My Top 5 Beery Highlights of 2012 – Part 2

| december 28, 2012

The first part of this look back at 2012 can be found here.

3) Buying a brewery

Some people called it madness, others a mid-life crisis, but when Sigtuna Brygghus posted on their Facebook time-line that they were selling their old brewery set-up I was on the next plane to Stockholm and within 24 hours a deal had been struck.

Taking the plunge to start a craft brewery here in my adopted home town of Umeå has been without doubt the scariest, most exciting and utterly frustrating thing I’ve ever done.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But I never knew it would be this hard. After all I know a bit about beer (and like writing about it too) but starting a brewery – actually building one from the ground up – is something entirely different.

The past 10 months have been a blur of meetings with estate agents looking at everything from an abandoned slaughterhouse to a car paint shop.  I’ve lost count of the number of meetings I’ve held with local council representatives in departments I never even knew existed discussing and dissecting our plans in minute detail.

During this time many people thought I’d given up. That reality had kicked in and the dream had died. The frustration of not being able to tell anyone anything has probably been the hardest ‘work’ thing I’ve dealt with in 2012.

But things are going to change real soon. On January 1st 2013 I’m going to update the Beer Studio Facebook page with a major announcement.

But that’s looking forward when I should be looking back, so……

4) Joel and the Digi-hop

2012 was the year something had to change. Since BeerSweden started back in November 2009 the blogging community has exploded and the standard of coverage in several of the leading blogs has got higher and higher.

And personally I wouldn’t want it any other way. A healthy online beer community is a huge flashing sign that the breweries are doing things right. Like any relationship it has its ups and downs, with the two parties occasionally falling-out and making-up. But I like to think that like any good relationship ultimately both of us are stronger because of the other.

However I knew that BeerSweden needed something else if it was going to keep up with the rapidly evolving beer scene. It needed someone else. That someone is Joel Linderoth, who joined BeerSweden as Editor in October of this year. Since then (and he’ll hate me for saying this but I’m claiming ‘founder privileges’) he’s quickly established himself as one of the most exciting beer writers in Sweden, with his approachable mix of investigative journalism, personal insight and technical analysis.

With Joel on-board we also set out to ‘piffa up’ BeerSweden, giving it a new face with our ‘digi-hop’ logo and implementing a cleaner, more stylized WordPress layout. We’ve taken a more journalistic approach to the beer writing genre, starting a new journey as Sweden’s first online beer magazine. In November we hit publish on our 1000th post.

2012 really was the year BeerSweden grew up a bit.

5) Beer on the Telly

One of the most challenging projects I embarked upon in 2012 was to record a TV pilot show as part of an ongoing mission to get more beer on the telly.

Despite having recorded TV with BeerSweden Trev for years (it is TV, what we do, isn’t it?) having a professional crew following you around recording your every move has been scary, often uncomfortable, at times embarrassing but also incredibly stimulating and educational.

I’ve learnt stuff, like attempting not to say ‘urmm’ in between every sentence and that trying to pour a bottle of pilsner into a glass standing in the shadows of Pilsen’s Cathedral of St Batholemews on the exact spot the original pilsner was poured just over 170 before isn’t easy when it’s just 2 degrees and your frozen fingers have decided to go on strike.

This project has also thrown me together with an amazing bunch of creative people, including my ‘co-host’ Pang Pang Fredrik whose zany passion for beer and infinite energy constantly reminds me why I love craft beer so much.

The pilot will be complete in the Spring of 2013. Whether it will ever make it onto your TV is unclear. But we’ll have given it our best shot. That I can promise you!


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Category: Articles in English, Senaste Nytt

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