Brekeriet, Lilla ölfabriken, Klackabackens bryggeri, Odd brewing, Pang Pang, Kullabrygg, Beerbliotek, Sad Robot Brewing… the list can be made long – 130 brands long to be exact. Because that is how many microbreweries excisting in Sweden’s craft beer community today (Sveriges Bryggerier, 2016). Beer has become a cultural beverage in the country. So called ‘beer cafés’ pops up and so do the breweries own pubs.. and the thirsty request for high quality beer from swedes does just seem to grow.
As you might have noticed, this article has a swedish perspective – even if the trend itself is spread across the world. Hopefully you as a reader can compare the trend of microbreweries in Sweden with an excisting similar trend in your country.
We all know that beer is a superold beverage. So how can it be a trend really?
Well first of all, the history tells us that a beverage with similar ingredients to what we today call beer, was drunk back 7000 years ago. During the late 19th century, around 500 breweries were in production in Sweden, and in 1990’s they had reduced to a number of 20 (Sveriges Bryggerier, 2016). But as an old tradition the trend is now on a faster rise than ever before. (Sveriges Bryggerier, 2016). In the 1970’s an amendment of swedish law licensed breweries to sell beer directly to restaurants and the using conditions were then easier to manage. The business increased and the local markets quickly improved. 2010 was the year when the market of microbreweries exploded (Företagarna, 2016) and today there are about 250 professional breweries in Sweden found from south to north – both in the countryside and in the urban areas. Half of them counts as microbreweries. (Företagarna, 2016)
Experts in the field claim the microbreweries are a rising trend in Sweden. The reason is the combination of the growing curiousity and knowledge among the swedish consumers and all the perceptive and competent breweries out there, making creative and qualitative recipes. The product supply from microbreweries in Sweden has never been as strong and broad as it is today. (Sveriges Bryggerier, 2016)
The government of Sweden has monopoly of selling alcoholic beverages, which is done through a store called ‘Systembolaget’ (Government, Offices of Sweden, 2015). In september 2014 ‘Systembolaget’ changed their rules for their selection of small-scale produced and handcrafted products, as an answear to the increase of both producers and consumers of those products (Systembolaget, 2014). All small-scale breweries therefore are guaranteed their products will be available in up to ten stores of ‘Systembolaget’, and in a radius of 15 swedish miles from the point of production – depending on dimension of cosumers request. (Systembolaget, 2016). This can be seen as a security for the smallest breweries to become known and consumed in their area.
If you look at the trend pyramide I would claim that the increase of microbreweries in Sweden is a microtrend (Trend Set Go, 2012). It is a result of a few mesotrends and they in their turn orginates from megatrends found in society. The interesting mesotrends in this case are 1) the trend of doing it yourself and 2) the trend of local production. The so called DIY-generation consists of millenials developing their ideas, brands and positions out of a consumer based perspective. And the result is an increase of startup companies. (Millenial Marketing, 2013) About the trend of local production, more and more people aim to live according to the “think globally, act locally,”- strategy. Local products are mostly regarded to have a higher quality (Euro Monitor, 2014). I think these two mesotrends are examples of the result of the environmental trend growing larger in the world, which I claim definitely is a megatrend of today.
Furthermore, I consider the trend of microbreweries to be very close to the peak of its lifecycle, as the life length of a microtrend tends to be quite short, 0-5 years (Ponten. H, 2016) The number of microbreweries in Sweden are still growing, but I think we soon will see some of them disapear in the grownd when the competition on the market will get too heavy. On the other hand there are microbreweries in Sweden which has the aim to reach a bigger market, to climb out of Systembolaget’s shelfs of small-scale produced and handcrafted products – with the aim to go international. Hopefully a few of them will succeed so people out in Europe can drink these tasty beers, that once was only small-scale produced in microbreweries in Sweden.
I understand it can be a bit motiveless for you to make a reflect on “just” the trend of microbreweries in Sweden. But now when you have read this article, maybe you can reflect on the beer culture in your country.. is there a similar trend excisting? How does it differ from this one?
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Government, Offices of Sweden. (2015). Swedish Alcohol Retailing Monopoly (Systembolaget Aktiebolag). Retrieved 2016-09-12, from
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Ponten, H. (2016). Lecture 2: Trends and Brands [PDF document]. Retrieved 2016-09-08,from
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TrendSetGo. (2012). Trend Pyramids. Retrieved 2016-09-12, from