Swedish Beer Brands

Beer from Sweden: Everything you need to know about the best Swedish beer brands and breweries

When you think of good beer, we imagine that Belgium, Germany, or the Czech Republic would probably come to mind before Sweden. But you will find plenty of companies and breweries throughout Scandinavia’s most populated country, so what are the best Swedish beer brands?

Even with strict regulations surrounding alcohol sales, Sweden has a booming local economy in this respect. Swedes are partial to a good party, especially in the summer months — and in recent years, several breweries and microbreweries have made a name for themselves domestically.

A few brands selling beer from Sweden have also enjoyed international success, raising the country’s profile in lands further afield.

With that said and done, are you ready to quench your thirst and learn more about Swedish beer brands? If so, keep reading; we’ll reveal everything you need to know. And, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Where can you get beer in Sweden?

Knowing where to get Swedish beer is a little tricky when you’re in Sweden. Unlike in many countries, you cannot purchase your drinks from a local grocery store. Instead, you’ll need to visit Systembolaget — the state-run alcohol monopoly.

You’ll find Systembolaget stores throughout Sweden, and we discussed how they work in our article about Swedish drinking culture.

Besides liquor stores, you can also buy Swedish beer in pubs, bars, and restaurants. And if you go to one of the country’s many breweries, you can purchase drinks while there.

What kinds of beer can you get in Sweden?

Sweden has a wide selection of beers for all kinds of tastes. Pilsner is the most common option, and you’ll find drinks of this kind in almost every pub, bar, and restaurant. If you go to Systembolaget, you’ll similarly find a large selection from across the country.

In more recent years, entrepreneurial minds across the globe have gotten creative with all kinds of beer flavors. You’ll find a huge range of craft beers in several countries, and Sweden is no exception. Indian Pale Ale (IPA) has gained traction here, as have stouts and other drinks.

What’s the best Swedish beer?

Deciding on the best Swedish brand is subjective, but you can easily tell what the locals think by looking at what most of them drink. In 2019, Norrlands Guld sold the most units of beer in Swedish Systembolaget stores.

Compared to beer brands in other countries, Norrlands Guld is relatively new; it first entered the Swedish market in 1965. If we compare Carlsberg, Denmark’s largest beer brand has been around since 1811. However, we should also remember that beer in Sweden is a relatively new phenomenon.

Spendrups Brewery owns Norrlands Guld, and that has been the case since 1989. The brand gets its name from the Norrland region of Sweden, which includes nine counties in the country’s north.

People in Norrland have a reputation for being more laid back than Swedes in other parts of the country, and the company plays heavily on this.

If you’re outside of Sweden but want to try Swedish beer, you can purchase Norrlands Guld in several IKEA stores. But if you’re in Sweden, you’ll find the drink almost everywhere that’s allowed to sell alcohol.

What other Swedish beer brands can you find?

While Norrlands Guld is incredibly popular in Sweden, it’s not the only brand you’ll find when traveling to or living in the country. Below, you’ll find a list of the best Swedish beer brands, along with some Swedish breweries and cider brands.

Swedish Beer Brands

Falcon

If we took Norrlands Guld out of the equation, you could put forward a good case for Falcon being the most popular Swedish beer brand. The company is much older than its northern counterpart and has been around since 1896.

Falcon is from Falkenberg, a town in Halland — one of Sweden’s southernmost counties. The company has only sold beers under its current name since 1955, but its headquarters remain in the city it originated from.

You’ll find various kinds available if you want to try Falcon beer in Sweden. Its pale lager is popular throughout the country, and you can order it in almost every pub you visit. You will also find a Christmas beer sold in liquor stores and bars when Christmas rolls around.

Falcon also has a non-alcoholic beer available if you’d rather skip that side of things. The brand is now part of Carlsberg Group, which has been the case since 1996.

Swedish Beer Brands
Credit: Bernt Rostad

Närke

Närke is another popular brand selling Swedish beer, and it’s one of the most important microbreweries in the country. The company’s headquarters are in Örebro, which is located roughly in the middle between Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Närke is one of Sweden’s more established microbreweries; it’s been around since 2003. The brewery offers several kinds of beer, including the Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter. This wildly popular porter’s alcohol percentage changes, but it’s around 12% at the time of writing in June 2022.

