When Gotlands Bryggeri opened its doors, it introduced a radical new philosophy that emphasised craftsmanship and innovation,
and which helped to revolutionise Swedish beer drinking culture.
Almost 25 years on, Sweden’s first craft brewery is still bubbling with passion.
Situated in the heart of the medieval town of Visby, on the site of Gotland’s last commercial brewery,
which closed its doors in 1909, there is no doubt that Gotlands Bryggeri can do history.
But it is an uncanny eye for the future that has marked this brewery out from the crowd.
For it was here, in 1995, that Johan Spendrup realised his ambition of starting up a new Pioneers of taste
kind of brewery that would challenge the beer drinking culture of the time.
Instead of a dominant flagship brand, this brewery would craft smaller batches of multiple styles, often inspired by tradition, Pioneers of taste
but also influenced by the local culture and environment of Gotland.
It would aim to open up consumers’ eyes not just to new beers, but to a new way of enjoying beer.
Fast-forward to today, and craft beer has exploded into the mainstream.
Double IPAs, chocolate stouts, saisons and dunkels are available to all.
At winelike strengths or alcohol-free, malty, fruity, hoppy or sour, suddenly there is a beer for everyone.
And nowhere has this democratisation of beer been felt more than in Sweden,
where there are now 340 craft breweries operating and where, in 2018,
the top-20 craft breweries alone were responsible for a 700,000- litre increase in sales.
It is no exaggeration to say that Gotlands Bryggeri has helped to blaze a trail and a nation has followed.
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