This weekend is an important weekend in the Swedish calendar. It’s the period of time centred upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the Northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening.
More importantly though it’s a time for everyone to just let go, enjoy the sunshine and get together with friends and family for the tradition lunch which consists of pickled herring, egg, meatballs, hard bread and lots of schnapps. In the end there’s always strawberries.
The other part of Midsummer consists of raising and dancing around a maypole. Greenery placed over houses and barns were supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock. To decorate with greens, in Swedish was called “att maja” or “to may” in English and may be the origin of the word “majstång”, where maja originally comes from the month May, or vice versa. Today, however, it is most commonly called a “midsommarstång”, which literally translates to midsummer pole.
There’s also the pagan rites side to the Maypole and has a lot to do with Freyja and Freyr which has a phallic symbol. During the Viking age there were rituals centered around this, as a worshipping of fertility and a rich harvest.
So midsummer is a great time to visit Sweden. It’s when we’re at our happiest.
During this last week, Henrik and I went to Stockholm, to release five new beers at Bishop’s Arms in Södermalm. It was great to see so many familiar faces, and meet so many new faces. The beers we took with us was in Sally the Saler, Man goes crazy for peaches, Monkey Business, I (f*cking) made it and Beerbiblioteket, if that is your real name?
It was quite a variety, from Pilsner, to Berliner, to IPA and Pale Ale. Man goes crazy for peaches has also been packaged and has already been leaving the brewery in both bottles and kegs. So look out for it in a pub near you 🙂
In this last while we’ve been focussing a lot on our canning line, even though we still produce more beer in bottles and even more in kegs. One of the reasons for cans has been because of the environmental benefits if you compare cans to bottles. The same goes for kegs, when you compare metal kegs to the KeyKegs we use.
The KeyKeg company has a very big environmental focus. KeyKegs are lightweight and recyclable, because all the raw materials can be separated in just a few steps and used to make new KeyKegs. Probably the most important parts of KeyKegs are they they’re already made from 100% recycled plastic.
From a design perspective they are very compact, which means that KeyKegs have a 25-30% higher loading capacity than steel kegs, which is great for the environment. Fewer shipments are required, and empty kegs do not need to be returned, which is around a 65% saving on transport, which in the end affects the price of the beer.
Using recyclable kegs also means we don’t need harsh chemicals for intensive cleaning, as you do with steel kegs.
So there’s a lot you can do if you’re an environmentally conscious beer drinker.
This last week we posted about our Berliner “A Passion for Gingers“, that we in error discontinued at the Swedish monopoly Systembolaget. We have rectified the error, and the beer will again be available from this coming Monday. Just in time to stock up for your summer vacation.
You can follow this link to order it to your closest store.
That is it from us for this week’s brewery update. We hope you’re enjoying the weekend, and stay safe if you’re on holiday or travelling.
Until next week. Cheers.
Compete in our freshest can in the land competition and stand a chance to win tickets to the All in Beer Festival.
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All in Beer Festival 4-5 November 2016
One of our favourite festivals is the All In Beer Fest. The reason? It’s just about beer.
We’ll be attending again this year, but if you’d like to attend, then there’s two ways to go about it. Buy a ticket, or enter our #FreshestCanInTheLand competition, where you stand the chance to win two entrance tickets.
Finding our beers in Sweden
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