I northern Sweden, barely 500 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, you find the little town Sollefteå. The town is mostly famous for its cross-country skiers. The climate is stable with cold winters with lots of snow and warm summers when the sun never really sets besides maybe an hour in the middle of the night. The town has about 7 000 inhabitants and most of them work in Public Administration or in health care. The civil enterprises contain local entrepreneurs in construction and transportation. There is no larger manufacturing in the area, but there is a microbrewery producing and beer of world class.
The microbrewery Zeunerts was established, in its modern form, In the beginning of the ´90s. However, the ancestry goes way back to 1857. That was the year when a brewery was started in the little town. It was called Sobra. It is in the old buildings where Sobra started, that Zeunerts are making their beer today. Many of the employees have worked their entire life there. The name of the brewery comes from the first brew master at Sobra, Christoffer August Zeunert. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, but worked as the Brew master of Sobra in the period between 1859 and 1865. In the middle of the ´60s the brewery was sold to “Wårby bryggeri”. Wårby was at the time owned by the biggest cooperative union in the country. After having dealt with some economic problems in most of the ´70s and the ´80s, the employees and some local investors bought the brewery. Sollefteå had been a brewing city since 1857 and wanted to continue that era. In the beginning of the 2000s the brewery was bought by “Kopparbergs Bryggeri” that is one of the largest breweries in Sweden, exporting beer to large parts of the world. Zeunerts is now an affiliate to “Kopparbergs Bryggeri” under the name “Zeunerts i Norrland AB”.
Zeunerts Original is an award-winning beer hailed by beer lovers all over Europe. The secret of the Zeunerts Original is that the beer is first brewed in a copper pan and fermented in open fermenters. In combination with high quality malt and the clean and fresh water from the north of Sweden the beer gets a clear character of pilsner. After boiling the beer another kind of hops is added to give a touch of hops without making it bitter. Thanks to the low strength of wort the beer is easy to drink and more refreshing than other beers in the same category. Zeunerts beer called “Höga Kusten” is a beer that has created its own category. It is a mix of light lager (70%) and dark ale (30%). These get to mature together for about two months which gives the beer its characteristic taste, look and smell. The beer was produced to honour the area surrounding the brewery. The name comes from the world heritage “Höga Kusten”. The Brew master at SOBRA had a vision of a tasteful lager which he produced with his art of brewery in the late 1800s. The recipe was resumed in a modern version and got the name “1857”. The beer has a bit lower percentage of alcohol and is to compare with the Dutch classic “Heineken”.
Not a beer but …
In Sweden, at Christmas there is a beverage called “julmust”. The beverage is dark, rich and spicy with a distinct taste of wort, and it is alcohol free. Zeunerts has its own unique way of making this beverage that has made it one of the most popular and wanted brands of “julmust” in Sweden. About “julmust” you need to know that in Sweden in December, this beverage sells more than double the amount of Coca Cola sold in the country the same month.