Even though I planned to leave the Swedish beers for Söderbärkes Mikroölsfestival (SMÖF), I couldn’t stay away from Sigtuna who had Swedens strongest beer at their booth, Ace of Spades with a powerfull 18,5%. It turned out to be a very nice Imperial Stout with allot of residual sweetness. I have a feeling this beer will mature really nicely, it would also be interesting to see what would happen after a couple of months on oak barrels. If this beer ever gets released at Systembolaget I will save a bottle for a later tasting.
I also swung by Nynäshamn and tried their new Christmas porter; Valsviken Vinterporter. An interesting beer with both the usual porter flavours but also spices. It had some off flavour of boiled vegetables, but might be due to drinking from an open bottle. Will give it a proper rating when I get a chance.
Next stop was Brill, who I spent a long time at on Thursday and actually only intended to try a few beers at. But when I got there I was surprised to find Fredrik (Malt, Humle, Jäst och Vatten) behind the counter. He said that I had given him quite the laugh since I thought he was about 2 metres tall before I met him in real life. I also met Peter (Grenadinebloggen) and his wife. Here is a group picture:
Brill had managed to get more beers since Thursday so my initial plan of trying 2-3 beers turned into a longer visit. I tried a couple of beers from Emellise, I tried their Barley Wine on Friday and wasn’t impressed at all, but their other beers was of much higher quality. This Belgian brewery sticks out as being more American then Belgian, making Imperial Stouts and Triple IPAs.
I also got to try a big unmarked bottle of Apollo Black Maya. This is a completely new brewery for me, but I have a feeling I will try more from them if Brill brings them into the Swedish market. Before I moved on I chatted with the brewer from Williams Brothers (sorry I forgot your name), he was there promoting his beers and Seven Giraffes in particular. It’s a beer that was released on the 1st of October and is now part of the regular supply at Systembolaget. I will post a review of the beer later on.
To finish the night off we felt we should try something extraordinary. James Watt from BrewDog showed up in Brills booth and my father asked about Sink the Bismarck. James said it was available at Wicked Wine so we rushed off to try it.
After some confusion we managed to get our hands on a sample, unfortunately for us it was a 15 cl sample and cost 800 SEK. I’m not sure why they serve it at 15 cl when 2-5 cl would have been a much more sane choice. I hope they change this for next weekend. But lets leave that and focus on the beer. It’s a Quadrupel IPA at 41% and it’s as insane as it sounds, the bitterness is fierce and it has a very powerful alcoholic punch. Not as strong as you would expect from 41%, it actually tastes more like 20%. But still, it was like drinking concentrated beer, which I guess it is in many ways.
A very interesting finish to a great weekend. It was fun to be at the festival for two days and I hope I can do the same for next year. I have probably forgotten to report on allot of beers I tried and people I talked to. But there was just so much happening that it’s hard to keep track of everything. It’s almost overwhelming, next year I should bring a secretary to keep track of me haha. I want to thank all the people on the other side of the counter that took their time to talk to me and share their beer. I had lots of fun and I hope to meet you again soon. Now I’m going to refuel and start to charge up for SMÖF which takes place at the end of October. I hope to see you all there.
On Saturday I spent my second day at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. Some of my friends and family where surprised that I was going back there again after visiting the festival on Thursday. But there is just so many good beers to try and brewers to speak to that it’s hard not to stay away. Even though I’ve tried close to 150 beers at this years festival I still feel I could spend a couple of more days and try allot of great beers. Anyway lets talk about what happened yesterday.
I brought along Nicklas and my father, Åke to the festival. When we got there we where greeted by a long line that never seemed to end. For some reason those who had pre-paid tickets and those who didn’t ended up in the same line.
However it didn’t take long to get in, but once we did we ended up in the real bottle neck, which was the coat room. Below you can see the line that stretched through the taste experience which was the second part of the festival.
