Rick ‘never gonna give you up’ Astley to open Mikkeller beer bar

80s hitmaker Rick Astley, known for his legendary earworm Never Gonna Give You Up, has partnered with Danish microbrewer Mikkeller to open a craft beer bar in London, which will pay homage to the star.

Rick Astley was the childhood idol of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, the founder of Danish microbrewer Mikkeller

Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and his childhood idol, Rick Astley met each other a few years ago when they collaborated to brew the beer ‘Astley’s Northern Hop Lager.’ Out of their friendship, the idea of opening a bar together in London grew. The pair will open the doors to Mikkeller Bar London on October 19.

The pair became friends following a rumor that Rick Astley lived on Amager, in Copenhagen. The brewery owner, who as a child, had fan posters of Astley hanging on the wall and hits like ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ “on repeat on the walkman”, got the idea to brew a beer with Astley.

It later transpired that Rick actually lived in London and that, in spite of being married to a Dane, he had never lived in Amager. Through the musician’s wife, who is also Astley’s manager, Bjergsø got in contact with Astley, who said yes to the offer to brew a beer with Mikkeller.

This resulted in a trip to the Belgian brewery De Proefbrouwerij where they brewed the beer ‘Astley’s Northern Hop Lager’ together – a red lager with a touch of ginger – in reference to Astley’s reddish hair.


“We have finally found a fantastic location in the Shoreditch district that suits us perfectly, said CEO and founder of Mikkeller, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. “Meanwhile, we have been fortunate to get to know Rick Astley and his wife Lene Bausager Astley, so now we have also found the perfect partners.”

“Of course, we always prefer to work together with people who have a driving force and heart. It’s a huge plus if we also have a personal relationship with them”, he says.

The bar – Mikkeller’s first in London – will be Scandinavian in design, executed by Danish design bureau Femmes Régionales, and will feature “discreet references to Astley’s early pop magic”.

“Mikkeller’s Scandinavian DNA will be the epicenter for the overall look. With the combination of high quality materials and inviting color combinations, we will make the bar homely and at the same time show the dedication to the good craftsmanship that permeates the entire Mikkeller profile”, explains designer Mie Albæk Nielsen.

“We were inspired by the mood of one of his 80’s videos, which we think has a unique sweetness and romance while having a kind of ‘Italian bohemian bistro atmosphere’. More concretely, we use his lyrics in small details, and Mikkeller’s Art Director Keith Shore makes an illustration of Astley, combined with Mikkeller’s visual identity in a neon sign”, the designer says.

Best known for his Never Gonna Give You Up, hit, Astley made a comeback in 2016, releasing a new album called ‘Beautiful Life’, on which Rick wrote, produced and played every song.

Recently, Astley surprised fans of the Foo Fighters with a surprise performance alongside the band of Never Gonna Give You Up at their London O2 show. You can see the video here.  

Rick Astley in the video for Never Gonna Give You Up

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