Brooklyn Brewery building a new brewery… in Sweden

Brooklyn BreweryNow this is a bit unexpected:

Guess what? We’re building an 8,000 barrel brewery. In Stockholm, Sweden. Influenced by both American and Swedish brewing traditions, the brewery is a partnership between Brooklyn, D. Carnegie & Co. and Carlsberg Sweden.

The brewery will be built in the landmarked Luma Factory buildings in Hammarby Sjöstad, a residential and commercial complex that fronts on Stockholm harbor. The waterfront brewery will have brewing capacity for 8,000 barrels and include a public space with room for 100 visitors inside, and another 150 outside. Plans for local food vendors are also in the works.

If you’re wondering “why Stockholm?”… it begins with the mutual appreciation of beer, food, music, art and all around good culture shared by Brooklyn and Sweden (even leading some to ponder if Sweden is the new Brooklyn). Brooklyn Brewery has a long history with Sweden highlighted by the fun fact that Sweden is our largest export market and second biggest market overall (right behind NYC) thanks to our importer and partner in Stockholm brewery, Carlsberg Sweden.

What with all the news from 2012 of west-USA breweries expanding east—with Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues building in Asheville, North Carolina, and Lagunitas expanding to Chicago—I guess it sort of makes sense that for Brooklyn to expand eastward it would be in Europe!

But except for Stone Brewing’s announcement from a few years ago about looking for a location to build a European brewery, I don’t know of any other American craft breweries that have built internationally. Is Brooklyn the first?

Also—Sweden is Brooklyn’s second biggest market? That seems random (and somewhat inefficient, no wonder they’re building a brewery there!), but I wonder if this is in draft or bottle sales, or both. That’s nearly 4000 miles, no small thing, makes me wish we could get Brooklyn beers out here in Oregon!

4 Responses to Brooklyn Brewery building a new brewery… in Sweden

  1. Steve Hindy says:

    Believe it or not, it is less expensive to ship beer to Stockholm than to the US west coast. We ship bottled beer and tankers of beer to Sweden. It takes about 12 days to get there. Our partner Carlsberg kegs the beer for sale in Sweden. The cost of gasoline makes shipping to the west coast prohibitive, or at least that is how it seems to us, in comparison with shipping to Sweden. We do the same in the UK, with the Thomas Hardy brewery.
    I’m no expert, but I suspect the carbon footprint of sea shipping is smaller than truck or train.
    We will continue to export beer to Sweden. The new brewery will allow us to brew special beers, like those in our Brewmasters Reserve series, in Sweden. It will be a lot of fun for our crack brewing team too!
    Steve Hindy, president and cofounder, The Brooklyn Brewery

  2. Jon says:

    Steve, thanks for commenting, that’s surprising and enlightening but in retrospect it does make sense that way.

    As to carbon footprints, I found this which bolsters your suspicions: http://timeforchange.org/co2-emissions-shipping-goods
    So even if the distance is double, it’s still (potentially) half the carbon emissions to ship to Sweden as to truck to the West Coast.

    Good luck with the new brewery!

    – Jon

    • Steve Hindy says:

      Thank you Jon. And by the way, Carlsberg is our importer and distributor. They have no financial interest in us, and we don’t have any in them. Steve

      • Jon says:

        Yes, that’s what I figured. I notice the line I quoted from the Brooklyn site post says “Partner” but it’s good clarification. :)