Tasting beer from an exported keg, over a year later

Over a year after it was shipped from San Diego to Copenhagen, an older keg of Mikkeller’s ‘Finger Guns’ was unexpectedly spotted in their Warpigs (Copenhagen) taproom. Coincidentally, Amir Behdarvand (formerly of Mikkeller SD) was working at the same establishment at the time. Amir knew that his San Diego team had treated that very keg with Brew Shield several months before. Although the San Diego-brewed hazy NEIPA would never have gone on tap in Denmark so long after its arrival, the former Special Projects Brewer’s curiosity got the best of him. He recounts tasting the beer and everyone being quite content with it. “It still tasted really nice,” he told us. Does he normally drink year-old beer? No. “I won’t recommend that, but it was a cool data point.”

Leading up to their first encounter with Brew Shield, shelf life and quality were indispensable to Mikkeller SD where as much as 60 % of production fed into wholesale distribution. “We were constantly on the prowl for something new and innovative to make sure the quality of our beer was consistent, and that the beer was as shelf-stable as we could get it.” Amir explained that the brewery upheld precise QC standards, working hard to deliver good beer. Their kegs and bottles were shipped all over the world. They knew they had limited control over the wider supply chain, so the brewing team prioritised technical aspects to retain freshness. “We did our absolute best to maintain tight standards.” This chance tasting in Copenhagen finally expanded on the positive outcome of their Brew Shield trial (see Part 1). The beer remained palatable much longer than expected.

Interrogating Brew Shield dosage and performance

With a background in microbiology and biochemistry, Amir loved the intersection of science with beer brewing. In the brewery environment, he liked to combine his technical background with his brewing passion. Our basic Brew Shield trial setup is simple, but that did not stop this inherently precise, inquisitive brewer from delivering a wealth of insightful feedback. We outlined Mikkeller’s simple-to-replicate Brew Shield trial setup in Part 1 of this case study.

“Brew Shield was extremely simple to use. We put hops in at whirlpool, too, so it made a lot of sense. We put everything we could in at the hot side, so the fact that we could add Brew Shield at whirlpool made a lot of sense. It was the easiest solution for the way we brewed our beers.”

At the time, Mikkeller SD were making 90 bbl of beer per day. They wanted to see real results and tested Brew Shield in their flagship hazy and bestseller, Windy Hill. Notes of lemon, mango, lemongrass, and papaya needed to outlive long supply chains in a completely opaque, matte golden 7 % abv, 70 IBU NEIPA. The recommended Brew Shield dosage was added at whirlpool, and so was a more economical ‘half dosage’. A negative control was also evaluated. Amir’s team was maximising their data points to ensure a fair conclusion. They stored cans in every practical warm location, including their boiler room. The brewers finally subjected all beers to triangle tests.

When asked about the trial outcome, Amir indicated that “it was quite impressive.” The batch with half the recommended Brew Shield dosage outperformed the control sample. It was noticeably different from both other samples. The recommended dosage delivered the best outcome. “Considering what we did on those beers forcibly to really challenge them, Brew Shield did a great job,” he told us. The results were so convincing that Mikkeller SD carried the protocol over into other hoppy beers, adding 5 L of Brew Shield to each 30 bbl brew.

“We eventually started using Brew Shield in most of our hoppy and hazy beers. We added Brew Shield to anything that would oxidise more easily to help those last.”

Shelf-life means financial savings

“We had to bargain with finances,” Amir confessed, because the brewery was working to cut costs. He shared a telling anecdote on ‘negotiating’ for purchasing approval: a logical argument is easily won and Windy Hill happened to be one of their controller’s favourite beers. Amir chilled some Windy Hill from a fresh batch, but also some from the Brew Shield trial, to convince their Windy Hill-loving head of finances. He admits he did not choose the samples from the warmest spot, but assessed this as fair because the beer was several months old already. Then, he challenged his colleague to try both. When they could hardly tell the difference between the two, the deal was sealed.

From the above experiment, it extended that Brew Shield can lead to financial savings for Mikkeller SD. They can brew more beer and have more time to send it places. “The result justified the price point.”

“You can’t taste the product either, not in the fresh or in the older beer after it was left to age, so there was absolutely no change in colour or flavour.”


We thank Mickail Murawski and Amir Behdarvand for graciously agreeing to discuss their Brew Shield trial experience with us and for letting us share their story with others.


  1. sandiego.org. [Online] [Cited: 17 April 2023.] https://www.sandiego.org/campaigns/good-stuff/craft-beer.aspx.
  2. Mikkeller SD. [Online] 22 August 2022. [Cited: 18 April 2023.] https://www.mikkellersd.com/press-release-8-22-22.