Craft beer in Sweden: Poppels Bryggeri
After getting to know the craft beer scene of Gothenburg, our tour in Sweden continued to Jonsered, a historical industrial area and village just 15 kilometers north-east from Gothenburg. The old factory halls of Jonsered are home to Poppels Bryggeri, a wonderful, creative microbrewery that was voted as the Swedish Brewery of the Year in 2022.
Brewery born out of a desire for better beer
The founders of Poppels shared a common dream to help to make better, hand-crafted beer well-known. The first home of Poppels Bryggeri was in Mölnlycke, and the first beers were brewed in late 2012. The first beer that was available from the shelves of Systembolaget, the alcohol monopoly of Sweden, was Poppels Brown Ale in December 2012. Since the beginning Poppels has been mostly brewing hoppy beers, especially IPAs, but the variety is wide and experimenting with new styles has been present throughout the years. In May 2013 Poppels released their simply named American Pale Ale, that hit the taste buds of the Swedes, and is the all time best-selling beer of Poppels, nowadays available in every Systembolager store.
Years of growth and expansions
As the popularity of craft beer in general and the brews by Poppels grew, expansions in the brewery in Mölnlycke were needed. However, after increasing the capacity twice, it was clear that the space is simply not big enough. In 2015 a new brewery was built in Jonsereds Fabriker, the historical Jonsered factory halls, with enough space for growth also for years to come. Poppels moved to the new, modern brewery in May 2015, with a vision vision that the new brewery would become one of Sweden’s most inviting beer destinations. Furthermore, the move marked the beginning of brewing 100 % organic beers, being the largest organic brewery in the whole country.
During the following years, Poppels kept growing, and their beers became more widely available also from pubs and restaurants throughout the country. Exports started too; the first country was Norway in 2015. In 2017 Poppels brew their first folk beer, that means a beer under ABV 3,5 %, that is the limit for selling alcohol drinks in grocery stores in Sweden.
Nowadays Poppels is one of the big microbreweries of Sweden, with annual production of around 1,3 million liters in 2023. Such capacity means that beer is brewed, fermented and matured in a bit bigger vessels than in most of the craft breweries – the brewhouse is of 4 000 liters (and they brew two batches a day), and the fermenting vessels from 4 000 to 20 000 liters. However, Poppels also has a smaller brewhouse and vessels of 500 liters, with which more experimental and special beers are brewed.
The beer selection of Poppels Bryggeri is impressive. Poppels Core Series includes always-available craft beers in classic and modern styles. In addition, there is Selection Series, that includes unique, bold, deep and complex brews like Barrel-aged Stouts and Barley Wines, and Experimental Series with surprising, innovative beers, often spiced with fruits. Poppels keeps being creative, and usually releases a new beer in the market every month! In addition, there are also a handful of seasonal beers brewed annually.
Poppels Öl&Mat brewery restaurant
Right next to the brewery in Jonsered, there is a lovely brewery restaurant called Öl&Mat (Beer&Food in Swedish). This taproom restaurant, opened in march 2020, is focused on pairing beer and food. It’s a unique concept where the entire menu is built around beer and food pairing, and if you have never tested that, we can assure that it can be very eye-opening experience! It’s amazing how different foods highlight different flavors of beer, and how moth-watering and unexpected combos there can be, from salty starters to sweet desserts!
Poppels City Bryggeri in Gothenburg
Poppels City Brewery in Gothenburg city center opened its doors in August 2022. This unique venue is the world’s largest oak barrel Pilsner brewery! The beer is pumped straight from the fermentation tanks to the serving tanks. There is also a restaurant, that highlights sustainability and local ingredients and has a menu that leans on using a lot of vegetables and home-made bread, but there are also fish and meat dishes available. We unfortunately didn’t have time to visit the city brewery, but next time when in Gothenburg, we’ll go for sure!
Tasting Poppels beers
How are Poppels beers then? Well, we can definitely recommend tasting them! Poppels Bryggeri clearly has their processes under control, and the beers are of great quality! What is also nice, is that there is plenty of information of each beer in the label, and even a food pairing recommendation. If you ever travel to Gothenburg area, note that Poppels organizes brewery tours and beer tastings, and on every Saturday afternoon there is a free tour in the brewery! We have tasted altogether 15 different Poppels beers so far, and below you can find four of our favorites in different styles. Jump from the pics or links to beer cards with more info and tasting notes!
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