Brekeriet, Picnic Sour
Combined with a slight funkiness from the wild yeast, this is a beer that is complex, gentle and in harmony with nature. Peak Scandinavian. According to RateBeer, it’s also the fourth best low alcohol beer in the world.
Feeling a bit fed up with the quality of beer available in their hometown, three Swedish brothers, Fredrik, Christian and André Ek founded a beer import company in 2010.
With backgrounds in food engineering and business, a brewery was the logical next step. But this wouldn’t be any old brewery. No, sirree.
“We are the only brewery in Sweden to ferment beers with nothing but wild yeast and bacteria. We also secondary ferment many of our beers with berries, fruit or whatever we find interesting to try” Fredrik tells us.
From their brewery in Landskrona in Skåne, the most Southernly part of Sweden, Brekeriet are part of a now vibrant national beer scene. The likes of Beerbliotek (Göteborg), Omnipollo (Stockholm) and Dugges (also Göteborg) are earning national and international acclaim.
This is somewhat against the odds in a country that has such a complex relationship with alcohol. If you were to tell your parents or worse, your grandparents, that you were a craft beer fan in this fine country, you’d likely be met with a concerned look before being quickly bundled off to rehab. This paranoia over alcoholism has led to a fairly heavy-handed approach to taxation and a tightly managed distribution network.
In fact, the only retail store allowed to sell alcoholic beverages over 3.5% ABV is Systembolaget, colloquially known as systemet ("the system"), which is a government-owned chain of liquor stores.
It was this constraint that led one of the brothers, Christian, to come up with the recipe for this week’s beer. To be able to sell directly to consumers at the brewery Christian started to experiment with low ABV beers and added different fruits.
“Picnic Sour is fermented with Brettanomyces (who’s Brett?) and rhubarb. In Picnic Sour the rhubarb further enhances the complexity the wild yeast gives. The rhubarb also gives an extra punch to the acidity” Fredrik explains.
Weighing in at just 2.2% ABV, it’s got a gentle sharpness, but also a sherbet finish that you get from the finest rhubarb, which is actually a vegetable rather than a fruit (who knew?!). Combined with a slight funkiness from the wild yeast, this is a beer that is complex, gentle and in harmony with nature. Peak Scandinavian. According to RateBeer, it’s also the fourth best low alcohol beer in the world.
To find out more about Brekeriet head to their website or follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.