Illustration of a man painting

The art of Mikkeller

It all started with a coincidence more than a decade ago. The American freelance artist and illustrator Keith Shore had come across a beer that caught his eye on the top shelf of a bottle shop in New Jersey. The label on it was different from what he had seen before on a beer, and he got the idea to write the brewery and offer to create a label for them. Luckily, the man who received the email, Mikkel Bjergsø, founder of the Danish craft brewery Mikkeller, liked Shore's artistic expression and thought it was an interesting idea, so he asked him to create a label for a collaboration beer that was coming up – and with great success!

Mikkeller Prints
Mikkeller label

“It was cool to see people drinking something that had your art on the label. I’ve always drawn very small – it really fits my style – so I was quite comfortable with it. I loved every second, and afterwards I begged Mikkel to let me do it again,” Shore remembers.

Mikkeller sculpture in form of a heart

13 years and thousands of labels and illustrations later, Mikkeller has grown into an internationally renowned company with bars, restaurants, breweries and bottle shops across the world. A key to Mikkeller’s international success is Keith Shore’s characteristic playful and colorful illustrations, which defines the craft brewery’s visual identity, and has been a strong brand driver. From the very beginning, Shore drew two characters who would evolve into Mikkeller’s label mascots, the beloved soul mates ‘Henry & Sally’. Amongst his main influences are Henri Matisse, David Hockney and Philip Guston.

Business with a Mikkeller paint on the wall

Today, Shore has withdrawn from the every day operation in Mikkeller. He has started his own business and given the torch to his longtime assistant designer, the talented Luke Cloran, who has been creating the main part of Mikkeller’s art for the past few years.

Wall showing Mikkeller artwork

Many of the the artworks, both old classics and new drawings can today be bought as art prints in our print shop. These are art prints that are of exceptional quality, so they can be enjoyed for years to come.

Mikkeller Prints
Shop our art prints here

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