Posted on 09 september 2011.
It’s a week that started with haggis and Hardcore and ends in a storm of surprise, uncertainty and conjecture that arguably Sweden’s most iconic craft brewery might be Norwegian from next month.
Beer so tasty you can eat it!
On Tuesday I was in Scotland with Stene and Rille from Akkurat and Per from Cask Sweden to help brew Abstrakt 0X (working title….most probably Abstrakt 08) at BrewDog*. It’s an imperial oatmeal stout that’s modelled on the traditional Scottish dessert Cranachan and uses crystal oats, an obscene amount of malts including Extra Pale Marris Otter and Carafa (a German dehusked malt that gives a smoother chocolate flavour without any harshness), Fuggles hops, wild Scottish raspberries and a bucket of heather honey from local bees.
Oh and then it’s going to be stuck into whisky casks for ”around 3-4 months” before being bottled and hopefully finding its way over to Sweden. Rumour has it that a very limited number of kegs may be exclusively available in one particular Stockholm pub. More on that later!
Brewing beer wasn’t the only thing we did on Tuesday though – we drank a fair bit of it too. In fact we sampled so many outstanding brews I’m calling Tuesday, September 6th The Day of Many Beers and will attempt to give you all the details of exactly what we imbibed early next week.
This was also the week that we said Goodbye to Ingrid. She set something of a craft beer record when she went on sale just 9 days ago as crowds of people lined up at Systembolaget stores throughout the country to grab her. According to the Systembolaget website all 10,000 bottles are now sold. Is this the last we’ll ever see of Ingrid? You’ll find out here first.
In a week when the world’s strongest fermented beer known to man was poured from the mouth of a deer almost as shocking was the news from Gothenburg that a drunk elk got stuck in an apple tree. Seems to me the line between wild animals and beer has become very thin these days.
And finally are they or aren’t they? Norwegian craft brewery Haandbryggeriet announced on its Facebook page yesterday night that Sweden’s Närke Kulturbryggeri are to join forces with it. The rather strangely worded statement reported: ” Närke is our friendly brewery and its a damn good brewery but they don’t have a clue re marketing and production” before revealing that ”From 1 October Närke will be part of Haandbryggeriet and håke (read here Håge?) will be our master brewer” and finished by declaring that ”Stormaktsporteren will from now on be made here in Drammen”.
Since this announcement there has been no official comment from either brewery, inevitably leading to speculation about whether the news is true and if it is what it means for Sweden’s famous craft brewery in Örebro. Will all production move to Drammen? Would such a move result in more Närke beers becoming available? The early excitement among US drinkers that they might finally be able to get their hands on a bottle of Kaggen is almost palpable.
When it comes to Närke it’s my experience that it’s best to wait for a formal response before publishing anything. So that’s what I’ll do. Wait. *drums fingers*
So how do I round off a week like this one? With a bottle of the amazing Prototype 17 perhaps? No, I think that’s enough BrewDog for this week so I’m going for something a lot closer to home – Dugges Höstbrygd Contemplative Ale.
This 5% ABV British style brown ale is being tipped as a great partner to the earthy mushrooms popping up everywhere around Sweden right now, so why not grab yourself a bottle and follow the advice on the label and take a time-out to reflect on what has been a pretty awesome beery week.
Have great weekends everyone. Be safe, be happy and be unlagom
*Just so you all know I’m laying claim right now to the headline ”BrewDog beer gets its just desserts”. It’s mine OK and my lawyers WILL be watching