Per takes us through the facility. From the malt grinder to the simmering copper pans. He mentions things like “unpitched wort, yeast room, mash pan and cooling-mantled aluminium tank” . "Here, the beer is cooled for three to five weeks, he smiles, lightly tapping one of the large tanks".
– We actually found remains of the old brewery when we began excavating to build the new one, explains Per Lundmark as he greets us in the Skellefteå Brewery’s new facilties, by the riverside in central Skellefteå.
Seth Mikael Franzén was really a shipowner and trader in wooden goods, but then one day he realized that Skellefteå was lacking its own brewery.
– The fact is that the old brewery was Skellefteå’s first real industry. At its peak, it employed more than 90 people and beer and soft drinks were produced there until 1976. In 1984, the building was demolished. Now, forty years later, beer is once again being brewed in central Skellefteå.
– In a way, you could say that we’ve gone full circle, Per remarks with a laugh.
The modern history of the Skellefteå Brewery began four years ago. They were then located at Kallholmen in Skelleftehamn, operating under the name Kallholmen’s Malt Brewery.
– We brewed the first batch over the Midsummer weekend of 2011. In the old facilities they could produce a maximum of 120,000 litres, explains Per.
– Today, we have the capacity to brew more than four times as much beer. In the last couple of years, the interest in microbreweries, in Sweden as well as internationally, has truly skyrocketed.
– When Kallholmen was founded, there were 43 active microbreweries in Sweden. Now there are more than 180. We have also noticed that beer now has a completely different status than it used to have. This can be seen, for instance, in the fact that beer is often a natural part of a fine dining experience nowadays.
Despite their name change, the Kallholmen brand is still one of the brewery’s flagship brands.
– We work with three completely different product lines. Kallholmen, named after where it all began, Backens, named after where we are today and Seth Mikael, inspired by the Bavarian beer brewed by the Russian Vice Consul. The products are sold all over Sweden, but primarily in the northern parts of the country.
– Backens (literally The Slope’s) in particular, is selling really well at many of the ski resorts in the mountain world, Per remarks with a laugh.
The beers that are part of the Kallholmen brand are described as ‘living’. This means that the beer continues to develop after being bottled.
– This happens as a result of our brewing process. It is an unfiltered, unpasteurised beer with a distinctive character.
Per takes us through the facility. From the malt grinder to the simmering copper pans. He mentions things like “unpitched wort, yeast room, mash pan and cooling-mantled aluminium tank”
– Here, the beer is cooled for three to five weeks, he smiles, lightly tapping one of the large tanks. At the Skellefteå Brewery, Czech crafting tradition is combined with Swedish Lapland perseverance and pride.
– We brew in the way that it has always been done. That means pure ingredients. Malted barley, hops, yeast and water. Yes, the rest is actually pure craftsmanship.
At the brewery, there are four special tanks. They don’t look so special from the outside, but they function in a special way. They are in direct connection with the pumps at the night club next door, Brygg CC.
– You can’t serve much fresher beer than this at your establishment, Per says with a laugh. The Skellefteå Brewery offers tours where visitors are guided through the brewing process.
– It is also possible to take the experience even further by combining it with beer tasting at Brygg CC and a visit to the restaurant Bryggargatan Bar och Bistro. Both are right around the corner, the proud brewmaster concludes.
More information about the Skellefteå Brewery can be found online at www.skellefteabryggeri.se