All Articles
All Articles

Södra Maltfabriken


Södra Maltfabriken

Stockholm's only microbrewery mixes creative enthusiasm and culinary expertise with modern results

by Richard Prime
on 20 February 2012

Giving Stockholm its first and only microbrewery, friends Niklas Hjelm and Magnus Mårdberg opened Södra Maltfabriken in mid-2011. Besides a bit of experience in home brewing, Hjelm, an award-winning digital creative director, and Mårdberg, a successful chef and restaurateur, bring to the operation a refreshingly unique point of view.

Blending creativity and a well-honed palette, the small company has quickly gained a reputation for properly quenching the demand for quality, high-end beers in Sweden. "Magnus started to see his diners asking for beers, as well as wine, to go with their meals," explains Hjelm. "So he wondered if his palette might translate from cooking to brewing."


Sweden's larger producers are known for producing high-quality ales, and the nationalized, government-run liquor chain, Systembolaget is the only outlet authorized to sell anything containing more than 3.5% alcohol to the public during very strict opening hours, setting the bar high for the fledgling small-batch brewers. "Although we've both done a bit of home brewing, it's not as simple as just increasing the ingredients and amounts," says Hjelm. "You've got to show the establishment that you can actually make good beer—there is a legacy of strong Swedish ale brewing to match up to. We want to show this in a different way to a new audience, an audience which you've got to work hard for all the time and in every respect both in terms of taste and aesthetic."

Sodra-Poking_IPA.jpg Sodra-brewing.jpg

Södra's label design, for one, showcases this progressive approach. Working with designer Hanna Werning, the microbrewery has created its distinct look with a subtle combination of form and color for each of the three ales. "People are beginning to swap a bottle of wine for a good, attractive, well-designed beer," says Hjelm. "What we try and do is make sure that the beer looks refined on the table and that the design looms strong in the customers mind as a reminder of the specific Södra taste."

At present Södra Maltfabriken offers Rude Lager, a rich-tasting beer from Perle, Saaz and Cascade hops with a twang of Amarillo, an IPA called Poking, which is a deep and powerful tipple with a 7.5% alcohol content to put some hair on the chest, and a clean, refined pale ale—Initial—which marks the real jewel in the crown.


Hjelm also tells us that a couple of extra blends are in the pipeline, including his own personal favorite, a brown ale that would add nicely to an already very mature selection. As the passionate creative partnership expands, so does its very real potential to give the bigger brands a bit of a lesson in modern tastes.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me
Loading More...