Jun 2012 07

Today is a huge day for craft beer in Norrland! Right now Sigtuna Brygghus’s former brewery equipment is being loaded onto a lorry in preperation for the 650km journey north to Umeå, where over the coming months it will be reassembled at the new Beer Studio craft beer brewery.

Here are some pictures being taken right now by Sigtuna’s Head Brewer Mattias Hammenlind (together with his own comments :) )

Your malt mill is getting ready for loading...her name is Rosie btw...


Say hi to Glenda!

Nigella, Frederica & Barbara-Ann.


Lil' Kim.

Now YOU'RE the only one in possession of a CIP-Camel...

Goodbye Mary-Ann... I'll miss you :(

Here's Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, & Blitzen.

I think Mattias is getting a little emotional letting go of the ‘old girl’. If anyone is anywhere near Sigtuna Brygghus reading this perhaps they could go and give him a hug!

But don’t worry Mattias and the rest of the awesome Sigtuna Brygghus team – we’ll give the brewery a great new home up here in Umeå and can’t wait to be brewing with it to produce some amazing craft beers as soon as possible!

(ps: Mattias – where’s my broom?)



Maj 2012 29

Just a quick reminder to be at the meeting point at the University (see map below) at 18:30 sharp tomorrow (because we need to let you into the building!)

At the last count there will be around 20 of us brainstorming away on how we can support the Beer Studio project and get great tasting and locally produced beer into our glasses as quickly as possible! Amazing :)





Maj 2012 22

I figured out pretty early on that I was never going to be able to pull off starting up a craft brewer in Umeå by myself. Fortunately my good friend and Umeå beer warrior Christian Ericsson had exactly the same thought and got in touch very early on to offer his organizational skills to the project.

This is Christian and yes, that is snus. Christian is a true norrlänningar you know!

So without further ado please say hello to Christian who from today is going to act as a voluntary ‘project manager’ and be the ‘spider in the web’ of Beer Studio over the coming months helping me to put together all the pieces of the jigsaw so we can  hopefully all be drinking Beer Studio brews very soon.

So just who is Christian? I think it’s best if he introduces himself:

”Hi there! I am a 40-year-old with a huge passion for beer, food, life and comedy and I love chaos (Ed note: then you’ll feel right at home here then!)

”I actually thrive when things are not working as intended as it makes me find creative ways of solving problems. I am like many other creative people lazy, if there is an easier and less complex way of doing something I will try and find it and make it the new way of doing it. I am overly social and after more than 4 beers I tend to speak English and sound like an extra from the TV show ”Sopranos”.

”I am a enormous hop-head but too stupid yet to appreciate Belgians quadruples which I still think taste like my socks after 18 holes of golf.

”I have worked as a manager for a large power company where things are always changing and developing so I have been in my element. My main claims to fame are that I once ran the 100 meters in 11 flat and I have met Lenny Kravitz.

”I really want to help raise beer culture to Sweden and I think Beer Studio will put Umeå on the map because the combination of beer, art and music is a mix that when you think about is self-evident – they belong together! Involving the community and creative and talented people from this city will make this a brewery unlike any other and I’m totally excited to be playing a part in it from the very beginning”.

Christian’s now got his own e-mail address at christian@beerstudio.se so if you need any answers, updates or anything done then you might want to drop him a line. Of course you can always contact me at anytime too at darren@beerstudio.se

Those of you coming to the first Beer Studio Think Tank next week will get to meet Christian in the flesh. He’s asked however me to tell you not to get too excited……..

Maj 2012 14

Trying to plan a brewery by yourself is more than a little intimidating, at times lonely and quite often pretty scary.

Which is why I really need your help.

I’m issuing a ‘call to arms’ for all beer enthusiasts living in and around Umeå who would like to consider becoming part of a ‘Beer Studio Think Tank’ that will help drive this project forward so that we can one day soon enjoy drinking local beer in Umeå again.

