Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival
From: Thursday, September 20 2007, 7:00 am
to: Saturday, September 29 2007, 5:00 pm
As the Swedish beer industry continues to grow, the annual Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival at Factory Nacka Strand is fast becoming one of the most important events on the European beer circuit, with around 25,000 visitors sampling various potent liquids over two weekends.
Highlights of the event include beer tastings, tutorials and, of course, the beer awards. Categories include best fresh beer, best blonde lager, best porter, best ale and best Swedish beer, among others. Needless to say the festival provides a commercial trade and consumer platform for European producers as well as Swedish and Scandinavian.
Sweden's success at brewing derives from its earlier bland efforts to copy the more successful European styles in the 19th century. At the time Swedish beer styles derived from British porters and Bavarian lagers. Sweden's only indigenous beers were dubbelt Ã?Â¶l (double beer), enkelt Ã?Â¶l (single beer) and svagÃ?Â¶l (weak beer). As is evident, beers were distinguished more often than not by their strength.
Following tough regulation and relentless lobbying from Sweden's temperance groups throughout the 20th century, the few chances for the beer industry to flourish were severely hampered. It was not until Sweden's entry into the European Union in 1995 that things began to change. Subsequently the state monopoly was scrapped, the upper limit of 5.3 percent alcohol was removed and the Swedish market was able to open up to foreign competition. It has taken this long for Sweden to catch up with its European counterparts. What visitors are likely to find at the festival is an industry embracing new methods and on a constant quest for quality brews.