Have you met Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø?
Get to know the champion runner turned international brewer and co-author of new book Food & Beer
Our new book Food & Beer, not only tells the story of two incredibly successful US establishments Tørst and Luksus, but also unpacks the rising trend for craft beer and food pairings. Read on to learn more about the Danish athlete-turned-gypsy-brewer who co-founded those places and co-wrote the book with chef Daniel Burns.
Jeppe (pronounced ‘yep-pay’) came into this world shortly after his twin brother, Mikkel – a fact that Jeppe just can’t forget . “Mikkel was born two minutes before I was. He cut in line,” Jeppe explains in Food & Beer. “My father left when we were eight. He found a new family a few hours north.”
Both Jeppe and Mikkel were keen runners. “He pushed me. I pushed him. Eventually, we joined the Danish National Team and ended up competing in the World Junior Cross Country Championship in 1994 in Budapest. Our lives were devoted entirely to training.”
Injury forced Jeppe to quit about the same time that craft beer took off in Denmark . “Around 1998, I had the idea to start a beer club. It was nothing too serious, but a group of us - my brother and a bunch of other teaching students - would meet every other month with one interesting beer we could find. We even made a magazine, The Beer Nut.”
Jeppe took up brewing, as did his brother. This did not work out well. “Mikkel, whose brewery Mikkeller had grown to be one of the most hyped in Europe, and I were at odds. I wanted to run my company alone, at least professionally. On April 1, 2010, the same day our second son, Melvin, was born, I became the owner and sole proprietor of Evil Twin Brewing.”
Evil Twin’s ‘gypsy brewing’ model, of partnering with established beer breweries, suited the US beer market, and in March 2012 he moved to NYC . “Somewhere deep inside, I had always known I’d end up in America and had always hoped that New York, with its burgeoning beer scene, was the ideal place for me to pursue my passion.”
The brewing went well, but it was at Beer Street, a specialist bar in Brooklyn, that Jeppe ran into another gastronomic eccentric, who would really change his career. “I met a quiet Canadian chef I had heard so much about from my friend, René Redzepi. His name was Daniel Burns.” Burns, a mathematician-turned-chef, had already worked at such prestigious restaurants as Noma, The Fat Duck, and Momofuku, and was ready to found his own place. That night, the ultimate beer and food pairing was born. . .
More on Daniel, the co-founder of the upscale beer bar Tørst, and accompanying Michelin-starred restaurant, Luksus soon. Meanwhile, for more on the pair, and their innovations in food and beer pairings, get a copy of Food & Beer, here.