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Style, innovation & equality

Beer or wine? With micro brewery Dugges’ new Hybrid project you don’t have to choose anymore

”We’re not saying it’s a beer. We’re not saying it’s a wine. What it is is up to the drinker to decide.”

Words: Johan Magnusson

Dugges turns 15 years old in 2020, actually making the small family business one of the oldest craft beer breweries in Sweden

Communications Manager Tomas Halberstad tells how their new Hybrid project started as a discussion they had with Brian Strumke of the American brewery Stillwater Artisanal on wine and looking at things another way.

— We had been wanting to do some sort of beer and wine beverage for some time and Brian had just released a few. And, we’re starting to see these type of beers becoming more and more popular. We started talking back and forth on what type of beer to use, if we should use grapes, grape juice, wine-, beer- or champagne-yeast, if there should be fruits in it and if it should be barrel aged. We ended up deciding on a pretty strong lactobacillus sour beer, blending it with wine and then emphasizing the wine with fruits. Sourcing the wine we quickly found out we needed a fairly light wine to balance the acidity of the beer. Eventually finding a Verdejo that did the job perfectly. The wine had notes of cloudberries and sea buckthorn so that’s what we added. As we wanted the finished product to really come together and adding a layer of complexity we aged it in oak barrels, he says, adding,

— The end result is something different. We’re not saying it’s a beer. We’re not saying it’s a wine. What it is is up to the drinker to decide.

Hybrid will be available in Sweden and in the rest of Europe from January 2020. A new year, which, accoring to Tomas Halberstad, also holds some really fun stuff for the brewery, doing about 50 new beers a year.

— What I can say is that, like with Hybrid, we’ll broaden our horizon when it comes to alcoholic beverages and craft, he says.