In addition to its porter, you’ll also find lager and bitter beers. Drinks are available in several Systembolaget stores and numerous pubs throughout Sweden.

Swedish Beer Brands
Credit: Peter Gibson

Omnipollo

Omnipollo’s branding is pretty outlandish compared to some of the other Swedish beer brands we’ve listed in this article. This Swedish brewery has been around since 2010 when Henrik Fotie and Karl Grandin joined forces to create their quirky brand that has since become a mainstay in the country’s beer scene.

The main Omnipollo taproom is in Sundbyberg, one of the main municipalities surrounding the main part of Stockholm. You will find several beers to try with Omnipollo, including a wide selection of IPA drinks.

Omnipollo also has imperial stout options, in addition to the standard pilsner you’re used to seeing elsewhere. You will also find gose and various other options.

If you want to try a wide selection of Omnipollo’s beers, you can buy larger bundles and have the drinks shipped. And if you want to support the brand, you’ll also find shorts, t-shirts, long-sleeved jerseys, and much more.

In addition to its main taproom in Sundbyberg, Omnipollo has various bars throughout Sweden — including in Stockholm. So, if you want to try something unique next time you visit, you might want to drop by and have a drink in one of them.

Swedish Beer Brands
Credit: Oppigårds Bryggeri AB

Oppigårds Bryggeri

If you’re looking for something a little more rural, Oppigårds Bryggeri isn’t a bad place to start. The brewery is in Hedemora, the oldest town in Sweden’s Dalarna county.

Oppigårds has been around since 2003, and it’s a family-owned brewery that has won multiple awards for its contribution to the Swedish beer market.

Oppigårds has a wide selection of beers for you to try, including standard lagers and wheat beer that might remind you of a past trip to Germany. You will also find a range of IPAs and stouts, all of which you can order and try.

In addition to the beers we’ve mentioned above, you can sample the brewery’s winter ale — and it also has a special beer for when Easter comes around.

If you find yourself in Sweden and heading there for a long trip, you might want to consider booking a tour at the brewery. It’s 2-3 hours from Stockholm; you’ll need to get the train to Hedemora before changing for a local bus.

Alternatively, and perhaps more conveniently, you can drive; the journey takes roughly the same amount of time.

Nerdbrewing

Nerdbrewing is one of the newer Swedish beer brands on our list. The brewery has been around since 2015 and prides itself on what it calls “open-source beer”.

Karin Carlsson and Hannes Gruber co-founded the brewery, and the name is inspired by Hannes’ previous career in software development and computer science.

Nerdbrewing is based in Arlöv, just outside Malmö’s main downtown area. You will find a wide selection of beers, and the company primarily focuses on stout. You can try several flavors, including apple pie, pecan pie, and chocolate truffle.

Today, Nerdbrewing cooperates with Lilla Ölfabriken and Chad Beer to bring its beers to the world. If you want to try them for yourself, you can go to its brewery in Malmö; if you’re in Copenhagen, it’s just a short journey across the Øresund Bridge.

Swedish Beer Brands
Credit: VisbyStar

Barlingbo Bryggeri

Another brewery to make our list of the best Swedish beer brands is Barlingbo Bryggeri. The brewery is based on the scenic island of Gotland, which is just off the Swedish mainland.

You’ll find a range of malt beers produced at its main brewery just outside Visby, including drinks infused with citrus, crispbread, and various other food products.

In addition to its beers, Barlingbo Bryggeri has a selection of cider beverages to choose from. If you want to try all of these for yourself, you can book a table at its bar and restaurant in Visby.

You’ll need to book a ferry from the mainland, and you can do so from Nynäshamn — roughly an hour from Stockholm.

Swedish Beer Brands
Credit: Andrew McKenna

Rekorderlig

As you’ve probably noticed from a couple of our sections so far, we’ve slightly touched upon Swedish cider and not just beer. So, we figured that now is a good time to go into further detail on that particular drink. And where better to start than with Rekorderlig?

Rekorderlig has enjoyed significant success since it originally entered the Swedish alcohol scene in 1996. The company’s cider drinks typically use spring water, and the first water it used came from Kalmar county on the country’s east coast.

