This weekend, the Brooklyn Brewery made a pretty big announcement: It’s building a new brewpub location—in Stockholm. Considering 2012 was a year filled with big expansion news—from New Belgium and Sierra Nevada building new breweries in North Carolina to Lagunitas opening a new facility in Chicago—it seems fitting that this announcement (which even made it onto The Drudge Report) kick’s off the new year.
Of all the countries Brooklyn would have landed in, Sweden’s the most fitting. The brewery cites that Stockholm isn’t just its the largest export market, it’s actually its largest market outside of New York City, which is pretty astonishing. Brooklyn’s also collaborated with Carlsberg Sweden in the past and organized the Brooklyn, Sweden music festival.
Built in collaboration with D. Carnegie & Co. and Carlsberg Sweden, the new facility (pictured above) will have a production capacity of 8,000 barrels. According to Brooklyn, the beer brewed on-site will be tailored to the Swedish market and, initially, only available there.
Exporting craft beer is definitely the next frontier—the Brewers Association spends a lot of time and money researching the topic—but the business of exporting a craft brewery is venturing into somewhat uncharted waters.
Last year, I wrote about Arbor Brewing’s expansion into India, which came about after Gaurav Sikka, a University of Michigan graduate and Arbor Brewpub regular, moved back to Bangalore and thought the brand would do well there. The brewery agreed and teamed-up with Sikka to build the expansion.
Of course, there’s also the highly publicized potential Stone expansion into Europe, which hasn’t seemed to materialize. But, the California brewery has been a bit preoccupied with its own local expansion (which includes a hotel).
With the talk of market-saturation during this craft beer boom, it doesn’t come as a surprise that some breweries are looking abroad in order to carve out a piece of an entirely new pie.