A new year means new opportunities. And what better place to get inspiration and make new acquaintances, both in terms of exciting brews and fellow beer lovers, than at beer festivals?

One of my all-time top experiences was in the tiny village of Söderbärke, which hosted the fabulous SMÖF with only 3,000 visitors. Unfortunately, this gem of a festival ceased a few years ago, but the memories still remain. For instance, this is where I bumped into Hopmaestro, one of Sweden’s biggest beer bloggers, who posts beer reviews every day on Instagram. What better person to recommend a beer?

Sweden also hosts the third-biggest beer festival in the world, Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival. Sure enough, it is impressive, but more exciting for craft beer lovers is probably the smaller, more hipster, All In Beer Fest in Gothenburg, or Brewskival in Helsingborg.

Norway’s festival scene sounds quite fabulous, too. How about Norsk Kornølfestival in Hornindal? This is where you can learn all about farmhouse ales and find out about the curious kveik yeast strains. Another cool event is Smaabrygg, a homebrewing festival in Flekkefjord, claimed to be a favourite for homebrewers, professional brewers, musicians and other visitors alike.

Denmark is also going strong with, for instance, Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen, deemed by beer geeks around the world as a top-notch event. Iceland, of course, has the great Kex Beer Festival, and Finland is going all in with Kaljakellunta, where thousands of participants float down a river on inflatable rafts full of beer.

These, however, are just a few of the great Scandinavian beer festivals taking place. Time to start planning your beer adventures!

Malin Norman is a certified beer sommelier and a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers. She writes about beer for Scan Magazine as well as international beer magazines, and also creates beer-related content for beer suppliers.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scan Magazine.

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