You can find several Rekorderlig flavors, which are well-known for not being overly sweet. Its strawberry-lime and wild berries ciders go down a treat on a warm summer’s day, and you can also find alcohol-free options if you’re trying to cut down on your consumption.

In addition to its main flavors, Rekorderlig has several tropical and botanical ciders to choose from. You can find the drink throughout Sweden, but it’s also popular in several foreign markets — including the UK and Germany. Today, it’s owned by Åbro Bryggeri.

Swedish Beer Brands

Kopparberg

Another popular Swedish cider that you’ve probably heard of — and you might even have tried yourself — is Kopparberg. The brand is much older than Rekorderlig, and it’s one of the oldest on our list; it’s been around since 1882 and has become one of the country’s most famous alcohol brewers.

Despite its early existence stemming from the 19th century, it took off following its re-establishment in 1994. The brand’s name comes from the town in which it originates, which is close to Örebro.

Kopparberg is famous predominantly for its ciders, which are much sweeter than Rekorderlig. Again, they’re an excellent choice if you want to hang out in a beer garden on a warm summer’s day. You’ll find several flavors, strawberry and lime, and mixed fruit.

In recent years, Kopparberg has expanded significantly. Alongside its core cider products, Kopparberg now has gin, vodka, and hard seltzer. You’ll also find rum and a range of cocktails.

You can find Kopparberg in Sweden, but it’s also popular and readily available in countries like the UK.

Sahtipaja

Sahtipaja is a relatively small brewery in Sweden, and it’s located in Västra Götaland county — the same region of the country that Gothenburg is in. The name originates from one of its owners’ Finnish heritage.

You will find the company’s beers in several bars in Gothenburg, and Sahtipaja has also been featured at various beer festivals throughout Sweden. You’ll find several beverage types, including porter and Berliner.

Swedish Beer Brands
Credit: 4521james

Nils Oscar Brewery

Nils Oscar Brewery is one of the most established Swedish beer brands, and it has been around since 1996. Although it was founded in Stockholm, the brewery has its headquarters in Norrköping — a small city not far from the Swedish capital.

Today, Nils Oscar Brewery has several products you can enjoy. You’ll find various malt beers made from barley, rye, wheat, and oats. You can also enjoy a non-alcoholic beer; the brewery was the first in the craft beer category to create one.

In addition to its selection of beers, Nils Oscar Brewery also creates spirits. 

Spike Brewery

In recent years, Gothenburg has made a name for itself as one of Sweden’s biggest microbrewery hubs. And one of the most popular breweries in this region is Spike Brewery, which focuses on bright and flamboyant branding — something that many craft beer brands across the world have emulated.

Spike Brewery is establishing itself in the Swedish craft beer space, and it has been around since 2015. The company has a taproom in Sweden’s second-largest city, but it’s in the process of renovating this area as of June 2022.

Spike Brewery sells beers in several categories. You’ll find double IPA drinks, along with other kinds of pale ales and IPAs. On top of that, you can also enjoy a wide selection of stout beers — in addition to sours, pilsners, and much more.

If you don’t want to wait for the taproom to reopen, you can purchase Spike Brewery’s beer choices from one of the Systembolaget stores in Sweden.

Beer Bibliotek Brewery

Beer Bibliotek stands for “Beer Library” when you translate it from Swedish to English. And as you would expect from a Swedish beer brand naming itself as such, you will find a huge selection of drinks to choose from.

Like Spike Brewery, Beer Bibliotek is located in Gothenburg. The brewery celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, having originally formed in 2012 when four friends decided to turn their passion for beer into something bigger.

Since joining the Swedish beers landscape, Beer Bibliotek has brewed over 200 different flavors.

When drinking Beer Bibliotek’s list of beers, you will find a mixture of dark beers and pilsners — alongside sours, pale ales, Belgian IPAs, and more. Beer Bibliotek has a taproom in Gothenburg, and you can also purchase its drinks in Systembolaget.

Further afield, the brewery has shipped to several countries — including the UK and the Netherlands.

