Beer in the heart of Visby
Once you sit down at a restaurant in Gotland, you are guaranteed to be offered a selection of beers from Gotlands Bryggeri. Since 1995, this craft brewer has focused on both traditional and innovative beers – based on the premise of brewing beers that they themselves would like to drink and that are rooted in the Gotland environment and culture.
Gotlands Bryggeri is located in the heart of Visby on S:t Hansgatan, and its creative thinking and bubbling ideas have helped shape how craft beers are viewed throughout Sweden. With its two copper stills and three brewmasters, 22 different beers are produced and they also brew five to seven new beers during the year.
“We believe that like us, people want to try new tastes. Our job is to develop beer that is relevant to the season, above all linked to food,” – Mikael Mossvall, CEO of Gotlands Bryggeri.
Beer with local roots
Mossvall took over as CEO from Johan Spendrup at the beginning of 2018, and he stresses that there has never been such a fun time to brew beer as today.
“We are seeing greater curiosity and a different buying pattern from consumers interested in trying the kind of beers that did not exist ten years ago. Today, when people buy from us online, they put five different beers in their basket, compared to earlier when they chose a crate of one single beer,” – Mikael Mossvall.
If you are looking for a beer with local roots, Hazy Bulldog is an exciting American Pale Ale where the malt comes from Gotland, and more specifically, Binge farm. A partnership with a local malt farmer is yet another way of gaining a better understanding of a raw ingredient and the work that has gone into it. “You can see from our packaging and its contents, that Gotland is very much to the fore. We are also keen to work with local producers and promote other local brands. Such as the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival and Chef of the Year 2018,” – Mossvall .
The inspirational force behind craft beer
Today there are 360 craft breweries in Sweden. And Mossvall would not swap places with any of them. Last autumn, for example, the brewery collected apples from Gotland growers to create a Farmhouse Ale in cooperation with Halfvede Musteri.
“We love being part of the Gotland environment and the culture that exists here. It is the source of our inspiration,” says Mossvall.
The inspiration behind creating a beer with crisp malic acid came from a local folklore that a bad year for grain tends to be a good year for fruit.
“It provided plenty of amusement. People arrived with everything from splendid apple crates to paper bags,” Mossvall explains.
Amber tinted beer
Gotland is undeniably a place that creates plenty of inspiration, everything from raw materials to the unique nature. It is therefore not particularly hard to imagine a brewmaster taking a seat in Stora Torget in the evening sun and being inspired to create a new type of beer to be enjoyed in that very same location.
The latest beer from Gotlands Bryggeri, Wisby Wit, is exactly that – A tribute to the first outdoor tables that start popping up in Visby in the spring. Wisby Wit has ingredients such as dried rose hips and paradise seeds, which give the beer a characteristic black pepper taste.
Another novelty beer is Island Bulldog – a popular newcomer on the beer market. The beer is a richly flavoured, Gotland interpretation of New England IPA with a lower alcohol content.
The amber tinted Wisby Lager is the perfect introduction to any newcomer to beer. “We view our role as both introducing people to the exciting world of beer, and also to offer unique tastes for people who already enjoy beer,” says Mossvall.
Gotlands Bryggeri opened in 2020. The new brewery is above the harbour. The brewery supports the core business on S:t Hansgatan, in creating opportunities to test the market and help even out the ups and downs.
The brewery is open to visitors in summer. Head to Bryggerigården on S:t Hansgatan from Thursdays to Saturdays between 1pm and 4pm. You can also book a tour of the brewery in the off season via their website.