Europe – Skåne County, Sweden
By Barry Ness
Craft beer proliferation in Skåne
Sweden is a country often touted for its gender equality, generous parental leave policies, broadminded immigration, and environmental stewardship. But the country has received considerably less attention for its burgeoning craft beer movement. One region that has experienced robust growth in this area is Skåne.
Situated at the southern tip of Sweden—much closer to Copenhagen, Denmark than the Swedish capital, Stockholm—the region is roughly half the size and population of the Twin Cities seven-county metro area. The region is home to a well-educated population and a hearty restaurant and tourism sector, which provide an ideal breeding place for a thriving craft beer scene.
Today Skåne has roughly 30 craft breweries producing roughly 16,000 barrels of beer annually. Most breweries were established in the past five years and are looking to enhance beer production outputs based on increased demand both in Sweden and internationally. Read More…
Asia – Seoul, South Korea
By Rob Shelley
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is one of the biggest and most developed cities in the world with a greater metropolitan population of over 20 million. The home of Gangnam Style, K-pop, Korean cinema, Samsung, and kimchi, South Korea has been making a big splash in international culture. But in many ways it’s a culture that’s always trying to catch up to the West in international trends. Since 2012, one of the faster growing trends here has been craft beer.
Korea now has about two dozen microbreweries, most of which are less than three years old. The most established of these—like Magpie, The Hand and Malt, Galmegi, and The Booth—have already been experimenting with hop growing, barrel aging, souring, traditional Korean ingredients, and even international collaborations.
At the same time there’s a flood of imports, mostly from Europe and the U.S., that continue to bring new tastes to an ever-growing marketplace, including Ballast Point, Brooklyn, Mikkeller, and most recently Goose Island. Goose Island just launched a beautiful new brewhouse in Gangnam, Seoul, plucking a talented young expat brewer from Australia, Phillip Lynch, who had previously brewed for Budnamu Brewery on Korea’s East coast. Read More…
Australia – Brisbane, Australia
By Robert Kidd
Two types of beer were historically acceptable in Australia—cold and very cold. Given more than one-third of the world’s sixth largest country by area is effectively desert, it’s unsurprising light and easy lager was most common to quench the nation’s thirst.
But Australians, whose reputation for enjoying a few icy beers around a barbecue is well-known, are falling out of love with the beer they are used to drinking. Domestic consumption of alcohol has fallen to a 55-year low and is unlikely to recover.
At the same time, however, craft brewing has arrived and drinkers can’t get enough of it. Within as little as five years, the craft beer industry has exploded. It is worth roughly $270 million and is estimated to grow anywhere from five to 10 percent in the next five years. In a market where big corporations rule the taps, craft beer is now estimated to make up five percent of all beer sales.
Brisbane, Australia’s third biggest city and capital of the vast state of Queensland, has enjoyed an unlikely evolution into a beer town. Once seen as an oversized country town, the city almost halfway up the country’s east coast has become a vibrant and cosmopolitan place of more than two million, without losing its laid-back charm. Read More…
By Brian Kaufenberg
The ice-covered continent of Antarctica is a frozen desert with no indigenous human population. And understandably so: With winds gusting up to 200 miles per hour, temperatures capable of dropping to record lows (the coldest recorded temperature was minus 128.56 degrees Fahrenheit on July 21, 1983), and frequent blizzards, Antarctica is one of the most inhospitable places on Earth.
Still humankind has carved out a foothold of habitation on the continent, with 30 countries operating 40 year-round research stations and a range of a seasonal stations. Provisions are shipped in to support the researcher population, which peaks at more than 4,000 in the summer months and falls to around 1,000 in the winter. Perhaps surprisingly, for some stations these provisions include beer and homebrewing supplies. Read More…
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