Bottenvikens Bryggeri

For our next Swedish beer brand, we’re going to head a little further north. Bottenvikens Bryggeri originates from the city of Luleå, which is just below the Arctic Circle. Joakim Nilsson and Mattias Bergström founded the brewery in 2013, and it has since gone from strength to strength.

Bottenvikens Bryggeri has a large selection of IPA beers, and you will also find dark lagers and happy beers. If you’re after something else, you can also get light lager beers.

You’ll find Bottenvikens Bryggeri’s drinks in various Systembolaget stores throughout Sweden, and it’s also sold at a selection of restaurants and bars.

PangPang Brewery

Heading back to the Swedish capital region, we’re going to check out another company selling Swedish beer throughout the country. PangPang Brewery is one of the more established craft beer makers in Sweden, and it has been around since 2010.

PangPang has an interesting selection of beers, including porters and Swedish ale, that is worth trying. You will also find drinks infused with coffee, which is a great alternative if you aren’t interested in an espresso martini.

PangPang has also brewed drinks with chocolate, pineapples, and many other ingredients.

The main PangPang taproom is in Hökrängen, which is just outside of Stockholm. But if you don’t wish to venture outside of the main downtown areas, you’ll also find a bar in the Södermalm district.

South Plains Brewing Company

We’ve spent a lot of time in the north and west of Sweden, so we should probably venture a little further south – and that’s what we’re going to do with the next of our best beer brands from Sweden.

South Plains Brewing Company is in Malmö and prides itself on vegan beer, with zero meat products used throughout the process.

Southern Plains Brewing Company takes inspiration from California, and it produces a wide selection of pale ales and sour ales. You’ll also find holiday beers for the colder months and leading up to Christmas, in addition to blond and dark lagers.

Jeffrey Scott founded the brewery in 2012.

Beer Studio

Heading back up north, the next Swedish beer company on our list is Beer Studio. It hails from Umeå, which is on the eastern coast of Sweden and is known for its popular university. The brewery is built in an old garage, and the company offers various beers for you to enjoy.

You will find a selection of IPAs when drinking Beer Studio’s products, in addition to imperial stout and Belgian ale. If you’re looking for something different, you can also try its DIPA and brown ale.

Beer Studio’s main bar is just outside of Umeå’s city center.

Oceanbryggeriet

We’ve mentioned quite a few Swedish beer brands from Gothenburg already, but we’re going to mention one more before we wrap up this article. Oceanbryggeriet was founded in 2017 and has made significant moves in the Swedish beer scene since then.

Oceansbryggeri has a wide selection of drinks with different themes. Some take inspiration from other countries, such as the British IPA. You’ll find predominantly ales, each with varying strengths in terms of taste.

Oceansbryggeri also has a lager if that takes your fancy a little more. Like many of the others on this list, you’ll find its beers in Systembolaget throughout Sweden.

Fjäderholmarnas Bryggeri

To round up our list of the best Swedish beer brands, we’re going to venture out into the Stockholm Archipelago. The brewery has been around since 2011 when Pelle Ågren and Andreas Willman decided to try their luck and see how they could take their interest in beer.

Fjäderholmarnas Bryggeri has winter ales, IPAs, fruit ales, and more. You can try them all at the brewery’s main brewpub in Stora Fjädarholmen.

If you don’t want to take the boat trip, you’ll also find its drinks in Systembolaget stores — along with at various pubs and restaurants in Stockholm and further afield.

Swedish beer brands are surprisingly diverse

Swedish beer brands have really taken off in recent years, and many craft beer makers have challenged the industry to push itself to new heights.

You will find several places selling drinks made by the best beer brands throughout the country, and you can always go to one of their taprooms to try the drinks in more of a communal setting.

While purchasing beer in Sweden is sometimes challenging, the brands we’ve mentioned on this list are far too good to turn down. So, when you’re next in Stockholm or another Swedish city, we recommend trying at least some of them.

Sweden has several interesting cities to visit, and we’ve selected the best ones for your perusal. So, why not check them out?

Now read these:
Exploring the drinking culture in Sweden

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. Stay tuned and we’ll bring the essence of Scandinavia to you.

Advertising enquiries

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. To advertise your brand to a global audience, contact our advertising team below.

advertising@scandification.com