The first beer we tried was Pilsner Urquell, I had already tried it on Thursday but Nicklas and my father hadn’t. Well my father had tried it at the PU brewery. It’s definitely a nice beer, very easy to drink but also very mild. I think it works best in big 1 litre glasses rather then small samples at a beer festival. However it was fun to try it again and if you haven’t tried it I recommend starting here if they still have any beer left.
We then walked around for a bit and I showed them the more interesting spots to check for during the day. We ended up in Snickeriet at Närkes booth and tried a couple of beers. I started out with Bäver, which is Örebro Bitter with added Castoreum (Bävergäll). Castoreum is a small bladder near the anus of the beaver which it uses to mark it’s territory. It really gave the beer a unique taste, an aggressive, herby, raw and animalistic flavour that was hard to get rid of. It didn’t disappear until I had a sample of Rest in Peace from Monks.
At Monks they only sold whole bottles of beer so I only sampled their beer on tap and then moved on. It feels counter productive to only serve whole bottles, the point of the festival is to get the chance to try a wide selection of beers. I did however try their Hawaii Witten which is brewed with pineapples, very fresh and thirst quenching, should be perfect for hot summer days. The Rest in Peace I mentioned earlier was a fierce imperial stout with a powerfull flavour punch.
I also spent several sessions at the Danish brewers sampling all of their beers and chatting with the brewers. All of them where of very high quality and it’s hard to pin point a favourite but Hophorn from Hornbeer comes very close. It’s a hop heads dream beer, with huge amounts of hop aroma and a nice aggressive bitterness.
I also want to push for Black Rooster which is a completely new brewery for me, but delivered some very high quality brews. Djaevlebryggeriet is also a new brewery for me, they had two beers that really stod out, Old Mephisto and Pride of Nekron. Amager, Midtfynds and Hornbeer have all been at Systembolaget before but they all brought along new and interesting beers. Midtfynds brought Fishermans Ale which was brewed with snuff (snus) and seaweed. A very interesting beer, both my father and Nicklas really enjoyed it but I felt it had to much licorice. All in all I felt this was a hotspot for high quality beers, but it didn’t get the attention it deserved at the festival, you never had any problems getting a spot close to the kegs. Lucky for me of course but I have a feeling this will change when we see more Danish beers at Systembolaget.
I didn’t have time to spend much time at Oliver Twist and Brewers Association on my visit on Thursday, so I aimed for them early this year. I started out with the Bacon Brown Ale that had surprisingly little bacon flavour. I felt a touch of salt but that was it. My father and Nicklas kept on drinking Barley Wine and Lagunitas Olde Gnarley Wine stood out as one of the better beers of the evening. It was at this time that I met Per (omhper), Swedens nr 1 beer rater at Ratebeer.
We chatted and tried some beers and he tipped me of about a nice beer they had at Brewery International (BI), Rodenbach Vintage. So we decide to go there next.
BI also had some beers from a brewery located on Bornholm named Svaneke Brewery, they really managed to lift the malt in their beer. All of their beer had this in common, made me think of how the mash taste before you boil it, very malty and sweet. I got a strong vibe of home brews when I sampled these beers.
About half through the day now and I will tell you the rest tomorrow…
This years Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival (SBWF) has finally started. I visited the festival on the opening day and had a press card to acompany me through the start of the festival. I’m certainly no journalist, but I do write a line or two about beer so it felt justified. Hopefully this is a new trend where the people that report the most about beer in Sweden (beer bloggers) will get more contacts with the beer world and a better cooperation with the brewers and importers. Would be even better if it scrubed off on the real journalists
I had my beer wielding sidekick Per with me at the festival. He is kind of my hare when it comes to these kinds of event. Someone to discuss the beer with and his energy keeps the pace up. It’s a symbios of energy and passion that works fantastic for these kinds of festival. We started out with trying a couple of beers from the Finnish brewery Teerenpeli. All their beers where fresh and easy to drink. No nonsense kind of beer that you could drink several pints off. Most beer geeks won’t be overexcited but I think it’s a kind of beer that would suit the average visitor. My personal favorite was their wheat bock which was really nice. I still have to try the Porter and the Smoked beer from this brewery, will do so on Saturday.
