THE BROTHERS ANDRE, CHRISTIAN AND FREDRIK EK BREW GOOD BEER. FROM THEIR BREWERY BREKERIET IN LANDSKRONA IN SWEDISH SKÅNE THEY EXPORT THEIR BEER TO MORE THAN 30 COUNTRIES – AMONG THEM NORWAY THRU PALMER.
Christian Ek started as a home brewer in 2000 after having chosen it as a theme for his exam. But while most others tend to leave their exams behind and go on with their lives Christian continued to brew beer at home.
He moved from Skåne in southern Sweden to northern Sweden and every time his brothers Andre and Fredrik visited they did a lot of activities connected to beer brewing. All three of us are interested in beer, says Christian. In 2006 we visited Stockholm Beer & Whisky festival for the first time. The festival is held over two weekends every fall. And we have been back every year since. The festival has been an important source of information to us, adds Andre.
The Ek brothers
After a while Christian moved back to Skåne and soon he and his brother Fredrik started discussing the possibility of starting something related to beer – for example starting a brewery. To begin with it seemed a little much, so we started by importing beer, says Christian.
In April 2010 Andre joined his brothers and then the company Brekeriet saw the light of day. The company name Brekeriet is a combination of “brødrene” and “ek”. (Brothers and their last name Ek)
For the first couple of years they were importers, but in 2012 they started brewing. By fall the same year the brothers had renovated a building and started to brew beer commercially. We did everything by ourselves, says Andre. We have no formal education as far as brewing goes, but since Christian is a food chemist and a former home brewer we titled him “head brewer”. We are trying to be a little international. Andre continues with a laugh.
Investing in new building
In the fall of 2015 the brothers left their old building and established themselves in a new and more efficient building in Landskrona – 40 to 50 kilometers north of Malmö. Now the trio added a fourth person to the team, the brewer Amadeus. The same first name as the famous composer. But this guy does not compose music, but beer. Christian smiles.
After moving, the production expanded from 600 liters a batch to 2000. In 2016 the brewery produced 110 000 liters of beer – in 2017 they expect to double that number. Most of our production is exported, says Andre. We sell approximately 30 % in Sweden. The rest is shipped to more than 30 different countries. We mostly sell directly thru a Swedish distributor. But there a few customers that we deal with directly also.
Wild yeast and sour beer
Brekeriet brews all its beers using wild yeast. This gives the beer a rustic and complex taste. They often use fruits and berries in the mix as well to further increase the complexity in specific products. We also produce a sour beer by using lactic acid bacteria, explains Andre. We still produce this product in our old facilities to make sure that the bacteria do not infect the beer that is not supposed to taste sour. But as soon as we have special facilities ready, we will move that production to Landskrona as well.
As already mentioned, Brekeriet exports its beer to more than 30 countries, and the brothers think the Norwegian market will grow. We produce beers with 4,7 % alcohol, which is easier for Palmer to sell. In addition, the sour beer trend is on the rise internationally, and the demand will increase in Norway as well. In March and April, we shipped a lot to you Norwegians. The first sour ale to arrive in Norway is the light beer version with an alcohol content of 2,2 %: Picnic Sour Ale, a sour ale containing rhubarb that the brothers believe Palmer will focus a lot on. It has been voted the fourth best light beer by ratebeer.com, which means that you Norwegians have a lot to look forward to this coming summer, concludes Christian.