While May and Barnier continue to battle it out, York Brewery is holding its own European trade negotiations in the universal language of beer.
Discussion with Swedish based importer Jorvik Estates have been ongoing for some time, but following a well- received first shipment, both parties were keen to capitalise. They hit upon the idea of an international collaboration between York and Värmdö breweries to be showcased at Sweden’s largest annual beer festival, the upcoming Stockholm Beer Festival 27th-29th September 2018.
Jeremy Duxbury, the owner of Jorvik Estates, said, “The craft beer scene in Sweden is relatively new and centred around kegged or bottled products up to this point. As a Yorkshireman, I’m passionate about opening their eyes to the unique flavour that you get from traditionally brewed Yorkshire cask ale; it’s quite different to their usual experience of beer.”
Värmdö Brewery is based on the Stockholm archipelago, about 20 miles east of the city, and has been brewing since 2012. After working on the finer points of the collaboration with York head brewer Nick Webster, Värmdö owners Ludvig Brydolf (Runner-up, MasterChef Sweden 2015), Anders Bruno & Stefan Slätt travelled to York last week to get stuck in setting the brew on its way.
Ludvig comments, “It has been a true privilege to visit Yorkshire and making a collaboration beer with York brewery – always interesting to talk to other breweries, see different solutions to similar problems and exchange ideas.” He added, “Cask ale in Sweden is virtually non-existent and we at Värmdö Bryggeri, along with Jorvik Estates, have just launched a program to try kicking it off in Stockholm.”
The brew, Freja’s Tipple (as it will be known in the UK), is a 4% ruby ale flavoured with Rosehip and Lingonberry. These days you’d most often see Rosehips as an ingredient in herbal cold remedies or as part of a fruit tea blend, but not so long ago it was a more everyday ingredient and an important source of vitamin C in the British diet. Lingonberries, related to the cranberry, are a staple of many Swedish households accompanying many traditional dishes. In the UK, you’d most likely come across them in Jam form served with IKEA meatballs.
York Head Brewer Nick Webster added, “The idea was to create a robust English style ruby ale, then enhance the flavour with a combination of traditional British and Swedish ingredients. After a bit of discussion around
what might work well together, we decided that Lingonberries would be the Swedish ingredient and Rosehips the UK.”
Freja’s tipple will be making a preview appearance at York Beer Festival next week (19th-22nd Sep 2018), before taking pride of place on the Jorvik Estates stand in Stockholm the following week. There will be a limited supply available in the UK from late September.