|styles - history - beers|
is a list of, as far as I am aware, all the breweries currently operating
Also listed are the beers they brew, though I have omitted those below 3% (folköl). Swedish breweries, in order to get around advertising restrictions on full-strength beer, have a habit of using the same brand name for beers across all the different strength classes (Pripps Blå is a good example). It can make the product ranges of some breweries look enormous.
If you want to know more about Swedish beer laws (well worth acquainting yourself with if you plan a visit to Sweden and don't want to end up very thirsty), they are explained in my Introduction to Swedish Beer.
Swedish brewing industry
Swedish beer statistics
Swedish beer styles
History of Swedish Beer
Stockholm Pub Guide
Gothenburg Pub Guide
Malmö Pub Guide
|Many thanks to Per Samuelsson for providing me with invaluable updates on the Swedish microbrewery scene.|
|The Swedish brewing industry|
| Carlsberg - who own the Falkenberg and Pripps breweries
- dominate the market with thin, pale lagers. Their annual total production
is about 2.3 million hl. I'm not sure if that figure includes non-taxable
beer. If it does, Carlsberg have a mere 52% of the Swedish market. If it's
only taxable beer, then their market share is a whopping 75%.
Spendrups and Kopparbergs (who run three breweries) take up most of the rest, with a handful of older companies and a few micros fighting for the remaining scraps. There are no more than a handful of brewpubs.
This is a rough breakdown of the structure of the Swedish brewing industry:
|Carlsberg||1||Has a single brewery in Falkenberg (formely Falcon). The Stockholm brewery (Pripps) closed in 2004.|
|Spendrups||2||Sweden's number 2 brewing group. Their 2nd brewery is a micro on Gottland. They have about 20% of the Swedish market.|
|Kopparbergs||3||A group that also owns the Banco and Zeunerts breweries.|
|Independents||3||Krönleins, Åbro and Avesta. Old, established independent breweries have been almost wiped out in Sweden.|
|Brewpubs||4||Brewpubs haven't really taken off in Sweden.|
|Microbreweries||17||My figure here is a snapshot. The microbrewery branch is extremely dynamic in Sweden, with breweries coming and going at a high rate of knots.|
|Contract brewers||2||Not as popular an option as in some countries.|
All beer over 3.5% alcohol can only be sold in state-owned shops, the Systembolaget. Their websitte has a complete list of beers they sell. Currently they stock 195 Swedish beers.
|Swedish Beer styles|
|Pale lager - but what else?
The beers brewed in Sweden fall into two main groups:
The overwhelming majority are pale lagers vaguely in the Pils style. Though, since the change in the law limiting the maximum strength to 5.6% ABV, some have had the strength of a pale bock. Some micros produce unfiltered versions called färsköl. Very few beers are actually designated as pils. In fact most beers are pretty vague about their style. Not surprising, really, when some brands have versions varying in strength from 2.8% to 10%. Odd beers do claim to be Export or Märzen, but I wouldn't expect any rigorous application of the correct characteristics of a particular style.
Some breweries still produce versions of the original style of lager to be made in Sweden, münchner. These are pale brown lagers usually going under the name of "Bayerskt" ("Bavarian"). Though some "dark" lagers are probably closer in colour and style to a Vienna type. None of the versions from the commercial breweries have the specific nutty maltiness of a true Münchner, brewed with münchner malt. My guess is that they're coloured with caramel. One exception is König Ludwig Dunkel, brewed under licence from a Bavarian brewery and an all-malt beer.
For Christmas, special dark lagers are brewed called Julöl.
Unfettered by silly strength restrictions, a few have attempted German-style Bocks, usually of the dark dubbelbock type. Sadly, the new freedom has mostly been used to brew super-strength lagers of no particular style or merit.
Sweden has a long tradition of Porter brewing, unbroken over 200 years. It shouldn't come as a shock, then, that many new breweries have also taken on the style. I can particularly recommend Jämtlands Bryggeri's Porter and, perhaps surprisingly, Carnegie Porter, from Carlsberg/Pripps, a beer with striking depth for its modest strength.
Under the old system of strength bands, British beers were very popular imports, easily fitting under the 5.6% maximum and sometimes even falling into the much more lightly taxed Class IIA category. The thirst for British bitter has encouraged local micros to brew in this style, so there are many Pale Ales around. Such Swedish beers can sometimes be found in genuine cask-conditioned form.
About the only indigenous style still made is gotlandsdricke. It's the name given to the beers of the home-brewing tradition, still extant, on the island of Gotland. It shares at least some common roots with Finland's sahti. The Spendrup's-owned microbrewery on the island did produce a commercial version, though I'm not sure if it's still in their product range.
