There is a particular trend in Sweden that I am very happy about at the moment, that is the increasing popularity of low- or non-alcoholic beer ans other drinks. It is just great opening a beer after dinner on a normal weekday evening. A luxury that I have before, as a mother of a toddler, reserved only for weekends. Its also great that these drinks are high quality and that there are several different to choose from. We have a full shelf of colorful bottles in fridge. I am beyond the point that I would open a beer just for the alcohol content. We have always said with M, that we would be so happy if there were more good quality non-alcoholic wine, so that we would be able to enjoy our hobby even more.
In the country of an alcohol monopoly, we are used to buying most of our drinks from the state owned Systembolaget. Its a good shop, but its also boring to be restricted to their selection. According to the law however, low-alcohol drinks, such as Folköl and Lättöl, that have below 3.5% alcohol content, can be sold in other stores. And with the ever increasing selection for low-alcohol drinks, a few brave entrepreneurs have taken on the challenge, and opened boutiques in the center. The three I know of all are located in Södermalm: Folkölsbutiken, Bottl3.5hop and Soda Nation.
Bottl3.5hop I have written about before. It is a small beer shop and deli in SoFo (South of Folkungagatan). They have a selection of around 80 different beers and small snacks, and guests can have a pint of low alcohol beer at the location. Folkölsbutiken has the same concept. It is located on busy Hornsgatan. The selection is slightly larger, and the prices lower. Both shops are cozy and colorful. I really enjoy supporting small entrepreneurs.
Soda Nation is a soda shop. No alcoholic drinks what-so-ever, but a colorful selection of over 200 different craft sodas in glass bottles. I am not really a soda person, but I respect that the owner has a passion. Every brand has an interesting story and I love all the quirky labels, crazy logos and interesting flavors, like pumpkin pie soda.
The selection of low-alcohol craft beers and craft sodas has also spread into some bigger grocery stores. Our large ICA market in Liljeholmen has a whole section dedicated to micro-brewery products, that makes it easy to pick up afternoon drinks when doing the normal after-work shopping. I prefer the small boutiques, but sometimes laziness wins.
All in all, I appreciate the artisan work behind all of these small labels. There seems to be an organic trend going on with beer as well, and it is refreshing to see that the quality is equally high. Also allergists are nurtured with many labels coming out with glutein-free beer. Beer is for everyone!