Tag Archive | "Närke Kulturbryggeri"

Linköping Beer Expo 2012. Standing Room Only.

I did something at the Linköping Beer Expo this weekend that I don’t normally do. I lost weight.

It was standing room only at Linköping Beer Expo this year.

This is not normal. I normally plan on gaining at least a couple of kilos as I circle beer halls sampling deliciously calorific creations. Add to that some bad food choices and very little sleep and it’s often the reason I start searching for my gym membership card the minute I get back home to Umeå.

I think the cause of it was the new location of this year’s Beer Expo, which had upped sticks and moved from ‘Cupolen’ to Tornet. Although the building itself is quite charming (exposed brickwork and beer shows are always a winning combination in my book) the shape of the building’s layout made this weekend’s festival extremely ‘intimate’.

Entering it felt a bit like being squeezed into a tube of toothpaste. Although I tried to hang out in the first room I walked into it was difficult to resist the wave of people behind me that eventually swept me into the main brick-lined festival hall.

Here I spent most of my 9-hour stint at the show. Me and around 800-900 other people packed as tightly together as commuters on a rush-hour train. The fact that one of the draws of the show, the magnificently moustached Kristian Strunge from Stronzo Brewing Co pouring out samples of the only keg of Ca$h Cow Imperial Stout in existence was located at the far end of the rectangular-shaped hall aggravated matters as people got funneled and then stuck in the dead-end.

Now Google tells me the heat generated by the average person is 116 watts an hour. That’s 104.4 kilowatts of heat generated by 900 people in that building every 60 minutes. No wonder I was so hot all the time and didn’t put on a single gram in weight (although I really, really tried).

But what the heck. I’d rather see a hall packed to the rafters with people drinking beer than the alternative and once again the ever-so-friendly Beer Expo team admirably marshaled by Richard Lindblad put on a show the beer scene in Sweden could be proud of.

A cask-conditioned US Pale Ale. It's not every day you get to try one of those!

Highlights? Trying two samples of cask Storastörst from Närke Kulturbryggeri, one of which had been fed through a hop rocket stuffed with Citra. This was an American Pale Ale with bags of freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice and the velvet mouth-feel only a cask can give a beer. I would consider moving to Örebro this summer just to drink it.

The aforementioned Ca$h Cow from Stronzo Brewing was an intriguing experiment in which head brewer Kristian had used a lager yeast to remove most of the fruit esters, thus amplifying the roasted expresso coffee and bitter chocolate characteristics of this 11% Imperial Stout. Add in loads of roasted malts, bourbon and vanilla beans and there was a lot going on here. Perhaps a little too much. It was intensely dry, sucking out the saliva in my mouth almost instantly, making it difficult to have a conversation for several minutes afterwards. Cool to try nonetheless!

Then there was Hair of the Dog Adam from the Wood that I was treated to by BSF stalwart (and right proper geezer) Blafa in a private tasting later. It was like chewing on an entire tub of Sun-Maid Raisins. Sensational! Oh and I shouldn’t forget the smell of the 1.4% ABV East Kent Goldings tribute Sopranen from the World’s Smallest Brewery in Malmö. The best floral nose on a low alcohol beer I’ve ever sniffed?

There were a lot more happy memories but I’ll leave them for now to become just that. The Beer Expo has proven once again that it deserves its place on the annual beer circuit.

Maybe though a bigger location or a couple of these wouldn’t go amiss next time?









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After Work Friday! Beer – Dugges Höstbrygd

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 :)






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Närke opens its doors to the public this Saturday

One of Sweden’s most talked about craft breweries, Närke Kulturbryggeri in Örebro is opening its doors to the public this Saturday, May 14th for tours and tastings of some of its award-winning beers.

The brewery, which has achieved celebrity status in craft beer circles throughout the world for its almost-impossible-to-get-hold-of Kaggen Stormaktsporter, will be selling samples of several of its beers, although exactly which ones (and whether Kaggen is among them) is unclear. Best way to find out is to get yourself to Örebro between 11am-2pm.