Since we got allot of beer at this brewery we decided to walk around the festival for a while. The first thing we noticed was the allot of brewers have switched positions. The most noticable change was the new area called Snickeriet where all the Swedish Micro brewers where gathered. This left allot of holes in the old festival map and it has been filled by new and old importers and brewers.
The biggest new addition being the Elixir Wine who brought a bunch of Danish Micros. I only had time to try beers from Djaevlebrygg and Indslev. Indslev is an all wheat brewery which is unusual for the Nordic brewers, so it was fun to try their beer. I ended up trying all of it and the Spelt Bock was by far the best. I still have allot of beers from Djaevlebrygg to try so have to go back there on Saturday. The brewer was very friendly and interesting to talk to, as was all brewers actually.
The first hour of the festival just flew on by and it was time for the Pilsner Urquell event that I wrote about earlier in the week. They served fresh unpastourized and unfiltered Pilsner Urquell from an oak barrel.
A very fresh and interesting beer to try. They also served some food that a guy from the Swedish National team had prepared. It was all very tasty but my absolte favorite was the egg creme dish. I actually got two as Per is allergic to egg. Besides that they also served some pork dish and a shaped potatoe with vegetables on it. I didn’t quite hear what the chef said when he introduced the dish since they didn’t use any speakers and every time he turned to adress the other side I couldn’t hear what he said. Same thing with the guy from Pilsner Urquell that talked about the beer. A bit unfortunate for this special event but I’m not complaining and my diamond shoes are certainly not to thight
I will tell you more about the festival tomorrow….
I have made my own beer list for SBWF 2010. I have removed all the whisky and most of the industrial lagers and other beers I’m not interested in. Also removed pictures and food. If anybody is interested in the word file feel free to contact me at email@example.com and I will respond with the file.
Just a warning they posted the list on SBWF as a table which made it allot harder to work with in Word. That’s why it looks a bit wierd on some pages, couldn’t quite make it as nice and tidy as I would have wanted.
Edit: I just made a first draft of a priority list. Looks like I will spend allot of time at Brill, Oliver Twist, Elixir Wine and Snickeriet (Swedish Micros). However I also plan to visit Söderbärke Mikroölsfestival (Swedish Micro festival), so I will probably focus on the first three spots.
Continuing with my SBWF Beer News series I will try to find out what new beers the importers are bringing to the festival. You can find a full list of suppliers at this site.
Wicked Wine has a detailed list posted on the SBWF website with lots and lots of beer. They haven’t announced what beers are new but allot of the breweries they are representing has a ‘+extra’ at the bottom of their list. So there should be new beers at their booth. One of the more interesting beer they are bringing is Sink the Bismarck. I wonder what they will charge for a small sample (assuming just a few cl here).
Oliwer Twist and the Brewers Association always have lots of nice beers at their booth. I can’t say what is new or what is old so the best way will be to ask the people behind the counter.
Bishops Arms will represent several Swedish Microbreweries (Oceanbryggeriet, Helsinge Ångbryggeri, Kinnekulle etc..). I haven’t heard if/what news they are bringing, but I’m sure there will be a couple as there always are at Bishops Arms. Besides the swedish micros they will also have some foreign brewers. One interesting beer is Mikkeller Snapphane APA which is brewed for Bishops Arms in Malmö and should be hard to get by this far north.
