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February 23, 2018

Mikkeller launches a new style of alcohol-free beer

Henry and his Science is the first beer in a series of a new style of non-alcoholic beers called Flemish Primitive. The beer, which is brewed with Mikkeller’s own yeast strain, is now available at all Mikkeller venues and shops.


“We have worked intensively with our solid Belgian collaborator De Proefbrouwerij for three years now developing unique alcohol-free beers. Creating a great non-alcoholic beer with lots of taste from our own yeast strain mikkellensis, is the temporary culmination of this work,” says CEO and founder of Mikkeller, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø.

“Having our own yeast strain is pretty cool. This also means that other breweries can buy the yeast and use it for their brews to give them the characteristic mikkellensis flavour,” he explains.

The Flemish Primitive

Henry and the Science is a an example of a ’Flemish Primitive’ style, where the specific yeast strain, mikkellensis, gives a typical passion fruit aroma to a non-alcoholic beer.

De Proefbrouwerij filed the name ‘Flemish Primitive’ as a trademark. The Flemish Primitives were painters, who brought a new vibe in painting, similar to what De Proufbrouwerij is doing with bio-flavouring in beer.

In the recipes of the ‘Flemish Primitive’ the brewer chooses raw materials, which support the body of the beer, but do not give specific overwhelming, recognisable aromas.  It is mainly a neutral Pilsner malt, accompanied by some other neutral grains like wheat, rye, oats, etc.  So no caramelised or roasted grains are used.

There are no spices and the choice / dosage of hops is chosen in this way that they are not recognisable in aroma, and do not give more than 10 EBC (a light color) to the beer.

“The main aim is to show the consumer how the microorganisms influence the beer.  Flemish Primitive beers can be fruity or funky and are often accompanied by lactic or acetic acidity, which might give you give the impression of drinking ‘a marriage between beer and lemonade’ The beers are low in alcohol, pleasant and easily drinkable for a general consumer public,” explains Dirk Naudts, owner of De Proefbrouwerij.


Flemish Primitive beers are defined as:  

-          Having typical body, taste and aroma coming from alternative micro-organisms (fx. Coffee beans)

-          Alcohol between 0 and 5 % volume

-          Maximum 10 EBC (color range)

-          Maximum 10 IBU (bitterness range)

-          Made of only water, yeast, malt and hops as ingredients

-          Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij by a gypsy brewer