It's the real thing!

One of the beers that’s almost certainly not going to be available to try is a drop of what’s in the plastic Coke Zero PET bottle Närke’s characteristic head brewer HG is showing off here. It was found at the bottom of one of the oak casks that is due to be filled with Kaggen for the 7th year in a row.

The open day is, I believe, part of Småbryggeriernas Dag 2011, which last year saw a number of the members of Föreningen Sveriges Småbryggerier stage events and happenings to highlight and celebrate craft brewing in this country.

However I have been unable to find details of any other events taking place this Saturday so if you know of any please share them with us in the comments box below and remember to support the Swedish craft beer scene (and not just because someone said you’re supposed to but because they brew great tasting beer!)





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Närke named RateBeer’s No1 beer in Annual Awards

They’ve only gone and done it! Närke Kulturbryggeri has climbed to the very top of world brewing with the announcement just a few hours ago that its iconic Kaggen Stormaktsporter has been named the top rated beer in RateBeer’s Best of 2011 Awards.

Me giving praise to a bottle of the world's No1 rated beer!

The craft brewery from Örebro has beat a truly word-class field including the ‘holy grail of ale’ Westvleteren 12 and Russian River’s seminal Pliny the Younger to take the top spot. It’s ‘straight’ Stormaktsporter finished a very respectable 26th while its Konjaks! Stormaktsporter – a special brew for the celebrated Stockholm beer bar Akkurat – came in 42nd position.

Getting three beers into RateBeer’s top 100 also catapulted Närke into third place in the list of ‘The Best Brewers In The World 2011′. Great to see that Dugges Ale and Porterbryggeri was also recognised in 66th place in the top 100 – the only other Swedish brewery to make an appearance in the awards.

More analysis to come, but for now raise a glass of the good stuff and toast the team at Närke for being world leaders!

Oh, and if you want to know what all the fuss is about you can see me giving a rare video tasting of Kaggen Stormaktsporter here.

UPDATE: A full list of the highest rated Swedish beers can be found here.

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Beer Review – Närke Stormaktsporter 2008

An Imperial Porter

Närke Kulturbryggeri, Örebro, Sweden 9.5% ABV. A 250ml bottle that is not available at Systembolaget but through selected bars only. An Imperial Porter

As dark as an afternoon in northern Sweden in the depths of winter this beer is simply spectacular to look at in the glass. With most other beers a casual glance is all that is required but this beer grabs your attention and never lets it go. The thick, impenetrably black and oily-looking body resides under the most impressive cinnamon head of any beer I have seen in years. Watching this beer while you give it a whirl is like watching Avatar for the very first time - visually overwhelming.

And so to the smell and where to begin.....chocolate powder sprinkled over liquorice, slightly over-ripe prunes (which combined with the alcohol reminded me of the heady eau-de-vie de prune I sometimes drink when I'm down in southern France), burnt fruitcake, roasted nuts, tar, a touch of pavement, tobacco leaves and a splash of caffè macchiato. And that's just for starters........

All the aromas, and I mean every single one of them, cross over into the taste of the beer so I won't repeat myself. What deserves to be pointed out is the mouth feel, with a simultaneous sensation of oiliness and creaminess that's as baffling is it is amazing. The 9.5% ABV is deftly carried with an elegance and 'lightness' that is unrivalled in other beers I have tasted.

Don't bother. This beer has more than enough flavours to keep you happy. Sip it, savour it and take your time.

Nerd note

This is the second highest rated beer in Sweden, with only its 'big brother' Kaggen Stormaktsporter ahead of it. I've lost count of the amount of times I've tasted a hyped beer and been disappointed by the reality in the glass but not with this beer. It doesn't just live up to the headlines, it surpasses them. If you ever want to experience true beer artistry get yourself to one of the few pubs in Sweden that sell it and buy a bottle. You shouldn't care how much it costs because I promise you it will be worth every single öre.


5.0 of 5

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