Brill & Co is similar to OT and BA in the way that they have a ton of quality beers at their disposal. I have a full list of beers they are bringing, but there might be changes due to deliveries and new beers might be added. Some of the beer will also be timed releases so check here early for new beers. They are bringing a couple of very interesting beers, how about Hoppin Frog Doris the Crusher? Lots and malt to make a beer with even more flavour then Boris the Crusher, I can’t wait to try that one. From the same brewery they are bringing a beer called Hop Dam Trippel IPA, which I hope will satisfy my hop head needs. Brill is also bringing beers from a new Dutch brewery (at least new for the festival) called Bierbrouwerij Emelisse. One of their new beer is their Triple IPA, it doesn’t have allot of ratings atm but I hope it’s the hop bomb I expect. Brill will also host a bunch of brewmasters at their booth, I’m not entirely sure at what dates and times they will attend though. This is a list I got from Marc at Brill with new and semi-new beer:
Elixir Wine will represent a bunch of Danish brewers, here is a full list of what they are bringing. You can find some personal comments below:
- Amager Bryghus has had several recent releases at Systembolaget. For SBWF they are bringing some beers that are new to me: Christianshavn Pale Ale, Double Black IPA, Höstbryg and Sundby Stout.
- Black Rooster Brewery is a new brewery for me and I don’t know what beers they are bringing. But keep your eyes peeled for this brewery. Their Black Rooster stout seems to have a nice score.
- Djaevlebryg, will be at the festival for the first time. They seem to have brewed allot of beers at Herlsev Bryghus, but also at their own brewery. I suggest you keep an eye out for Son of Nekron which has a very nice score.
- Hornbeer will be there, they have also been represented at Systembolaget and Black Magic Woman seems to be their prime beer. They are also bringing a Black IPA named Hop Horn, which seems to be one of their newer beers. This brewery will have lots of interesting beer. Feels wrong to list them all, click the link above and check for yourselfs.
- Indslev Bryggeri is a new brewery for me and the beer that beer that interests me the most is their Hvede IPA. Which is a hopped up wheat beer, something I have made myself so I need to get some inspiration.
- Midtfynds Bryghus, has been at Systembolaget several times. They have several beers above the 90th percentile so should be worth trying a couple of those.
- Raasted Bryghus is a new brewery for me. They have several beers above the 90th percentile and they are bringing their Imperial Stout that has a nice score. Besides that this brewery has both a Double Imperial Stout and a Trippel IPA. Unfortunately those beers aren’t on the list of beers they are bringing, but I will ask for them anyway.
Galatea will have lots of beer just as previous years. This year they have allot of S:t Eriks beers and I hope they bring both the IPA and the Pale Ale. The IPA will be released at Systembolaget shortly and the Pale Ale is going into the ordering supply. Galatea is also bringing Samual Adam Utopias, which isn’t a new beer but it would be awsome to try it.
As mentioned before Pilsner Urquell is bringing a big oak barrel of unfiltered and unpasteurized Pilsner Urquell. This beer is high rated and hard to get your hands on so make sure you visit their booth.
Teerenpeli is a Finnish brewery, they where present last year as well, but I tried one of their beer. They don’t seem to have any high rated beer and from the list of beers they are bringing it doesnt seem like they are bringing any news.
As far as I can see from the list TOMP isn’t bringing any new beers to the festival. They are however bringing Oppigårds Amarillo on tap, which should be worth a taste or two. This is the same beer as Oppigårds Amarillo Spring that got so popular earlier this year. The new Amarillo version is now available through the ordering supply at Systembolaget.
All beers mentioned in a more convenient list:
- Amager Christianshavn Pale Ale
- Amager Double Black IPA
- Amager Höstbryg
- Amager Sundby Stout
- Black Rooster Brewery
- Brouwerij Emelisse Triple IPA
- Djaevlebryg (Son of Nekron)
- Horn Beer Hop Horn
- Hoppin Frog Doris The Crusher
- Hoppin Frog Hop Dam Trippel IPA
- Indslev Hvede IPA
- Mikkeller Snapphane IPA
- Oppigårds Amarillo
- Raasted Imperial Stout
- Raasted Double Imperial Stout
- Raasted Trippel IPA
- Pilsner Urquell (the oak barrel)
- Samuel Adams Utopias
- S:t Eriks IPA
- S:t Eriks Pale Ale
Next week is the start of the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival. I intend to be there on Thursday (30th of September) and Saturday (2nd of October). This festival is huge, with lots of excellent beers to try. To be able to separate the new beers I will try to summarize some news about the festival, starting with the Swedish Microbreweries. I will post news from importers and foreign brewers tomorrow.
