This week we’re catching up with Adam Norman, who is the visionary leader behind Beerbliotek and the main reason why our beers have very long and slightly bizarre names. According to Adam, they always have to be ‘wordier’.
Adam comes from the land Down Under in Melbourne, Australia and moved to Gothenburg, Sweden for the same reason many of us, as a ‘love refugee’. Before the big move he spent some of his time in Edinburgh, Scotland where he met his now Swedish fru who introduced him to his now partner in crime / work-husband Richard Bull, also known as one of the other guys who started Beerbliotek.
Yo Adam, what got you into brewing and led to you starting your own brewery?
Well I’ve always worked with flavours and flavour development. I was an apprentice Chef, then a Cook for a while before I got into Coffee, because I didn’t want to work nights or the long hours. Together with Richard we opened our own place, Cafe, Doppio, here in Gothenburg, before going heavy into home brewing and taking on the world of Craft Beer. My beer interest grew through beer festivals and I became inspired by all the people I met along the way.
So when was your a-haa moment when you knew beer was it?
The Cafe introduced us to a lot of restaurants and bars in town. It became a regular hangout spot for the industry workers. These connections got us meeting people and understanding the industry. It was the way people worked and what the Craft Beer industry was all about that sounded appealing to me. During one of our trips to Brouwerij de Molen’s Borefts Beer Festival, we decided that this was the right direction for us.
As a Brewer and Brewery Owner, what changes are you hoping to see in Craft Beer?
The older you get, the more integrity there is in just doing the things that you actually think are important. Right now it is very much trend based. From my point of view within the industry I’d like to see people get to a point where they do what they enjoy and just follow that. Most breweries do that, but there is still a lot of ‘following the new thing’, though they are doing it very well. The trap of the modern industry is that we all feel we have to do everything. People always expect new beers from us, well it is in our name after all! But taking the time to refine beers is important. We’re always making small changes that make the beer even better.
What is your current role at Beerbliotek?
I don’t know. Everything from beer production, recipe design, processes, quality control, purchasing, collaborations to business development… I guess Operations Manager and even Business Development. I’m a bit everywhere at the moment!
Music and Podcasts fuel your ideas behind our long beer names. What are you listening to right now?
I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts, ‘cause it’s nice to have entertainment in your ears. I have hundreds of them on rotation. It’s not necessarily the laughing I like, but comedians tend to be self aware and self critical. It’s refreshing to listen to people that understand their faults.
And music wise?
At the moment a lot of Lucy Dacus. She comes back to me a lot at this time of year. Mostly atmospheric, indie, folk kind of stuff. It’s very much seasonal.
What is the future of Beerbliotek?
Without giving too much away, Diversity, from our business to our people.
Right, last question. When you’re not dreaming about beer, what are you dreaming about?
Sleep. And of course travelling to see my family, which is always something nice to look forward to. But hopefully sleep is closer.
If you’re in Sweden and want to read some of Adam’s beer names, then Systembolaget is an easy way out.