beermugpilsnerbottleWhen a beer aficionado decides they want to go pro, the logical route is to open a brewery. However there’s a new breed of beer pros delivering amazing recipes without even stepping foot in a brewery. They’re called phantom or gypsy brewers and they get to have fun with ingredients and hops without having to worry about the business side of things. How jealous are you?


For those who don’t know, phantom brewers are beer makers that focus on recipes and enlist the help of breweries to create the finished product. For breweries the process of creating a new, original beer takes time and detailed planning. On average, a craft brewery puts out around 20 new beers per year. Mikkel Borg Bjergso of Denmark, one of the world’s leading gypsy brewers, released over 120 beers last year. For phantom brewers, their freedom to experiment paves the way for some distinctive concoctions.


Here’s how it works: brewers like Bjergso outsource their work and send very specific instructions down to the milligram and minute in order to create the perfect beer. When the beer is done, the brewery ships it off these phantoms. Some gypsy brewers rent time and space at breweries in order to hand make their creations. We’re also seeing some restaurants jumping into the phantom brewing game to create specialty beers that match food items on their menus.


What’s in it for the brewery? They get paid for their time, goods, and services in return for creating these beers. Phantom brewing offers a simple way for breweries to create income without having their name attached to the beer they’ve created. The final products are often available on tap at select bars or on the shelves of certain liquor stores. The phantom brewers have complete control on where and when their beers appear, if at all. Sounds like the best deal ever.


If you could create one new beer recipe what would it be?