Tasting glasses at Haket.

This week we stopped off at our great friends Haket, who also happens to be Beerbliotek’s very first customer. Haket is a home away from home for us, where we’ve always felt like part of family. We chat about our history, their history, Cask Ales, and of course Supporting your locals.

As always we had some fish and chips, and because it was Wednesday, the weekly Cask Ale, this time a Mohawk Porter.

First up we chatted to Thomas, who’s one of the bartenders that’s been at Haket for as long as I can remember. Someone that loves the industry, someone who wears merchandise in public as well as at work.

Thomas from Haket during an event with Beerbliotek and Six degrees North.
Thomas from Haket during an event with Beerbliotek and Six degrees North.

Hi Thomas, thanks for your time.

To start, when was the first time you heard about Beerbliotek? I think it was about two years before you started the brewery, and probably drank your beer a year before you started.

That must have been homebrews? Yes it was. You were here with both your first ones, Black Ale Chilli and Antipodean IPA. You guys always sat at that end seat at the bar, you, Adam and Richard.  Haket was the first place we sold beer to, yes it was.

Have you then tried all of our beers? No. For the first 2 years, I think I’ve had them all, but then it just escalated, with all the breweries in Gothenburg and all the different new beers. But I remember the Chilli Ale and when Bobek Citra came. And all of the others, like Big Brother IPA and Little Brother Pale Ale. And I still miss the Porter. Baltic Porter or Port Side Porter? Post Side Porter. Yeah that was beer number 7. 

Have you then tasted our new Porter Follow me into the dark? Yes it is good. 

But nowadays we can’t keep up with the beers, cause there’s so much local beers around. But the first year we bought everything you had.

Have you tried all the international beers you got in at Haket? Yes, most of the small bottles, not all the big bottles.

So if you were travelling somewhere internationally, say Barcelona, and you tell someone you work in Gothenburg at a pub called Haket, what would you say your normal customer here is like? I always say we have a big variety of customers. Everyone from beer nerds to goths to bikers and everything in between. You still use the hashtag #allaskamed? (Everybody’s coming) Yes we do, all the time.

We’re here tonight drinking Cask beer, you think it’s a growing trend in Sweden? It’s starting to, but it hasn’t spread yet to the normal beer drinkers. But the nerds are aware of Cask, and they know what they’re drinking, but the normal customer that I know only drinks Stor Stark (Lager), I would need to tell them what it is, otherwise they will come back and say it is warm and it is flat.

Why then would anyone come to Haket instead of any other pub? You got the atmosphere here, and it’s quite special. It’s like a family and you get treated like one. It all comes from Cattis, so even if you’ve only been here once, when you come back she would remember your name. It’s like Cheers, where everybody knows your name. The normal beer drinker doesn’t come here cause it feels too expensive for normal beer, where Craft Beer drinker will come here cause it feels cheaper for Craft Beer.

So you have been following Beerbliotek since the start, what do you think about where we are now? I would say the quality is still top. You have a few tops with really excellent beers, but you haven’t been at the very top consistently, but at a high quality.

Next up we chatted to, who many, myself included, will call the mother of Haket. Cattis and her husband Masse run Haket, and often their children will be seen behind the pub as well.

Cattis from Haket serving us our own beer in their pub.

Thanks for the time Cattis.

When was the first time you heard about Beerbliotek? It must have been when 3 crazy guys sat in the couples corner by the bar, must have been a year or so before you started Beerbliotek. Yes we just came here to drink beer. And scream and shout.

You have also tried a few of our homebrews, we brought here, back then? Yes, all of the ones you brought here. And then we said we’re going to start a brewery, and brought you our first beer. Black Ale Chilli, and then we bought it as well. So you’re our first customers? Yes that sounds right.

How has it gone since then, would you say? With you as brewery? I would say it has gone fantastically well. You guys were a pain though, cause we had a written beer menu with available beers, and you guys kept on brewing new beers, so we had to change the list all the time. As beers sold out and new ones came in, it was a pain to manage our beer list.

Back then it was not a trend where everyone brewed something new, but now we’re in a world where everyone wants something new. You guys were the first brewery to have their own shelf in the fridge. Oh yes, that’s true. And then all the beers from us was sold at the same price, regardless of alcohol content or style. What was the thinking behind that? We thought it was because each beer was exclusive, and was then brewed only once. Then it was not important if it was a Lager or a Stout, it was all 89kr cause it was exclusive.

A question about Cask Beer. You only have one Keg one every week on Wednesdays. Is it going to grow in popularity? Yes. Once our new bar is done, we’re going to have a place for 3 kegs. You can see how many people are here tonight for that one keg. If we didn’t have it on, these customers would not have been here. (Just a side note, the Mohawk Cask Porter sold out in 2 hours).

And a question about the wall with my portrait. What do you think of it, did it turn out the way you wanted? Well you remember when we had the discussion about it, you stood in front of the wall and complained about the ugly painting hanging on the wall, and I said why not paint yourself then. And you did, and I like it.

2020 is a crazy year, and under a 5 month period you guys decided to only serve beer from the West Coast of Sweden. How has that gone and did it help with buying local? It went well, but I think it would have helped if more pubs did the same. Then I think it would have gone better for local breweries. We did this not for a pat on the back, but because it was the right thing to do. I mean what is Haket without our friends? That’s why we stopped everything coming from outside of Sweden, similar to what the Germans do. Are you from Munich then you drink beer from Munich. If you’re from Gothenburg, then you want your friends from Gothenburg to still be around after all of this is done.

So you’re in a town in Europe, and you meet a couple in a bar who’s planning a trip to Gothenburg, and you tell them about Haket, what do you say? We’re an open minded bar where everyone is welcome (#allaskamed)

What does the future hold for Haket? BrewPub? Yes. Once everything falls into place. We have dreams and I know that Haket will never die.