Norrtelje Brenneri: The power of innovation
By Emma Rodin | Photos: Andreas Mattsson
“When the world changed, we changed with it”. Those are the words of Richard Jansson, co-owner of award-winning distillery Norrtelje Brenneri, which this year celebrates two decades of distillation mastery.
Before the world turned upside down a mere two years ago, Jansson and his wife Kristina Anerfält-Jansson were enjoying the fruits of their labour, backed by the fact that their beloved Norrtelje Brenneri had become such a well-respected brand with a loyal customer base. At this point, their hand-crafted product line (made with organic and premium ingredients) included whisky, gin, aquavit, schnapps and punsch, and was soon joined by disinfectant hand sanitiser.
“When the pandemic hit, our business took it very hard,” explains Jansson. “Everything changed overnight, and we suddenly found ourselves in a position where it no longer mattered that we had an amazing product to offer. A big chunk of our sales come from tax-free shops at airports and aboard ferries, so when travel came to a halt, so did we.”
That’s when the idea to create hand sanitiser was born ¬– and good thing it did. “Thanks to our small but mighty facilities, we could quickly re-group and switch our focus to produce large amounts of disinfectants, both for hospitals and for private use,” says Jansson. “Last year, we made 40,000 litres of the stuff, which is quite mad.”
Aside from this, shall we say, side-track, Norrtelje Brenneri still creates a wide range of high-quality spirits, which has rightfully earned them recognition all around the world, from Seattle to New Delhi. The roster includes Roslagswhisky, Roslagsgin, Roslagspunsch (all named after Roslagens skärgård, the archipelago in which Norrtelje Brenneri is located) and, last but not least, the renowned Bellmanpunsch.
On the product side of things, there are a few new additions to talk about, including a set of tonic waters, plus a coffee liqueur infused with orange peel and vanilla. “There’s more to come too, but you’ll have to keep an ear out, and trust me when I say that you’ll want to,” teases Jansson.
The pot is also stirring when it comes to improving the sustainable aspect of the brand’s offering – because despite already being certified organic, having its own water recycling system and barely using plastic materials, and switching to electric cars a year ago to give logistics a lovely hue of green, there’s still more to do. And the next step? Stay tuned.
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