Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival 2014 - first impressions
Here we are again, at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival. This is the 23rd time the festival is arranged, and the organizers have no plans of stopping. They have a lease on the premises running to 2031, so if you cannot make it this year, there will be more chances!
The festival runs over two weekends, Thursday to Saturday. This is a huge festival - the largest whisky festival in the world, both in number of whiskies on offer and number of people attending. This is also one of the top three largest beer festivals in the world. They are expecting 35 000+ people total. They have 3000+ whiskies on offer, and 4000+ beers. You can of course also find sake, rum, gin, grappa, wine, champagne, cider, vodka etc.
The festival competitions are also huge; 350+ whiskies and 1500+ beers and ciders are competing for the festival awards. These are crazy numbers! In comparison they had 143 beers on offer the first year they arranged the festival, and no whiskies.
Looking through the festival program I count more than 150 exhibitors. Several of these have more than one stand, and some have brought along other companies they are cooperating with. On top of this there are in excess of 120 masterclasses!
In short, this festival pretty much has it all.
Whisky Saga will be present at the festival all days, both weekends. One main focus will be to try as much new Nordic whisky as possible. As you all probably know by now, we are quite fond of Nordic whisky here at Whisky Saga HQ.
On day one I had nice chats with Braunstein (Denmark), and Spirit of Hven, Mackmyra, Grythyttan, Smögen and Box Whisky (all Sweden). A lot more reviews in our Nordic Whisky series will be published shortly.
This first day of the festival I also had the chance to catch up with friends and acquaintances in the whisky industry, both from Sweden, Denmark and Scotland. The social aspect of these festivals is very important, I think. It is not all about the drinking, remember that! It is about new experiences, and sharing those experiences with other passionate people. A perfect example would be the surprise introduction to the world of sake that we stumbled upon last evening. Very educational and great fun. Thanks Akebono!
Looking forward to day two now! Maybe I will see you there?
Sláinte! - Thomas