Svenska Småbryggerier (Swedish Microbreweries)
The Swedish microbreweries are coming under a joint flag this festival and will share a booth. Several of the breweries are bringing new and interesting beers.
Dugges is bringing Idjit (release 1/10) and Perfect Idjit (8/10). Idjit is an Imperial Stout and Perfect Idjit is the same beer but aged on oak barrels. I loved their ½ Idjit that was released at Systembolaget a while back so this is a must try.
Hantverksbryggeriet is bringing Joars Dricka that has been brewed with pors. Is this the same beer that has participated in the Swedish Championship in Homemade beers for the last couple of years? Either way I have to try it out.
Jämtlands is releasing their new beer Steamer, which is a California Common style beer (update from Bark). It’s a tribute to the steam driven boats that travel Storsjön.
Närke Kulturbryggeri hasn’t announced what they are brining yet but I hope they bring Apa Solitär, a new single hop APA with Centenial hops. Or maybe their Skvatt Galen which is brewed with skvattram, pors and enris (not sure about english translations). Närke has also brewed a beer with a recipe from De Molen. In total 7 breweries have used the same recipe and it is named Fyra Flammor in Sweden. I have also read that both Närke and Nynäshamn has come across a number of German kegs for self pour (självrunnen, not sure about proper translation) beer. Hopefully we will see some of these beers at the festival. If not they will be available at Akkurat in the close future.
Nynäshamn Ångbryggeri is also bringing two new single hop beers with Galena and Pioneer. I have already tried Pioneer and found it odd but interesting, try it to learn about this new hop. They are also bringing a Bötet Barley Wine 2009 which is a new age for that beer. I also hear they are bringing a new porter that hasn’t been named yet.
Oppigårds are also bringing two new single hop beers, Hoppy Chinook and Hoppy Saaz. They are also bringing Bergmansöl and a DIPA called Bangalore Twice. Have to admit a DIPA from Oppigårds sounds yummy.
Monks Café is bringing a ton of beer, I honestly can’t say what is new and what is old. I could probably stay all festival at their booth and not have time to try it all. However I really hope they will have samples available instead of the 33 cl bottles they used last year. It’s the only reason I didn’t try many beers from this brewery. Here is a list of all the beers Monks are brining to the festival.
Sandbacka brings at least two new beers, Amber Lager and American Lager. Amber Lager doesn’t sound to exciting but I’ve had a couple of brilliant American Lagers over the last few years, so I will definitely try that one.
Sigtuna Brygghus has some interesting news. The biggest news have to be that they have made Swedens strongest beer, an Imperial Stout at 18,5% named Ace of Spades. They are also bringing an Alt-bier named Verstehe Nicht Alt and a low ABV beer (2,8%) named Doktorns Pale Ale.
Ängö Kvartersbryggeri from Kalmar is a completely new brewery so all their beers are new to me. I’m specially interested in trying their Diabolisk Ängöl which is a Belgian Double, a beer style you rarely find from a Swedish brewer. This brewery have a blog running since the start of the brewery.
Två Bryggare is a completely new brewery for me, so I will try to get my filthy paws on some of their beers.
