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dinner on the sweden

Mash Files: Stockholm 2014

Combine leading design and conceptual food artist Emilie Baltz, a defunct nuclear reactor buried 40 meters under ground accessible only by a rickety old freight elevator,  a chef with a crazy propensity for absurd dinner parties, a waitstaff garnered in lab coats, and you get a seven course sensory adventure that challenges the very notions of our modern dining culture. This Slow Supper dinner series grappled with the notion of Energia, and I can’t think of a more appropriate stage. It may be the drastic change in weather, the shear amount of moving water, or the fact that it never quite gets dark, but Stockholm has an energy that is palpable.

It is a quiet intensity like the slow rocking of the waves as the ferry pulls up to Hammarby Sjostad to drop you off at the New Carnegie Brewery, or the smell of cut grass mixed with the sea air that surrounds Saby Gard Farm, the location of our Dinner on the Farm. I may never be able to put in words what it feels like to walk the streets of Stockholm, bite into a cold smoked head of shrimp, and take a forty minute drive into the countryside, where I am convinced hobbits and fairies go to make love, dance, sing,and have picnics. But I can say for sure that this place is magical. A place  to relax and be quietly inspired, an inspiration that creeps up on you without you even noticing, like the scent of lilac blossoms, and the countless tulips that dot the streets.

I have visited Stockholm a few times over the past year but I can truly say I fell in love with the city on this trip. It may have been the friendships that we have been developing, the relationships with chefs that I can now count on to help me source for a dinner and provide us a set of hands when we are in the weeds (thanks AG), or simply knowing I can go to Akkurrat and peruse the cellar with Sten, drink late into the evening with CC ( one of our gracious bartenders at NCB), wax poetically with Chris one of our NCB Brewers, or experiment in the kitchen with Billy White and his gifted team in the NCB kitchen.  Stockholm has really become a home away from home for myself and our Brooklyn Brewery team. A city that welcomes us with open arms, glasses filled with delightful beer, and food fit for a hungry viking tribe. A few more trips like this and I can go to Valhalla a happy man.

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