Now anything goes as far as strength is concerned, strong Belgian beers have quickly established a niche for themsleves. So no big surprise that these are the next subjects for imitation or emulation. The abbey Dubbel and Tripel styles have been favourite.
|Swedish brewing industry statistics|
| Finally here are a few basic statisctics on the Swedish brewing industry.
The drop in taxable beer production in 1997 can be attributed to a change in the law,
which removed duty from certain classes of low-alocohol beer (folköl). Some production
instantly became tax-free and dropped out of these figures.
Note that the only breweries included are those in the Svenska Bryggeriföreningen (the Swedish Brewers Association), whose figures these are. Since the mid-1990's there have been many new micros, who are not all represented in these figures. However, unlike the UK, new breweries have been allowed to join the association so, confusingly, some of them do show up in the numbers above. Confused? I certainly am. To get a true figure for the total number of breweries in Sweden, my guess would be to add an extra 10 to 20 or so to every year since 1997. My best estimate is that it has hovered around the 40 mark over the last 5 years.
|Number of breweries, beer production and beer consumption|
|Breweries of taxable beer||Taxable beer production (hl)||Taxable beer consumption (hl)||Taxable beer consumption per capit (litres)|
* my own calculation
|Beer consumption by strength class|
After 1999 the figures for Mellanöl are included in those for Starköl.
|Beer sales by location (%)|
|Beer sales by package type (%)|
|Returnable bottle 33 cl||14.3||13.3|
|Returnable bottle 50 cl||6.1||6.2|
|Returnable bottle other||0.3||0.2|
|Returnable bottle PET 1.5 l||0.2||0.3|
|Returnable bottle total||20.9||20|
|Plastic bottle 50cl||0.2||0.2|
|Non-returnable bottle total||1.6||1.8|
|Bag in box||-||0.1|
774 97 Fors.
Tel: 0226-363 50
Fax: 0226-307 30
Small, independent brewery with a not very exciting range of beers.
360 53 Skruv.
Tel: 0478-203 00
Fax: 0478-200 32
Owned by Kopparbergs, who bought them in 2002.
330 10 Bredaryd.
Tel: 0370-80 320
Fax: 0370-86 295
Brewpub. It sells 200+ beers in addition to its own.
291 43 Ystad.
Tel: 0411- 699 99
Fax: 0411- 699 98
Founded: 1997 ** CLOSED 2002**
Brewpub in the centre of Ystad. Housed in a traditional timber-framed brick building.
Merged with Tomelilla brewery to form Två Bryggare ("Two Brewers"). Thee beers are now brewed there.
161 86 Stockholm
Tel: 08-757 70 00
Fax: 08-28 98 61
Founded: 1828 (Pripps) CLOSED 2004
Annual production: 1,000,000 hl
Produces an enormous array of pale lagers, many licence-brewed versions of Carlsberg's Danish beers. But at 1 million hl, it's not that big a brewery in the modern world. I wonder how many breweries Carlsberg will have in Scandinavia in a few years' time? A couple of mega-breweries could brew enough to supply Denmark/Sweden/Norway quite easily.
How prescient I was! Carlsberg Sweden plan to close their Stockholm brewery in October 2004, with production moving to Falkenberg and Copenhagen. The group still has an awful lot of breweries in Norway-Sweden-Denmark, where the total beer market is only around 12 million hl.
Carlsberg also imports beers - such as a stronger (4.4%) version of Tetley's Bitter - from other parts of its empire.
|Dugges Ale- & Porterbryggeri
431 33 Mölndal.
Tel: 031-877 900
311 22 Falkenberg
Tel: 08-757 70 00
Fax: 0346-171 55
Annual production: 1,300,000 hl
The largest brewery in Sweden. A subsidiary of Carlsberg Sverige . I assume that some of the other Carlsberg brands are also brewed here but for simplicity's sake, I'm just listing the Falcon products here.
Stans Bryggeri AB
103 11 Stockholm.
Tel: 08-406 62 20
Fax: 08-20 30 74
Founded: 1995 ** CLOSED **
Brewpub. Jan Stenbeck, the initiator of this project showed considerable determination in establishing Sweden'd first brewpub, at a time when it was unclear if it was legal or not. His stubbornness also had less positive effects: at his insistance only a single pale lager was brewed. Since his departure, the way has been clear for a widening of the product range. The intention is to eventually serve 6 house draught beers.
For details of the pub, look here.
524 32 Herrljunga.
Tel: 0513-226 00
Fax: 0513-226 19
Microbrewery. Has moved from its original home in Gothenburg to a cider makers in Herrljunga.
Te: 0970 - 641 90
Founded: 1996 CLOSED 2003
S:t Hansgatan 47,
621 56 Visby.
Tel & Fax: 0498-21 77 73
Microbrewery owned by Spendrups.
