TGIF – Chris B. and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, a gypsy brewer’s arrogance

Friday’s are not what they used to be anymore. At first glance it seemed amusing: a simple Untappd user checked into a beer by Evil Twin, detected diacetyl and put that in his review. That review was a sign of the times: written as if by a blind bat suffering from dyslexia, Chris B. (the Untappd user in question) defied all rules of spelling and grammar bravely, just like in most WhatsApps and text messages I receive from anyone under forty. For example, he spelled diacetyl as diacytle. It took a very nasty, arrogant turn though, when Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø (owner of Evil Twin) caught the post.

15420968_10154764716946838_8697529724488167183_nJeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the twin brother of Mikkel Borg-Bjergsø (the Danish naming laws are of a highly psychedelic nature) did not take the post lightly and went all-out on his Facebook page. His disciples, the pall-bearers of the evil twin, then started tumbling over each other with memes in which they made mock of Chris B. Other pall-bearers wrote items on internet with intriguing titles like “Evil Twin Brewmaster is Brutally Taunting a Know-It-All Online Reviewer” and “CRAFT BEER NERD GETS OWNED BY LEGENDARY BREWER, ENTIRE INTERNET” in which they sided with Jeppe.

But what did they side with, honestly? They sided with arrogance! The lashing was all about the wrong spelling of the word ‘diacetyl’ and Jeppe was quoted saying “it was pleasurable to bring attention to the foolishness of reviews in general, but especially when people try to use weird shit in reviews to sound more knowledgeable.” That is, in all honesty, the kind of arrogance you would not expect to come from a craft brewer (pall-bearers are pall-bearers and they will change palls immediately if that serves them better).

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-34145-pm-c56f2de5-90f5-4435-acc5-919d8fef28d6Whether or not the spelling was bad, it started with a consumer who believed he picked up diacetyl in a beer – which is not supposed to be in there. Now whether or not Chris B. was right, essentially he is making a quality complaint and every brewer in his right mind would want to respond to that, apologizing and perhaps offering a replacement. Faults usually can be avoided, but never completely – beer is a living product. And a brewer who owns his kettles will never walk away from that. But here’s where the boys and the men of brewing are being separated: Evil Twin is a simple marketing concept, renting space in the kettles of 10 of the best breweries in the world (don’t forget to download our press kit) and frankly, not much more.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-34936-pm-9b76d56f-4093-454b-91ab-cf628145aad2Does Jeppe not care about beer? I would not go so far as to say that, but his remark on another Untappd user (Kjell H.) is telling. I do believe, however, that stating there’s foolishness in reviewing because of typos is willfully denying the underlying statement made. I do see where Jeppe finds it is pleasurable to do so: he has, again, succeeded in finding a clever way of marketing one of his beers (not one of his brews) and get a shitload of attention for someone else’s work. While cashing in on it, many pall-bearers enjoy walking in the rays of Jeppe’s sun while somewhere there is a guy called Chris B., wondering what would have happened if he made no spelling mistakes. I wonder with him, and hope the next time a brewer gets word of diacetyl in one of her of his beers the first response will not be to check the spelling, but to question how that off-flavor came into the beer in the first place.

31 Comments
  • Jaqcues
    December 23, 2016

    “Now whether or not Chris B. was right, essentially he is making a quality complaint and every brewer in his right mind would want to respond to that, apologizing and perhaps offering a replacement.”

    This is a very arrogant stance also. If there is a fault in the beer yes, but if somebody only mentions a hint of diacetyl..

    As a brewer you normally know if diacetyl occurs/ has occured in your beer/ some batches or not. Legit complaints you can come back to but nonesense reviews by hipsters who did a one-day course with Derek Walsh.. not really. Read back online reviews of the beer before this all happened – what are the ratings? How many people mention a fault in the beer?

