In the past, beer was not only brewed from hops, malt, yeast and water. The men and women behind the kettles used a variety of herbs and plants to give their beer character and flavor. In order to bring unity to the wild hustle and bustle and to make beer a product of reliable quality, the Bavarian Purity Law was issued in 1516. From then on, breweries were only allowed to brew their beer from the four known basic ingredients. This rule was unbreakable for a long time, but the craft beer movement shook the rule of the purity law 500 years after its introduction. More and more brewers are looking for variety in the kettle and are venturing into unknown territory. This also applies to the Smögenbryggar'n brewery from Sweden.
The brewery was founded in 2019 as a local initiative. A team of committed citizens from the small town of Smögen have come together to set up an exciting project. Smögen is located on an island and is surrounded by the rough waters of the North Sea. Traditionally, the population of this region lives from fishing and the fruits of the sea, but today tourism has become an important source of income. Smögenbryggar´n was founded to remember their roots and to advocate for a sustainable use of the treasures of the sea: the finest beer is brewed from local raw materials, environmentally friendly grown algae and all sorts of other marine products that draw attention to the invaluable value of our waters should.
Anyone who thinks that the brewed pieces from Smögenbryggar'n taste like matcha, fish or nori is wrong. The brewery does not primarily use the fruits of the sea for flavoring, but rather at very different points in the brewing process. While the algae add minerals and a delicate hint of umami to brews such as ham oil , mussel shells, for example, are used to regulate the pH of the water from the Lilla Dale surface spring. The spring water flows through granite, which gives it a high degree of softness. Brewing requires slightly harder water, which can be achieved naturally by using mussel shells. In order to brew as environmentally friendly as possible, we work in a circular economy. Malt and hop residues left over from the brewing process are passed on to make bread and sausages, used as livestock feed or delivered to the local biogas plant and processed into biogas and biofertilizer. The organic fertilizer, in turn, goes to the local farmers who supply the brewery with their grain. The circle closes here and Smögenbryggar'n has saved a lot of waste.