Craft beer in Sweden: Malmö Brewing Co.
Our craft beer travels through Europe in summer 2023 continued from the sunny Bornholm island to southern Sweden. A ferry ride from Bornholm brought us to the beautiful coastal town of Ystad in Skåne county (Scania). The first brewery visit (actually our first ever brewery visit in Sweden, even though we come from neighboring country Finland!) took place in Malmö, the capital of the Skåne county, and the third largest city of the country. In Malmö had a pleasure to visit Malmö Brewing Co, one of the pioneers of modern style craft beer in Sweden!
Malmö Brewing Co. is the largest brewpub of Sweden
Malmö Brewing Co & Taproom is a wonderful, large brewpub located in a historical factory building in the now trendy Rådmansvången neighborhood in Malmö. The beautiful, renovated factory in fact is part of the brewing history of Sweden, since in late 19th century it used to house the Richter’s Brewery. Between 1888 and 1992 the fascinating factory building was home to the well-known Mazetti Chocolate Factory, and the it’s still often called as the chocolate factory, Choklad Fabriken in Swedish.
The founder and CEO of Malmö Brewing Co, Anders Hansson, together with his parents, bought the then dilapidated factory building back in 2002. Already back then the idea was to establish a brewery and a pub in the building some day. Anders was interested in beer from a very young age – before drinking it, his passion was towards beer labels and the history of brewing. Renovating the run-down factory building was a huge and expensive project – first a conference center and a nightclub were constructed, which helped to finance further renovation and constructing a brewery in the old factory halls.
After a massive renovation project, Malmö Brewing Co. was opened to public in November 2010, when craft beer was still a relatively new phenomena in Malmö and whole Sweden. At first it was just a tiny taproom with five year-round beers, but the mission was to grow and bring new, different beers to the young market. Since the beginning this brewery has played an important role in enriching the craft beer scene of Malmö; what used to be a handful of enthusiasts has grown to a vibrant community, and there are more and more local breweries as well as increasing amount of bars and restaurants that serve craft beer.
Malmö Brewing serves a huge amount of beer fresh from tap – none of the beers are bottled or canned, even if the yearly production is close to 100 000 liters. The variety of beer styles is huge, and the crew keeps creating always something new and interesting. The brewery doesn’t have an actual core series, and most of the taps always rotate. However, there are some favorite beers that are usually available around the year, from Belgian-style Ales to IPAs and Stout. In addition to their own brews, there are always several taps reserved for beer of Ability Drinks, a nomadic brewery whose beers are brewed in the premises too. And then part of the taps are reserved for carefully selected visiting domestic and international beers, so there is for sure always something new to taste! Malmö Brewing taproom is a popular and very atmospheric brewpub, a true must-visit for all craft beer enthusiasts traveling to Malmö!
When visiting the brewpub, we tasted six Malmö Brewing Co. craft beers, all of them of great quality. We started from a light and malty Kellerbier, Kreutzberg Keller, continued with a Milkshake Pale Ale Strawberry Shortcake and a Grand Saison called Daughter of Moon. Then we tasted nicely bitter and quite west-coasty Miwok NEIPA, and ended the tasting with Shugga Coated, a lovely, warming Barleywine with a bunch of coconut. In addition we tasted Aimbot, a fruity and tropical but also bitter and resinous NEIPA. We liked all of them, but our favorites were Aimbot and Shugga Coated.
Since 2016 Anders Hansson has also made Meads, and in 2019 he released them to the public. Meads are made under the brand Malmö Meadery, and there usually are three different Meads on tap in the brewpub. The meadery mainly focuses on session Meads, that are low in alcohol, carbonated and spiced with a lot of honey and fruits. In addition they also make a lot of stronger and more intense Meads, sometimes fermented and aged in oak barrels. Some of the Meads are also bottled or canned, and they are available in Systembolaget alcohol shops and in some European webshops. We tasted three different Meads: strong and smoky Exclusive Smoked Bochet, lighter We Are Late, Honey with raspberries and very sweet Here’s Honey with black currant.
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