Posted on 11 September 2012.
MankerBeer storsatsar inför årets Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. Inte bara kommer vi försöka att finna nya sätt att rapportera från själva mässan utan vi kommer också att satsa på mer “inför”-material. En del i detta kommer att vara intervjuer med olika bryggare och utställare på mässan så att ni får en chans att lära känna dem lite bättre. Vi tycker att det är minst lika roligt, och viktigt, att känna till personerna bakom ölen som att prova dem. Om inte annat så kan det ge svar på varför vissa öl smaker som de gör, varifrån inspirationen kommer och vad som är på gång eller har skett.
I fjol kunde man finna ett för oss svenskar helt nytt norskt bryggeri – Lervig Aktiebryggeri - på Stockholm Beer. Då var inte bryggmästaren Mike Murphy själv på plats vilket han dock är i år. Mike har en lång bakgrund på den europeiska bryggscenen med bryggerier i Italien, Danmark och nu då Norge och med över ett decennium inom branchen har han verkligen kunnat följa utvecklingen craft beer har haft runtom i världen på nära håll. Lervis öl blev väldigt uppskattade på mäsan i fjol och tidigare i år har deras Rye IPA och Konrads Russian Imperial Stout besökt Systembolaget. Vi tog ett snack om hans bakgrund och vad det har gett han för förståelse för vad som sker i ölvärlden nu liksom hans beslut om att sätta öl på burk (vilket vi gillar) och vad han ser fram emot på mässan.
MB: You have lived in Europe for over a decade, brewing beers in Italy, Denmark and Norway so it seems as if you have experienced the European craft beer revolution first hand. How has the European beer scene changed while you have been here?
MM: I feel like I am riding the craftbeer wave as I have been in 3 countries and been there about the same time these countries have undergone a transformation from mundane pilsner to interest in craft beers. Italy was interstingly a non beer country when I was there in 99, about the only thing you could find other than pils was Guiniess or kilkenny, if you go to Italy today you can see for yourself what has happened, Italy is special as they have been doing it their way and you can see and taste it. Denmark and little after Sweden become huge markets for craft beer, perhaps the good economies and the pre exsitiing love of beer made the scandinavian beer scene one of the most interesting beer scenes in the world. the craft beer market is also on the rise here in Norway, I can see by our sales that new and different products are selling much better than lame boring macro pils.
The scene in scandinavia has changed and matured over the last 8 years starting with some influence from the US brewing scene, giving inspiration to many brewers in the area to produce simular beers and perhaps take it a bit further in some cases. Yet there is always those cult brewers who appeal to the more traditional drinker in scandinavia and you just dont see that anywhere else really. The scandinavian beer scene is the area is realitively small and yet so interesting that is never boring always changing and full of great people that you can meet out there in many festivals and tastings.
MB: What were you doing before you moved to Europe and started brewing beers?
MM: I was always a home brewer, but I was starting a buisness which deals with customizing swimming pools with stone walls, waterfalls & landscaping around the pools, I had this goal to make peoples mouth drop in awe when they come to the backyard of the customers who could afford these types of luxuries. I have an education in Landscape Architecture so I was heading that way when Europe called on me to be a brewer. I think things would be very different for me today if I had stayed on that path, I cant say I would have regreted anything and I probably would have been happy doing the previous line of work as well. I am however very happy to have spent my late 20′s and all my 30′s in Europe, i think it has fundementaly changed me and perhaps made me a better and open minded person.
MB: For those of us that follow your blog we read your take on canning beers. What are the biggest prejudices against canned beers here in Norden?
MM: Like most places people assimulate can beer with cheap beer, like a screw cap on wine, basically because most craft brewers can not afford a proper bottling line much less a canning line, therefore it must be a mass produced lame beer in there… I just tell people it’s not any differnet than a small keg, it may look and feel less special in the can but when you need to carry the dead bottles from your home to the recycle center you can feel the differnece as well. I like that the can has more printing options, better on the environment as far as trasnsport, and it actually stores the beer better than a glass bottle… It’s nice to have a choice and I really believe that cans are the future even for craft beer.
MB: Norway is starting to establish itself as a beer country just like Sweden and Denmark and I spoke to Kjetil from Nøgne Ø on how many small Norwegian breweries try to perfect their beers and production before “they go big”. What upcoming breweries are their to keep your yes on?
MM: I think it’s going to take some more time before you see many new breweries except for some brew pubs here in Norway, I think Kinn is an interesting brewery that is well distributed here in Norway and getting a lot of respect from the craft beer scene, It would only be better for all of us if we have more and more interest and choice. there is another local brewery near us which has always made more traditional beers, now they have launched a IPA as well… Just shows that they see it too.
MB: The collab you made with Mikkel, Double Eye PA, seems to have been well received, are there any new interesting projects in the making?
MM: I am always releasing low volume one off beers around here, i have a small brewhouse which produces up to 1000L we use this for fun brewing or propagation, but it allows us to make anything we wish and I am lucky to have some great beer bars in the area who want it all! Mikkel invited me to his next festival if I produce a sour beer… I think next year i will attempt to insert sasion beer into the mainstream summer beer line up… I am curious what the reaction will be… I am talking with other interesting brewers out there for a collaboration brew as well.
MB: So, finally, what are you looking forward to the most with SBWF?
MM: I enjoy the exposure to new markets and being able to see the reaction people have when they havent heard of us and they become a fan after tasting our beers, I also like to see the many people I know in Sweden’s beer scene!
Tidigare inlägg i Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012:
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Marianne Wallberg / Mässgeneral
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Shane Welch / Sixpoint Craft Ales
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Thomas Hoelgaard / Xbeeriment
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Anders Slotte / Slottskällan
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Richard Burhouse/ Magic Rock Brewing
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Sören Wagner / Croocked Moon
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Anders Olsson / Eskilstuna Ölkultur
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Tomas Danko / Vice Huvuddomare
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Henok Fentie / Omnipollo
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Kristian Strunge / Stronzo
Manker Beer Meets – Inför SBWF 2012 – Jessica Heidrich / S:t Eriks