    • Rick Kempen
      December 23, 2016

      Dear Jaqcues – I fail to see why my statement is arrogant also. I agree with your point that a brewer normally knows if diacetyl occurs or has occurred – but the ‘brewer’ in question doesn’t respond to that point at all, he’s only joking about the spelling.
      Neither you or me can asses if this complaint was legit or not – and I see no reason to drag Derek Walsh in to this, he does more good work for beer than many brewers do – but that’s irrelevant anyway. The brewer should take it seriously and this one doesn’t, thereby showing great arrogance for, and ignorance, for the people that provide his daily bread – his customers.
      Reading back online reviews and basing your opinion on those is really a silly suggestion. Ratings are as valuable as they aren’t. Many people do not even recognize faults, so I tend to disagree with your reply. Thanks very much for it anyway!

      • Robert
        December 23, 2016

        Isn’t the nature of a self-published blog itself arrogant? Posting your own musings and thoughts on the internet in the belief that they matter or that they add something or that people care about what you have to say? If that’s not arrogance, what is?

        • Jeppe
          December 23, 2016

          Add to the fact that most of what is posted here is made up. But, Rick works for a competing company of mine, that we have already have a few incidents with, when they went out and spread lies about us to steal some of the brands we import.

          Our lawyers are looking at this post now.

          • Rick Kempen
            December 23, 2016

            Jeppe – it would suit you to stick to the topic, albeit you didn;t in the first place. By the way, the blog is my own and not Bier&co related. Your insinuations on stealing brands are rather close to defamation and slander – perhaps your lawyers can advise you there.
            Now, are you man enough to reply to what this is all about, the hint of diacetyl?

        • Rick Kempen
          December 23, 2016

          Robert, that has to be the sickest reply I’ve seen in ages. Having a blog and venting your opinion for whoever wants to read it cannot be arrogant. What you are basically attacking here is freedom of speech. Get yourself a dictionay and a life – not necessarily in that order – and look up the meaning of the word arrogant. Then, for self-teaching, look up ignorant.

          • Skell Chuckington
            December 25, 2016

            You should ask Jeppe if he even knows what diacetyl is. This legendary brewer has never even brewed a beer as far as we know.

      • Heath
        December 23, 2016

        *assess

    • Mariano Pascual
      December 23, 2016

      Are you serious?
      A user, posted a review on a site that is specifically designed to do so using one of the most common off flavours to describe it.
      In what parallel universe is that arrogant?

      And the brewer, from his high horse, dismisses as ignorant.
      I have little doubt in my mind: Jeppe attacks the spelling because he can’t attack the content.

      • Rick Kempen
        December 23, 2016

        Dear Mariano –
        I believe you hit the nail on the head.

      • Jeppe
        December 23, 2016

        I reposted a funny review. On my PRIVATE Facebook page. Called the guy a WINNER. And now all you self proclaimed defenders of morale wants your 15 minutes by posting a bunch of made up crap to prove a point that’s not there. Move on, nothing to see. Have fun, drink a beer, that’s what a lot of us did the last week. The reality is not the one you create for yourself my man.

        • Mariano Pascual
          December 24, 2016

          Ohh yes, sure, we are all desperately looking for a reply from yours almighty to get our 15 minutes of fame. That’s what our lives revolve around…

          This might come as a shock to you Jeppe, but you are not a rockstar nor a celebrity.

          It is quite sad that you have the audacity to come here and claim you called him a winner, as if you were being sincere at the time. Hypocrite, bloody hypocrite.
          You knew what you were doing, you knew the reaction it would provoke among your followers and you just stood there watching the entire thing unfold.

          You took a cheap shot at someone who gave you a bad review in a piss poor attempt to be funny, it backfired and here you are. Grow up and deal with it like a man. So far you’ve behave like a spoiled little brat.

          On the positive side, it is always insightful to learn how much you care about what customers think. That’s what consumers want, a brewer that doesn’t give a damn, innit?

          • Jeppe
            December 24, 2016

            Chillax, have fun, drink a beer. The world is a bad enough place, you don’t have to make up demons just because you can.

            I never called myself a celebrity or a rock star btw. You did.

