beer-fill

Mikkeller and Danish Hollywood filmmaker spread pilsner diplomacy with F-up beer

As an executive producer in Hollywood, Niels Juul has experienced no shortage of egos running in overdrive, exploding small grievances into epic feuds. But he has also learned that most things can be solved with a beer and an apology. With that in mind, he contacted Mikkeller with the idea of partnering on Kvajebajer, which is Danish for F-up pilsner – a beer you give to offer an apology.

Niels Juul

After working in the fashion and film industry in the United States for many years, Juul has seen a bit of everything. Long grueling lawsuits and towering egos that overshadow all reason. As a Dane residing in L.A. he began introducing his network to kvajebajere – first in the well-known Hollywood currency of expensive wine - and got plenty of positive response. A lawyer he knows even joked that Kvajebajer would run him out of business. That was how the idea of making a real 'Kvajebajer' came about.

“In Hollywood, it's perfectly normal to be in lawsuits, people are constantly fighting each other, but wow, you could save a lot of energy and avoid a lot of hassle if someone would just say “I'm sorry,”” says Niels Juul, who after years of experience in the advertising industry helped build the clothing brand Von Dutch's huge success. Now he mainly moves around the film industry as an executive producer on films such as Martin Scorcese’s ‘The Irishman’, and an upcoming production about Enzo Ferrari.

In parallel, he runs his own consulting company NoFatEgo, which in partnership with like-minded brands creates content, events and products with a social message.

Niels Juul and Martin Scorsese at the premiere of Silence.

“In Hollywood, very often it’s all about ego; like gorilla chest pumping, standing on either side of a trench with your lawyers. It's just like kindergarten, only difference being that in kindergarten you are told that you have to go and say you are sorry afterwards,” he says.

Support for refugees and the homeless

Via a joint collaborator, Niels Juul got in touch with Mikkeller and presented the idea for Kvajebajer.

“I always thought Mikkeller was great; the branding, the joy and the humorous approach to everything, and when I dived deeper into Mikkeller's website, I could see that it was the perfect match,” says Juul. Mikkeller was in.

“It's funny that Niels runs around Hollywood as an ‘ambassador’ for Kvajebajer, and spreads messages about pilsner diplomacy and forgiveness. It is positive and unpretentious, and most people can probably think of someone they owe a Kvajebajer,” says Mikkel Bjergsø, Founder and Creative Director of Mikkeller.

Mikkeller's Brewery in San Diego started brewing a Kvajebajer in the form of a German pilsner and Mikkeller's Art Director Keith Shore designed the label. The beer is sold at Mikkeller's locations in Denmark and in the USA and via Mikkeller's web shop. To emphasize the message of solidarity behind Kvajebajeren, 10 percent of the proceeds go to the Danish Refugee Council in Denmark, with which Mikkeller previously collaborated on the beer 'Help'. In the US, the money goes to The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

But what made a busy Hollywood filmmaker want to suddenly work with beer?

“After ten years in the film industry, I felt like working with a product again. On top of that I love beer. It is positive, fun and joyful. The concept Kvajebajer is only found in Denmark, and reflects the Danish character, but all Americans I explain the concept to think it's fun,” says Niels Juul adding:

“… And most people know that feeling that the moment you take a sip of a beer after a very long day, everything suddenly looks much better. Everything can be solved over a beer.”

Mikkeller og dansk filmmand i Hollywood udbreder pilsner diplomati med Kvajebajer

**Som executive producer i Hollywood har Niels Juul oplevet en del egoer køre i selvsving, men har også erfaret, at det meste kan løses med en bajer og en undskyldning. Derfor tog han kontakt til Mikkeller med ideen om en ’Kvajebajer’. **

Foto: Ken Hermann // Euroman

Efter at have opereret i mode- og filmbranchen i USA i mange år har han oplevet lidt af hvert. Lange opslidende retssager og egoer, der tårner sig op og skygger for alt fornuft. Som dansker bosiddende i L.A. begyndte han af samme årsag at introducere sin omgangskreds for kvajebajere – godt nok i form af en dyr flaske rødvin - og fik masser af positiv respons. En advokat, han kender, jokede lige frem med, at det ville ruinere hans business. Sådan opstod ideen om at lave en rigtig ’Kvajebajer’.

Jacob, driftsleder hos Mikkeller, fortæller sin kvajebajer historie.

“I Hollywood er det helt normalt at ligge i retssag, folk bliver konstant uvenner, men hold kæft, hvor kunne man spare meget energi og undgå meget bøvl, hvis nogen bare sagde ’I’m sorry,” siger Niels Juul, der efter en del års erfaring i reklamebranchen bl.a. var med til at bygge tøjmærket Von Dutchs kæmpe succes op. Nu bevæger han sig hovedsagligt rundt i filmbranchen blandt andet som executive producer på Martin Scorsese film som The Irishman og den kommende produktion om Enzo Ferrari. Sideløbende driver han sit eget konsulentfirma NoFatEgo, der gennem partnerskaber med ligesindede brands skaber content, events og produkter med et socialt budskab.

“I Hollywood kommer meget ofte til at handle om ego – det bliver bliver gorilla chest pumping. Så står man der på hver sin side af en skyttegrav med sine advokater. Det er lige som en børnehave, forskellen er bare, at i børnehaven får man jo at vide, at man skal gå hen og sige undskyld bagefter,” fortæller han.

Støtte til flygtninge og hjemløse

Via en fælles samarbejdspartner fik Niels Juul kontakt til Mikkeller og fremlagde ideen om Kvajebajeren.

“Jeg har altid syntes, at Mikkeller er fantastisk; brandingen, glæden og den humoristiske tilgang til alting, og da jeg dykkede nærmere ned i Mikkellers website, kunne jeg se, at det var det helt perfekte match,” siger Juul. Mikkeller var med på idéen.

“Det er da sjovt, at Niels render rundt i Hollywood som ’ambassadør’ for Kvajebajeren, og spreder budskaber om pilsner diplomati og tilgivelse. Det er positivt og uhøjtideligt, og de fleste kan nok komme i tanke om nogen, de skylder en Kvajebajer,” siger Mikkel Bjergsø, grundlægger af og Kreativ Direktør i Mikkeller.

Mikkellers bryggeri i San Diego gik i gang med at brygge en Kvajebajer i form af en tysk pilsner og Mikkellers Art Director Keith Shore designede label. Øllen kan nu købes på Mikkellers locations i Danmark og i USA og via Mikkellers webshop, og for at understrege det solidariske budskab bag Kvajebajeren, går 10 procent af overskuddet i Danmark til Dansk Flygtningehjælp, som Mikkeller tidligere har samarbejdet med om øllen ’Help’. I USA går pengene til The National Coalition for Homeless Vetarans.

Men hvad gav egentlig en travl filmmand i Hollywood lyst til pludselig at arbejde med øl?

“Efter ti år i filmbranchen fik jeg lyst til igen at arbejde med et produkt. Og så elsker jeg øl. Det er positivt, sjovt og glædesbringende. Konceptet Kvajebajer findes jo kun i Danmarks, og afspejler den danske karakter, men alle amerikanere, jeg fortæller om det, synes, at det er sjovt,” siger Niels Juul og afrunder:

“Og de fleste kender den der følelse af, at i det øjeblik, man efter en meget lang dag tager en slurk, ser alt pludselig meget bedre ud. Alt kan ordnes over en bajer.”

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