Brewers in the #närhetsliv

Photo Mats Engfors/Fotographic

Through hard work and commitment, Sofia and Lina have made Tjers Sävast’s own brewery. Now they are expanding the event business and planning a beer festival at Peetgården.

Just over five years ago, Frida Andersson started the microbrewery Tjers Bryggeri in Överkalix. She quickly became a name in the industry and got several beers at Systembolaget. One evening she was at dinner with her friend Lina Ekström Morin in Sävast and released the news: she was going to sell.

Lina’s first thought was to buy the brewery and hire a brewmaster. She brought her friend Sofia Lundström to the job interview, who then worked with recruitment.

– When I stepped into the brewery, I thought “But God so wonderful! This is how you can also work! ”. When I commuted to Luleå, I felt that I was wasting my life so I made a change, says Sofia.

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There was no hired brewmaster. Instead, Sofia and Lina chose to take over the business and brew the beer themselves. They got to learn everything at a five-month brewery boarding school with Frida in Överkalix and then moved the business to Sävast in June 2019.

– This place was the best. Everything was here, water, ventilation and electricity. And so it was close. We live here, a lot happens in Sävast and at Boden Business Park. It is close to Luleå and many people live here, so it feels like a good place to be. That we get to live #närhetsliv, that is important, says Sofia.

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Craft beer for real

She puts the fourth and final batch of hops into the brewhouse according to a set schedule. The brownish liquid has been mashed and boiled and must now be cooled, then fermented, freeze-shocked, bottled and carbonated. And everything is done by hand by Sofia and Lina. This particular beer will be this summer’s folk beer IPA and the name has not yet been set.

– The most fun is to come up with names in Överlule-dialect. We have an old book with old farmer dialects from which we draw inspiration, says Sofia.

They continue to brew some of the flavors from Överkalix and have themselves developed the news Lyngen, Såolöga, Swägen and beers especially for Storklinten and Treehotel.

– We want the flavors to breathe Norrbotten, says Sofia.

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According to her, the secret lies in the fermentation, creativity and raw materials. Among other things, they make beer with birch and blueberries from the local area. The taste of summer should be based on elderberries.

– I was not a beer enthusiast before but I have become one. I’m actually become a real beer nerd, to be completely honest. And it’s great fun, says Sofia.

It is now in March that production for the summer starts and the brewery is running at full capacity. It will be 4500 bottles a week.

– To be able to do everything from A to Z in a company was my motivation, and to be able to work closer to home and to create experiences for people. That’s why we brew beer. It is very rewarding, says Sofia.

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Took over Peetgården

In October 2019, Lina took over the operation of Peetgården, a three-minute walk from the brewery. She has a background in hotels and events and had long had her eyes on the farm, saw the potential and wanted to develop the business.

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It was full speed ahead, already the first week the first guests arrived. The business consists of a mix of conferences, dinners and activities in the local area. The main building was timbered as early as 1648 and offers a relaxing atmosphere in a private location – but still close to everything that is important.

– We have had groups from Norway and the USA, but right now it is mainly guests from Norrbotten. Service is A and O, nothing is impossible but we solve what needs to be solved, says Lina.

A popular activity is cooking with chef Sebastian Gröndal. He is often here and cooks in the wilderness kitchen and cooks over an open fire with local ingredients.

– We are really trying to find a local connection for everything, it should feel like Boden and Sävast, says Lina.

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Lina and Sofia are responsible for cooking, baking, cleaning and hosting the guests, with the help of an hourly employee. The proximity makes the connection between the two activities obvious.

– It has been our plan from the beginning to have another leg to stand on and tie the business together, says Lina.

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Focus on events

Now this spring and summer, they are developing the business but a number of different events, both at the brewery and at Peetgården. They arrange digital beer tastings and beer tastings with music quizzes at Peetgården, tours of the brewery and also do collaborations and guest appearances at restaurants in Boden.

– We want to work for the area we live in. We want something to happen here in Sävast and Boden and attract people who live around here, says Lina.

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This summer, Sofia and Lina will arrange a beer festival at Peetgården under the light of the midnight sun. The plan is to set up tents in the yard, bring a troubadour here, serve food and grill if the weather allows. And everything must be sustainable and locally produced.

– The idea is that breweries in the county, we are 26 here in the area, should be able to gather and those who are interested in beer should be able to come here and try beer. Now there has been a lot of interest in this, and not only from here but people from southern Sweden have also heard about it. We hope that it can be the start for something recurring, says Lina.

– All Sävastbor must be allowed to have their own beer festival, that is part of the nature of things, says Sofia.

Of course, Tjers will also appear at the Nolia Beer beer fair in Luleå on May 29-30, and when Birka Cruises docks in Luleå this summer, visitors will have the chance to come here. A barbecue course with Sebastian Gröndal is planned and he will also start making cheese in the brewery. The list of ideas for new beers and events is long, so one thing is for sure: we have not seen the last of Lina and Sofia. #

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