457 02 Grebbestad
Tel: 0525-610 60
Fax: 0525-610 66
Microbrewery. Unusually for a micro, it concentrates on bottom-fermenting beers.
Mobil: 070-274 24 32
Tel: 019-10 89 89
Founded: 2000 ** CLOSED **
826 50 Söderhamn.
Tel.: 0270 - 141 98
Microbrewery. A company that used to provide just unfermented wort for home brewers. In 2004 it began marketing beer, initially only in draught form.
852 31 Sundsvall.
Tel: 060-12 50 22
Brewpub. The brewery doesn't have the most inspiring name, but it does produce cask-conditioned ales.
840 58 Pilgrimstad.
Tel: 0693-314 30
Fax: 0693-314 31
Annual production: 3,500 hl
A well-respected microbrewery that has won lots of awards. Their interpretations of British-style beers are particularly good.
533 94 Hällekis.
Microbrewery. The beers are available at Forshems Gästgivaregård, a restaurant just down the road from the brewery.
714 82 Kopparberg.
Tel: 0580-886 00
Fax: 0580-886 01
Annual production: 300,000 hl
Independent brewery. Kopparbergs also owns the Banco and Zeunerts breweries. It took over the Sofiero brewery in 2000 and this no appears to have closed, though some of its product range lives on.
302 43 Halmstad.
Tel: 035-17 60 00
Fax: 035-17 60 01
One of Sweden's largest independent breweries.
599 94 Ödeshög.
Tel: 0142 - 71253
Mob: 070 - 6966056
Fax: 0142 - 71212
A microbrewery in a farmhouse that seems to concentrate on Class II beers.
792 97 Mora.
Tel: 0250 - 350 19
Fax: 0250 - 352 02
The original Mora Bryggeri was founded in 1872, bought by Pripps in 1951 and closed in 1979. A microbrewery located in Mora, Pehrsgårdens Bryggeri, bought the rights to the name and to produce the Mora soft drinks. Pehrsgårdens Bryggeri changed its name to Mora Bryggeri in 2003.
S:t Eriksgatan 36,
Tel: 08 - 650 50 49
A microbrewery with a good reputation.
|Nya Munkbo Ångbryggeri AB
Tel: 0240-745 11
Founded: 1997 CLOSED 2002
972 54 Luleå.
Tel: 0920-25 07 60
Founded: 2004 CLOSED 2005
149 22 Nynäshamn.
Tel: 08 - 520 212 13
Fax: 08 - 520 212 14
Annual production: 720 hl (2004)
Microbrewery brewing mostly British-style ales. The only brewery I know in continental Europe producing two milds.
All the ales are also available in cask-conditioned format. Akkurat and Oliver Twist in Stockholm and The Rover in Gothenburg sometimes have them in cask form. Cask beer is also exported to the Fat Cat in Sheffield.
All the beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised.
701 49 Örebro.
Tel: 019-33 34 82
Fax: 019-10 42 46
776 93 Hedemora.
Annual production: 3,500 hl
Kök & Bar
415 02 Göteborg.
Tel: 031-21 72 05
784 63 Borlänge.
Tel 0243-21 94 94
Fax 0243-21 94 95
751 08 Uppsala.
Tel: 018-15 58 00
Fax: 018-15 58 00
A microbrewery brewing an impressive range of styles.
Box 341 02,
100 26 Stockholm.
Tel: 08-672 77 00
Fax: 08-618 35 60
Annual production: 960,000 hl (1996) 1,240,000 hl (2003)
Sweden's largest independent brewery. It has around 20% of the market.
|Svenssons Bryggeri AB
312 21 Laholm.
Tel: 0430-165 90
Fax: 0430-100 02
|Three Towns Ind Brewery
Listed as a separate brewery in the Systembolaget price list, but surely the beers really come from one Carlsberg's brewery in Falkenburg.
|Två Bryggare / ÖsterlenBryggarna AB
273 36 Tomelilla.
Tel: 0417-135 00
Fax: 0417-122 98
Microbrewery. Formed by the merger of the Färskölsbryggeriet in Ystad and the Tomelilla Bryggeri (which made only tax-free beer).
881 27 Sollefteå
Tel: 0620-575 00
Fax: 0620-575 35
Independent brewery. Owned by Kopparbergs.
598 86 Vimmerby.
Tel: 0492-165 00
Fax: 0492-136 90
Annual production: 560,000 hl (all drinks, 2004) 300,000 hl (beer - based on market share)
One of Sweden's larger independent breweries. Has about 10% of the beer market.
Tel: 0647 - 521 70
Contract brewer. The beers are brewed at Jämtlands.
582 30 Linköping.
Tel: 0707-67 18 34
Fax: 013-12 44 90
Brewpub. Only open to students, except by appointment. The beer is available at several other outlets in Linköping.