The whole project started with a rumour that Rick Astley lived in Amager, Copenhagen.
“When I heard the news, I immediately thought we should brew a beer with him,” explains the brewer and founder of Mikkeller, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, who as a pre-teen had posters of Rick Astley hanging on his wall in his childhood home in Nivå and hits such as ’Never Gonna Give You Up’ and ’Whenever You Need Somebody’ on repeat in the walkman.
“I was a huge fan!,” he says.
Bjergsø later found out that Rick Astley lived in London and that he – despite being married to a Dane – actually never lived in Amager. However, through the singer’s Danish wife, who is also Astley’s manager, Mikkeller got in contact with Astley, who said yes to a Skype meeting with Bjergsø and the offer to brew a beer with Mikkeller.
“I consider myself to be close everything Danish. I like the tradition of quality in products and design. I really like Mikkel and his team, and think what they do is interesting, fun and great quality,” says Astley about the collaboration.
And so Bjergsø and Astley traveled together to the Belgian brewery De Proef Brouwerij to brew a beer together. The result is a red lager with a touch of ginger – a reference to Astley’s red hair. Astley himself chose the name ’Astley’s Northern Hop’.