It doesn’t really matter what skills you bring to the table – a passion for beer is ample qualification enough. Of course if you do have any practical skills (particularly engineering/electrical/plumbing or are a Mulle Meck type of character) then I’d be particularly glad to hear from you.

The idea is to form a group of between 10-15 people who will work together with me to realise all parts of this ambitious vision to open a world-class local brewery in Umeå, from bringing the brewery equipment up here to planning the new brewery layout, the formation of a förening, marketing and much much more

The pay sucks – there isn’t any – but I hope the excitement of being in on the brewery from the very start and sharing the company of fellow beer enthusiasts will be rewarding in itself.

I am planning to hold the first Think Tank meeting on Wednesday, May 30th in a ‘fest/föreningslokal’ somewhere in central Umeå.* I’ll probably bring along a few beers to assist our brain-storming and would encourage anyone planning to attend to do the same (homebrews particularly welcomed!)

Interested? Then please send an email to me at darren@beerstudio.se and let me know a little bit about yourself and if you can make it to the first meeting. In Swedish is totally OK.

I hope to see you soon!


*If anyone has access to a central location in Umeå to hold this meeting please let me know!

Apr 2012 25

Have you ever wondered what it takes to open a craft brewery? To really try and turn that well-used line in the pub (“I could brew better beer than this”) into a reality?

Well from today I’m planning to show you with the launch of the Beer Studio blog. It’s my way of making you my plus one, of bringing you along for the ride.

Not only do I hope this blog will give you a unique insight into the highs (and lows) of trying to start a craft brewery but I also want it to be a channel through which we can share ideas, debate key decisions and help shape the course Beer Studio will take over the coming months and years.

This ‘open source’ approach to Beer Studio is a fundamental part of my company vision and reflects what I have always tried to do since I started in the drinks business back in 1996 and that’s to get people more involved in their beers.

By encouraging people to discover, read, listen about and taste beer I’ve found there’s a much better chance that they’ll ‘get it’. That they’ll understand just what an amazing drink beer is and appreciate how much work and passion is involved by amazing people in creating it.

BeerSweden continues to be my attempt to open up the Swedish beer scene to a wider audience. Beer Studio will be the next step on my journey, giving me a unique opportunity to show you the inner workings of a craft brewery from the day we take possession of the keys to an empty building to the day, hopefully, when we produce our first beers for sale.

We've already got the 'look' so now it's more practical matters like finding a brewery location that matters

We've already got the 'look' so now it's more practical matters like finding a brewery location that matters

Along the way there are bound to be ups and downs, good days and bad. We’ll need to figure out what brewing equipment to buy, what beer styles to brew, what they should stand for and what they should look like. Just as importantly I’ll need to find people who believe in the concept enough to share their energy and enthusiasm with me to help make it happen. Then there’s the little question of a head brewer. The list is endless…….

I’ll be honest with you there have been many days since I signed the contract for Sigtuna’s former brewery equipment when I’ve woken up in the small hours of the morning and thought “what the hell have I done?”

But then within hours I’ll get an email from someone saying how much they are looking forward to tasting a Beer Studio beer or an SMS from a brewer offering to help out or come up to brew with me. That’s all it takes to drive away the doubt and make my dream of starting a world-class local brewery seem possible again.

So you see I really do need you to come along with me on this journey because without your support this crazy idea simply isn’t going to work. That’s why the new Beer Studio blog is important, because it will enable me to keep you informed of how far we’ve reached and how far we still have left to travel.

I can’t promise I’ll blog as regularly as I do over at BeerSweden but my ambition is to break all news about the brewery here first.

I hope over the coming months you’ll find the Beer Studio blog entertaining, enlightening and maybe even inspiring.

But that’s enough rambling for now. We’ve got a brewery to build so I say let’s roll up our shirtsleeves and get on with it!

Cheers and craft beers!


Beer Studio Founder and hopeless beer dreamer



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