across the lawn interrupts the roughhousing of spirited pups while inside the residence-turned-craft-beer-haven, a curious crowd is taking their pick from a 30-strong list of boutique pours to go with modern bar bites. The Danish microbrewery of the same name may have two other venues  – Ari and Siam Discovery – but you can’t deny the rustic, convivial allure unique to its first location.

The outdoor seating area at Mikkeller Bangkok

This is more than just a replica of Mikkeller founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø’s popular bars in Copenhagen and San Francisco. The healthy hike from Ekkamai BTS – or take a motorcycle taxi, it’s 20 baht – rewards you with a secluded locale, far removed from the chaos that makes up Bangkok city. It has become the pilgrimage destination for self-proclaimed cicerones (fancy word for beer pro) and, for uninitiated like me, a welcoming venue with friends come sundown.

From the 30 rotating taps, newcomers can start from mainstays and seasonal offerings from Mikkeller, including the Bangkok-exclusive Sukhumvit Pilsner (Abv 5.6%; THB 160/300) and Swedish Wash (Abv 11.5%; THB 300), a brut ale brewed with Riesling. An international selection makes up the rest of the list, and can feature anything from an incredibly hoppy amber ale, Blazing World from Modern Times (Abv 6.8%; THB 200/300) to a Barrel-aged Speedway Stout (Abv 13%; THB 360) from San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing Company. The latter, with its burst of cinnamon, vanilla and coffee makes for a great dessert alternative.

A live tap list is available on their website (with prices) but you’re better off asking the staff for recommendations and samples before commiting to a proper pint.

The food menu, while succinct, is solidly executed by Dan Bark, chef-owner of the one Michelin-starred Upstairs at Mikkeller on the second floor.

Spicy Chicken Wings in a finger-licking Sichuan sauce (THB 290) and Thai Grilled Chicken (THB 420) made for an interesting detour from the predominantly modern European menu. But the focus here is mainly on the Mikkeller Wagyu Burger (THB 380; double patty at THB 480).

Bark has managed to get our culinary pulses running with the seemingly simple combination of cheddar, sauteed mushrooms and a juicy wagyu patty barely held together by a greasy pretzel bun. The proprietary mix of 70% Australian Wagyu and 30% Japanese Wagyu was made even better with the hint of smoke, evident from the satisfying scorch marks. Fan or not, you will want to mark calendars for their Tuesday-only Burger & Pint promotion. At THB 540, you get a Mikkeller Wagyu Burger and a pint of house beer.

There is word on the grapevine that Mikkeller will be renovating the Tasting Room (at the back) to host tasting sessions. I certainly hope so. Giving guests a chance to embark on a great variety of beer styles will really cement its place as the perennial craft beer spot for years to come. In the meantime, you can bring home a slice of the Mikkeller experience as it is still open for takeaways, and we hear they’re also opening up deliveries to other parts of Asia so those outside Thailand can enjoy access to its excellent selection of craft beers.

It’s easy to slip into a jovial mood here, particularly after a burger-induced food coma and your second pour. I’m sure I speak for many when I say this is what I’m craving for after walking about the city with its patented brand of sweltering heat.

Mikkeller Bangkok is located at 26 Ekkamai 10 Alley, Lane 2, Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand, p. +66 2 381 9891. Open daily 5pm – 12am.

Jessica simply read too many Roald Dhal books as a kid and grew up thinking she’s the next J.K Rowling. Nowadays, she’s more of a Jay Rayner (or hopes to be), dishing out juicy pieces on F&B trends. Chances are you’ll find her at a Starbucks stealing their WiFi.