Our days were long and languid in Nynäshamn, a sleepy seaside town on the southern tip of the Stockholm archipelago where the sun barely sets in the summer months and people move at a relaxed pace. Things slow down even more here during the winter when it’s dark most of the day. We happily embraced the slower pace and views of the bucolic harbor in this distant town which is 4,000 miles from Philly, yet a world away. We surely didn’t expect to find any Philly connections during our visit. That is, until we stopped by Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri, Sweden’s fourth largest microbrewery, for a tasting and tour.
Our visit began in typical brewery tour fashion. Let’s face it, the process for making beer is generally the same all over the world. Our guide, Angela, walked us through the facility and showed us the local malt they use along with Italian bottling machines and German bottles. The prospect of tasting the beer excited us since it’s only available in Scandinavia. We had never visited Scandinavia before and we had certainly never tasted Swedish beer.
After sampling a range of interesting beers, we were drawn to one in particular with a malty, tart, fruity yet spicy flavor profile. The taste was utterly unique yet oddly familiar.
You guessed it - the sixth beer, Arketyp, is brewed in collaboration with Dogfish Head as part of the Delaware brewery’s Ancient Ale series. With an ABV of 10% and ingredients like lingonberry, cranberry, honey and birch, Arketyp is a classic Dogfish Head beer but with an herbaceous Swedish twist. As Angela explained, they brew this beer using a recipe inspired by research on the remnants discovered in a 3,500-year old Danish drinking vessel. Sensing our connection to the red hued beer, she poured us a second glass which we enjoyed even more than the first.
As for the other six beers we sampled - there was Landsort Lager, the brewery’s most popular ale, followed by a parade of brewery favorites including Pickla Pils, Brännskär Brown Ale, Bedarö Bitter, Tjockhult Tjinook and Stenstrand Sommar Ale. The brewery named each beer after a location in the Archipelago in case you were wondering.
Sold under the name of Kvasir in the states, Arketyp is well worth a try even if you need to drive down to Dogfish Head in Rehoboth to find it. Pair it with some smoked salmon or meatballs. If you close your eyes, it will feel like you’re drinking in Sweden but without the eight-hour flight.