November 19, 2020
Mikkeller and People Like Us join forces in social beer shop in Copenhagen
The breweries Mikkeller and People Like Us partner up in a new joint beer shop on Vesterbro in Copenhagen. In addition to selling beer, coffee and other gourmet products, the shop will serve as a a platform for the cultivation of community, diversity and inclusion.
Business has a responsibility to create jobs for people on the edge of the labor market. That thought brought Lars Carlsen, now CEO of the brewery People Like Us, and Mikkel Bjergsø, Chief Creative Director of Mikkeller, together four years ago, and the idea of creating and new brewery run by people with autism arose.
Since then, Lars Carlsen has built the beer company People Like Us with supervision and help from Mikkeller. The company is centered around social sustainability, this means that it is run by employees from socially marginalized groups, with a clear goal of being a viable business.
The very same core values, ideals and goals that drive the breweries will manifest in the beer shop that Mikkeller and People Like Us have joined forces to open on Istedgade in Vesterbro, Copenhagen.
“It is a milestone for People Like Us that we will now enter into a partnership with a brand as crazy as Mikkeller. Throughout the start-up of People Like Us, Mikkeller has been a huge help in building and running a sustainable business. We look forward to utilizing the synergy effect that will be significantly strengthened by this partnership,” says Lars Carlsen.
Not a charity shop
'The Social Beer Shop' will sell craft beer from Mikkeller and People Like Us plus a number of other craft beer brands. In addition, it will have coffee, gourmet goods, merchandise and more on the shelves. The store will also serve as a platform for a number of social initiatives and events, and will create jobs for people who have difficulty finding a foothold in the labor market. In practice, this means that a position will be adapted to the individual and not the other way around.
"People who have been written off from the normal due to, for example, mental conditions can still very much contribute to the labor market, make a difference socio-economically and not least contribute to a completely new understanding of community," explains Lars Carlsen.
Mikkel Bjergsø, Founder and Chief Creative Director of Mikkeller, also emphasizes the importance of cultivating a society where you look at people’s potential and start from the idea that everyone can contribute.
Photo: Camilla Stephan
“We have a society where the disabled, the mentally ill and others who fall outside the standardized concept of normality are marginalized and kept separate from the rest of society. It starts right down in kindergarten and with a misconception that it is the best and most caring for everyone. But we can all learn something from each other, and it is very costly - both socially and economically - to divide people in this way. People Like Us has bravely demonstrated how social sustainability can be integrated into business, and together with them, we want to help spread the word,” he says.
Both emphasize that the shop is not a charity project. The goal is to get a viable business up and running, explains Lars Carlsen:
“Just like the case is with People Like Us, the goal is not to create placement employment or give a helping hand to some poor people left behind. The starting point is that we can create a profitable business by celebrating the plurality and diversity of our society. We believe that makes sense to everyone. Both ethically and financially.”
The Social Beer Shop Grand Opening
Free beer, tacos and great deals
DK - 1650
People Like Us Was founded in 2016 by Lars Carlsen, trained teacher. In addition to being a contract brewery, People Like Us runs a bottleshop and a bar in Copenhagen. The company currently has 35 employees affiliated, of which 75% have a diagnosis.