As in other parts of the world – the interest of local beer and microbrewery has intensified in Sweden the recent years. While visiting Swedish Lapland – don’t miss the opportunity to taste what might be Sweden’s finest local beer. A recognition earned the hard way…
– I think people who live here are a bit hard headed by nature, Tord says with a warm laughter.
Maybe that’s why we decided to make things just a little bit harder for ourselves. Making an IPA, which is very popular right now, is quite easy to do in comparison to a lager. But for us – part of the fun is to produce a really nice and clean beer using traditional methods. It’s a bit more difficult. It takes a bit longer. But it is a result of real craftsmanship. That’s why we tell people that we brew our beer with stubbornness and pride.
The claim about Kallholmen being Sweden’s finest isn’t really official yet, but they did win gold in all categories at Mid Sweden Beer & Whisky Festival this spring. According to the audience vote, they produce the best Lager, Ale and Stout.
The story of Kallholmen brewery begins in 2010 when co-founder of the company, Per Lundmark, met Joseph Krýsl, beer brewing expert and master brewer at Pilser Urquell. Per asked Joseph if he could help them build a brewery in Skellefteå, and by mid-summer 2011 the first batch was on its way. Since then, they’ve launched four different types of beers: Lager, Ale, IPA and Double IPA – all brewed in the same traditional way.
Kallholmen is the only brewery in Sweden using this Czech method for brewing a lager. And it’s even more rare using the method for several different types of beer.
The insides of the Kallholmen brewery and the technology are Czech, and they’ve also copied the traditional brewing process. In short, part of the mash is removed from the brew while the rest is heated to boiling temperature. Then the removed mash is added again resulting in the remain of certain carbohydrates giving the beer a slightly sweet and more balanced taste.
Kallholmen is the only brewery in Sweden using this Czech method for brewing a lager. And it’s even more rare using the method for several different types of beer. They call their products “living”. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized so the taste continues to develop after bottling. The downside is shorter durability. The upside is a very tasty, completely natural product with no additives.
The heart of the entrepreneurs behind Kallholmen rests soundly in Swedish Lapland – and they’ve realised along the way that the purity of the product lies in more than the process.
– We have amazing water quality to start with. It’s one of our finest natural recourses. For a while we worked with ecological malt. But soon we realised that using more local products was more sustainable due to the transports required, so now our malt comes from northern Finland, Tord explains.
Another fun fact is that the leftover from the malt – the draff – is used as feed for local pigs. And no need to worry, this is before the fermentation starts.
– For us, the beer making process is a passion. But we’re equally passionate about making people discover great beer and finding local tastes. And I think we’re well on the way, Tord finishes with a smile.