I’ll be honest with you. Sometimes it hurts reading the endless stream of posts and articles from other bloggers and beer writers as they sit in cool beer bars in the major metropolises at yet another launch party/Beer Maker’s Dinner/exclusive keg release while I sit up here in Umeå twiddling my thumbs waiting for the beer revolution to march further north.
Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Umeå (I can almost hear my more southerly readers snorting in surprise) but I really do. The city has an amazingly creative arts and music scene, a young culturally diverse population and a palpable desire to want more, to be better. What it doesn’t have is much beer.
At least not until a few months back when U&ME emerged on the scene squeezing beers out of a 20L Braumeister set-up to a deliriously thirsty local market. Since then they have stepped up to a more commercially viable 200L set-up and their beers have improved with every single batch. I tried their USA (Umeå Summer Ale) last week and it was really good – a clean and classic take on an American pale ale with a refreshing lemony edge.
Slightly further north another brewery also mashed in for the first time, this time Kallholmens Maltbryggeri in Skelleftehamn, whose brewing concept is grounded in the Czech beer tradition (they only use Czech malt, yeast and hops) with a ”touch of northern stubbornness”.
And then of course there’s my ‘little’ ongoing project the Beer Studio. But more about that very very soon
However even with these notable exceptions I’d be lying if I said Umeå was overflowing with cool beer bars and exclusive brews. Which is why whenever something remotely beery happens here I sit up and pay attention, such as when I heard the news that both the aforementioned breweries will be taking part in a two-day festival in the city later this month.
Älska Dryck aims to showcase local producers of both food and drink – something that is really close to my heart. Tickets to the beer tasting sessions (in which visitors get to sample 7 different local beers from both breweries) go on sale today and costs 400SEK per session, which includes a bite to eat. Places are very limited so get yourself down to Duå to buy your tickets and support this important initiative.