I had the opportunity to visit southern Sweden again this week. Trips for me always include looking for interesting beer. Since I was in Malmö the last time the city have been blessed with its first brewpub in many years. Malmö Brygghus (Malmö Brew House) opened last fall in an old building from the 1900th century. The building originally housed the Richter Brewery and it’s malting operation and it also housed the Mazetti Chocolate Factory. Mazetti was the last to leave the building in 1992 and the building remained empty for many years. The Chocolate Factory, as the building is call is a symbol of Malmö’s history. Malmö was until the 1980es a blue-color city with many manufacturing industries clothing, candy and several breweries and the largest employer Kockums Shipyard. Malmö went through a rough time at the end of the millennium with many of the manufacturing industries closing down and the nations highest unemployment for a while. It was around this time the Chocolate Factory was going to be torn down. Just like Malmö’s recovery to a booming technology and university city the Chocolate Factory was saved and started to boom again in 2004 when chocolate production was resumed. This time with focus on high quality chocolate and it is today the only chocolate producer in Sweden that produces it’s chocolate from the raw bean at the factory. Others use already processed chocolate nibs. And since 2010 the building also houses the cities for now only brewpub. The brewpub is kind of small. The brewery and the bar is half a staircase down from street level. The second floor is the seating area. The top floor has a restaurant area. When I had a look at the top floor I realized that I attended a wedding reception there a few years ago before the brewery opened right when chocolate production resumed. I seem to me that a lot of energy has been put in to
the design at Malmö Brygghus. Bottles for the bottled beer, furniture, glass ware etc. all have been carefully selected and thought through. I wish it were the same with the beer. I lack the excitement and the passion in their beers. I also could detect a hint of unwanted flavors in some of the beers. I have seen this before at LAB’s (Lexington Avenue Brewing company in Asheville, NC) for example when there is something else driving the people at the brewery than the deep passion for beer. The great contrast to LAB’s is Pisgah Brewing Company in the same town that is all about the passion for beer and thus brews some fantastic beers. Their brewpub is not much about careful design interior and all about great atmosphere, great people and great beer. Malmö Brygghus doesn’t have that. You probably won’t see me there the next time I’m in Malmö. There are other places were you can get good beer at a great atmosphere with great people. But I wouldn’t discourage anyone to go there. It’s worth a visit and they have one or two beers that are OK.
I will review the beers I had in coming posts.