Last week was filled with all of the above. Early in the week I updated our account map on the website to include all of our customers in Göteborg and Malmö. I then took a train down to Göteborg (Gothenburg) for a weekly event that Brooklyn Brewery sponsors. This “Colors” event takes place at a nightclub in Göteborg and was a massive success. With Jillionarie from Major Lazer spinning a DJ set, the place was packed with people- most with Brooklyn Summer Ale in hand.
While in Göteborg, I also visited two of Brooklyn’s biggest accounts in Sweden to see the kind of place Brooklyn Brewery is partnering with and how they operate. Both Barabicu and Pustervik were very hip places. Barabicu had a full house and was clearly a destination for lovers of good food and good beverage while Pustervik was an equally happening bar. In addition to seeing how Brooklyn Brewery and Nya Carnegiebryggeriet were doing in western Sweden, I checked out Beerbliotek which is a small batch brewery in Göteborg. The name is a play on the Swedish word, Bibliotek, meaning library. It is obvious that Göteborg is the cultural and culinary capital for western Sweden. That being said, it is great to see NCB and Brooklyn Brewery thriving in Göteborg in competition with other great craft breweries like Beerbliotek and Dugges.
Next, I took the high speed train down to Malmö- the largest city in southern Sweden.
After a tranquil train ride down the coast, I took a few hours to wander about in Malmö. After walking along the coast and checking out the Twisting Torso and some of NCB and Brooklyn Brewery’s accounts, I hopped on another quick train headed for Copenhagen
While in Copenhagen, I visited the Mikkeller and Friends pub. Mikkeller is a Danish contract brewery that contracts the majority of its brewing to big breweries in Norway, Denmark and Belgium. Mikkeller is known for its wide variety of beer and bottle design as well as its great quality! afterwards, I visited a much smaller brewpub called Ølsnedkeren which had great beer…but it was truly just a brewpub. They brew some beer in the basement and have other beers on tap. It was a small operation but still very cozy and Danish- definitely worth a visit for a pint.
Evil Twin Brewing is another successful craft brewery with Danish roots. It is also one of these contract or gypsy breweries. The gypsy brewery movement is quite large in the nordic countries and allows these smaller craft breweries to have better reach. That is one reason why Evil Twin is so popular in the states- particularly in Brooklyn. Unlike Stockholm adopting Brooklyn trends, it seems as though Copenhagen has no interest in being anything but itself which may be a reason for its rich food and beer community…In reality, Brooklyn might even be adopting parts of Copenhagen’s lifestyle.
After these few trips to craft beer hotspots in the Copenhagen, I biked over to the Carlsberg Experience. This was quite the change in atmosphere. In fact, Carlsberg brews very little beer at this location. Most of Carlsber’s production is done in Falkenberg, Sweden. Instead, the Carlsberg Experience is a tourist destination that is mainly used as a marketing ploy. You can tour the old brewhouse and pet the Carlsberg horses (similar to the Budwieser commercial horses). They also have a brand shop where you can buy anything from Carlsberg underwear to Carlsberg glassware. What I did find interesting however, was the history of the brand. Of course, Carlsberg wasn’t always the Carlsberg we know today- not the brand nor the size. It is always interesting to see how large brands develop into the massive multinational moguls that they are today.
Now it’s back to Stockholm for my last two weeks.