          • Mariano Pascual
            December 24, 2016

            Do not try to go passive aggressive on my. Please, do not.
            Why do you assume i am not relaxed. I am not the one having my lawyers look at blogs posts.

            You didn’t call yourself a celebrity, true, but you did state that someone else was using you to get his 15 minutes of fame, which speaks volumes of how you view yourself, hence my comment.

            For someone who doesn’t appear to hesitate at taking cheap shots at reviewers you clearly have quite the glass jaw when you are at the receiving end.

            You now claim “Chillax, have fun” and go all Yoko Ono on us when it was you who instigated all of this.
            Pretty sure the reviewer wasn’t having fun.

            I’ll leave it at that. Cheers and have a nice weekend.
            For what it’s worth, i do enjoy (a lot) your brews.

    • Jeppe
      December 23, 2016

      1/1500 or saw found diacetyl. But that’s no the point.

      I reposted a funny review. On my PRIVATE Facebook page. Called the guy a WINNER. And now all these self proclaimed defenders of morale wants their 15 minutes by posting a bunch of made up crap to prove a point that’s not there. Move on, nothing to see. Have fun, drink a beer, that’s what a lot of us did the last week.

      Rick is creating his own reality to proven himself important. Well Rick, that’s not how the world works.

  • Mikkel Borg Bjergsø
    December 23, 2016

    Dear Rick

    Where does the urge to spread lies about me and my business come from?

    I live in Denmark and always have, paying my taxes like everyone else.

    I have brewed for 13 years, done about 700 recipes. I own two physical breweries, 25 bars and restaurants and have 400 employees worldwide, so calling Mikkeller marketing is insulting.

    I know the craft beer world for having great people and goos camaraderie, you seem to represent that very poorly.

    • Rick Kempen
      December 23, 2016

      Dear Mikkel –
      Many thanks for your reply, and the phone call we just had. I wrote some bits and pieces based on incorrect information I had, being you did not live in Denmark anynmore (because of tax reasons), and overlooking the fact you indeed own two physical breweries. As a matter of fact, the marketing as used by Mikkeller Breweries when it comes to look and feel of the great beers you make should be an example for many colleagues.
      I apologize for having written these untruths.
      I will rectify those items that are incorrect in the above blog and am happy you accepted my apologies for writing stuff that turns out to be untrue. I am also sorry for having dragged you into somehing that doesn’t involve you or your team at Mikkeller Breweries. Now, let’s get back to enjoying some good beers again in good camaraderie. Cheers to you!

      • Jeppe
        December 23, 2016

        “Jeppe not care about beer? I would not go so far as to say that”. Are you sure, Rick?

        Ølbutikken
        Drikkeriget
        Evil Twin Brewing
        Tørst
        Luksus
        Himmeriget
        Evil twin Brewing New York (to open summer 2017).

        What do you do again, Rick?

    • Jeppe
      December 23, 2016

      And he works for an import company that’s know to steal brands by spreading lies. Don’t worry Mikkel, this guy just wants his 15 minutes, and a few of his disciples will scratch his back to make him feel good/important.

      i reposted a funny review. On my PRIVATE Facebook page. Called the guy a WINNER. And now all these self proclaimed defenders of morale wants their 15 minutes by posting a bunch of made up crap to prove a point that’s not there. Move on, nothing to see. Have fun, drink a beer, that’s what a lot of us did the last week.

      • Jeppe
        December 23, 2016

        Btw Rick, love how you went from shaming Mikkel to now playing best buddy. Talking about a beer blog with made up content and absolutely no consensus. Ever heard of critical journalism/writing? Look it up.

  • Jeppe
    December 23, 2016

    Did you contact Kjell H btw? You should, you will get a nasty surprise when you discover that it was all a fun joke between me and him.

    This has to be the worst form of beer writing I have seen in my 15 years in craft beer. You should be ashamed.

    • Rick Kempen
      December 23, 2016

      Thanks for all these very adult and well-versed replies, Jeppe. Now, are you man enough to address the diacetyl issue?