Here are all the beers I mentioned in a more convenient list:
- Dugges Idjit (1/10)
- Dugges Perfect Idjit (8/10)
- Hantverksbryggeriet Joars Dricka
- Jämtlands Steamer
- Närke Apa Solitär
- Närke Skvatt Galen
- Närke Fyra Flammor
- Närke and Nynäshamn German keg beer
- Nynäshamn Single Hop Galena
- Nynäshamn Single Hop Pioneer
- Nynäshamn Bötet Barley Wine 2009
- Nynäshamn (not named yet but strong porter)
- Oppigårds Hoppy Saaz
- Oppigårds Hoppy Chinook
- Oppigårds Bergmansöl
- Oppigårds Bangalore Twice
- Sandbacka Amber Lager
- Sandbacka American Lager
- Sigtuna Ace of Spades
- Sigtuna Verstehe Nicht Alt
- Sigtuna Doktorns Pale Ale
- Strömsholms Hård
- Strömsholms Tok-Olle
- Strömsholmds Malakias
- Ängö Alla tiders Ängöl
- Ängö Ljuva Livets Ängöl
- Ängö Diabolisk Ängöl
- Ängö Blomqvists Ängöl
I recently got an invite to a special event at SBWF, it will take place next Thursday the day of the opening of SBWF at 14:00. Pilsner Urquell is bringing a barrel of unpasteurized and unfiltered PU in a big specially made oak barrel. As far as I know this beer never leaves the brewery and is available at the end of their tour at the brewery. The brew masterVaclav Berca will be there to talk about the beer. Klas Lindberg from the National Swedish Chef team will make three dishes, specially designed to work with the beer. I have to say I’m quite excited about this, it might be one of those special beer moments that you never forget.
This event happens before the festival opens, but the beer will be available for the public as well.
Judging from the comments at Ratebeer, this is bound to be a great beer. Rated on the 100th percentile with an average of 4,04/5.
I will stick around after the event and try some beer and talk to brewers and importers. Hopefully I run into a couple other beer bloggers and readers as well.
Summer has passed, the days are getting shorter and the wind colder. For allot of people this is a negative thing, but not for the Swedish beer lovers. Because this is the time when most of the major beer festivals takes place. It kicks off with the biggest of them all, Stockholm Beer & Whisky.
- Date: 30th September – 2nd October, 7th – 9th October
- Location: Factory, Nacka Strand, Stockholm
- Entrance fee: 199 SEK
I will be there on Saturday the 2nd of October. I will try to focus on imported and special/limited beer. Last year we focused on DIPAs and Barley Wine. But I intend to try a wider selection this year, definitely try more of the Danish micros that are going to participate. The reason I won’t focus on Swedish micros is because of the next festival.
- Date: 29th – 30th October
- Location: Folkets Hus in Söderbärke
- Entrance fee: 120 SEK
This festival is located in the small town of Söderbärke and it attracts basically the entire Swedish Microbrewery scene. There will also be a couple of imported beers at the festival. Despite the small town the festival is bigger then expected, stretching across two buildings. The first of them has the bottled selection and in the nearby gymnasium there is a bunch of beers on tap. In the same building they also introduced a new section last year, the singles bar. No it’s not a bar for single people, but a bar for single beer. They open a bottle at the time and don’t switch to a new beer until the first beer is finished. Last year I tried all the beer on this list… well at least the once that was still around on Saturday. Since we will spend all day and night in Söderbärke I think I will managed the same thing again this year.
- Date: 19th – 20th November
- Location: Conventum, Örebro
- Entrance fee: 190 SEK
I grew up just 30 km from Örebro so this is like going home for me. I visited the festival for the first time last year and was impressed. It doesn’t have the same wide supply as SBWF, but it’s more then enough to keep you interested for several days of beer tasting. Meanwhile it’s more spacious and not as crowded as SBWF. Närke Kulturbryggeri is on their homefield and it was noticable last year with a big bardisk and lots of beer on tap. They even had some Närke Kaggen in a swedish oak barrel. I currently don’t have a plan for this festival and think I will just try to fill in the blanks from the two previous festivals. Try thoose limited releases that I missed on the two previous festivals. I also have a feeling I will park my ass at Brill’s booth if they are there this year again.
I hope to see you all at the festivals.