      • Jeppe
        December 23, 2016

        Are you man enough to show some integrity? You slam Mikkeller, five minutes later you are their biggest fan. You are a joke. And you have no idea what the real world looks like.

      • Jeppe
        December 24, 2016

        What diacetyl issue are we talking about btw? 1 in over 1500 ratings talks about diacetyl. Even if it was there, am anyone really suppose to take that seriously. You are making up shit to prove a point that doesn’t exist. Just stop before you make a bigger fool out of yourself.

  • Dood
    December 23, 2016

    I think you completely missed the point. It’s not so much about the misspellings, those just make the memes more fun. It’s the fact that every jackass with an Untappd account thinks they’re God’s gift to beer reviewing. Or maybe it isn’t, I’m not Jeppe, but that’s what I saw. Underpinned by all the assholes that review an IPA or a sour or a RIS with a half cap and say I don’t even like this style. This storm has been brewing a while. What about the other side Mr “My Life with Beer?” What about the damage to breweries that these BS reviewers are causing? Before I wised up to this phenomenon I used to check out Untappd ratings while at the bottle shop before deciding on what to buy in a seemingly ever more expensive craft market. I’m sure many still do. With ignorant reviewers like this, it makes the average ratings quite misleading. Nowadays they might as well just symbolize how hard a beer is to get, as the mega whales and stuff you have to go to a certain state for seem to be the only things with averages over four. Partly because the morons who review this way are much less likely to put forth the effort to try something of a style they don’t like, gamble their money on something they’re unsure about, or maybe it’s just “the hunt makes it taste better.” Regardless, Untappd reviewers needed a good spanking which it seems Mr Evil himself has been more than happy to provide.

    • Rick Kempen
      December 23, 2016

      Dear Dood –

      I can’t say I agree with you.This was all about misspeliings, since the simple point that was made – I believe there is some diacetyl in this beer – is not being addressed at all. And there’s no reason to call me or Chris B. a jackass or asshole because we vent an opinion or ask a question. Chris B. was not being derogative about the beer or the brewer (or, in this case, the beer commissioner). He got shit dropped on him, big time, and not got a fair reply. And I believe you have a strong yet misinformed opinion, and I can’t say I like the way you express it. But I do not suppose you care about that. Cheers buddy.

  • Tomas
    December 23, 2016

    MoreMaltBodyHops!

  • Nobody Cares
    December 24, 2016

    I can assure you, nobody cares. No one has ever lined up for a Mikkeller beer, an Evil Twin beer, or to read a Rick Kempen article. Nor will they ever. If you think I’m full of shit, prove me wrong.

    • Jeppe
      December 24, 2016

      Dude, don’t worry, we do just fine

  • Edward
    December 31, 2016

    Pretty sure the issue here isn’t the lack of spelling or grammar in the review but the substance. The world of yelp, untappd, etc has made it easy and allowable for just about anyone to write any sort of review, qualified or not, that winds up impacting the perception of a product. Is it fair that the user wound up becoming the butt of a thousand memes? Perhaps not but just as a brewer or anyone else opens themselves up to criticism with their products, a person’s review of said product is equally open to criticism. As Jeppe and others have pointed out, they have consistently released quality IPAs for quite some time to the tune of thousands upon thousands of reviews of praise without any mention of diacetyl. Is there a possibility of a bad batch or whatever that the reviewer tasted? Sure but it seems the possibility is greater that the reviewer just didn’t like the beer and was pulling reasons out of thin air for not liking which is not fair reviewing in my humble opinion.

    • Rick
      December 31, 2016

      Hello Edward – I see you point and wuld like to think that way too. What aggrevated me was the way Jeppe and some of his fans reacted towards the user (who I do not believe was trying to slag the beer) and made fun of it all, totally disregarding the simple relation producer-consumer. If an airline company had responded this way to a traveller who had an issue, mispelled or not, they would have been slain on internet. It was, in short, the arrogance of Jeppe that made me respond.

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